5th June 2020

Appreciating the Bible

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.’
Psalm 119:105 (NIVUK)

One experience of lockdown is that we are thrown out of our normal routines because we are not able to do what we would usually do in our regular weekly schedule. This may present opportunities to spend time on other things, which in turn may mean we have more time to read the Bible than we have in normal circumstances.

Christians know that the Bible is the word of God but sometimes the idea of reading the Bible a lot more can become something of a duty or even a task. I know for me at times the very well-intentioned teaching that I should read my Bible every day, perhaps even in a certain section of my day, turned more into a law than a grace from which I could be blessed. In other words, tick the box for getting the Bible study done and then the rest of the day is my own.

An additional problem, I think, is how easy we have access now to the Bible in so many forms. I used the NIVUK translation for the text of this study, but I could have called upon various translations, either from those sitting on my shelf, or from a website like Bible Gateway, or from an app on my phone. The Bible has become a common thing. Something that I find it helpful to bring fresh life into my reading of the Bible concerns how I view it. Just take a moment to think about what it is you have in your hands, or on your computer or your phone. It is the living word of God sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12); it is a lamp and light supremely revealing Jesus Christ through whom we know who God is, showing how we can enter a lasting relationship with him. The Bible is, therefore, something indescribable precious. Just think of the generations of Christians down through church history who never owned a copy of the Bible and even if they had owned a copy, they wouldn’t have been able to read it. Just think of the Chinese Christians in the 1970s some of whom would travel 50 miles simply to see a copy of the Bible and to hold it in their hands.

These things help me to view and value the Bible in a completely different way. It’s now not just another book on the shelf or another app on the phone, rather it is the God-breathed revelation of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, that should be treasured. I’m now in a different position when I come to read it. It’s no longer a chore or a law to follow, but a grace God has given me to appreciate.

Father, we give thanks with a grateful heart for your word as it shines a light on Jesus, the author and finisher of our salvation.

Study by Barry Robinson

About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder and part of the National Ministry Team directing Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. He is also a pastoral worker in the South of England, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: camberwell@gracecom.church

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