Boy, that is indeed a loaded question, and by asking it and giving an answer, I am definitely setting myself up for criticism. However, when God gives me a task, I must obey. This may be the most evangelistic post I’ll ever write, at least it is up until this point. Am I comfortable? Heck no! Do I need to write it anyway? YES.
I’ll begin with the first answer: The Bible is a guidebook for life. That probably sounds dull as you’ve heard it a million times before. The thing is, it’s true. Any question you have can pretty much be answered directly or via some methodology in there. I hear you say, NO WAY…what about ___? Well, perhaps not modern day math formulas or food recipes, but for that I will just note that at the time it was put together, building in cubit and herbs/spices references are noted throughout the tome. Here’s the meaningful stuff though: conflicts and resolutions, rules on how to live together in a society, how to handle a runaway son, bullies, standing up for yourself, and yes, how to grow and hold onto faith and hope. All of those answers are there. I believe one of the most important stories for our day though, is the story of disobedience in the Garden. Why?
Because this story showcases that God gave man free will. He gave Adam and Eve one rule – do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In a human’s curiosity, they did; thus separating humanity from Him on this earth. Now, why is this important? Because for the past thirty years while I have been a student of humanity, I have seen that this separation has caused a rift in each and every person. Some fill this hole with shopping, some try to fill it with relationships with other people, some do drugs, some try sexual deviancy – you see where I’m going with this. Even some like me, try to fill it by overcoming their fears and trying new things-travel/sports/arts etc.
Nothing on earth will give us that subconscious ecstasy feeling we know from before we were born into human flesh. That’s not to say that some things don’t venture near, but humans are constantly searching for that all encompassing love and acceptance that only God can give us. The only way to really get the glimpse of that, is to have a relationship with Him.
I can hear the naysayers. That’s ok. Naysay away. It does not change what I know to be true because God has given me this insight. Do I have the Bible memorized? No, and I have felt much guilt in my life because of it. But in recent days as I’ve grown in relationship with Him, I have come to the conclusion that it is unnecessary to memorize it. The passages that I need stick with me and bubble up at right moments. Plus, it is always there for me to refer to in times of need.
Yes, the Bible is for the tired, the sick, the weary…but it is also for the wealthy, the successful, the busy and those who know they have it all and yet are missing something. Even “successful people” need their hole filled.
Look around you. Can you see them – those people with a hole? Help them.
As a society we are beginning to recover from generations of hell-fire and damnation speeches that have been used in the name of God to create fear within us. The Bible has been poorly abused in this manner because it actually says “Fear Not” 365 times, and Jesus, in the four gospels, uses variations of this around 125 times! That is the number one message – Fear Nothing with the Lord.
The Bible is our comfort, our mentor, our parent. It ignites every emotion: anger, joy, annoyance, sadness, confusion. Is it ALL? I don’t think so, because God hasn’t stopped talking to us – we’ve just stopped listening to Him.
God wants us to remember: “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”-Matthew 19:26. Think about that. ALL THINGS. Dinosaurs? Fairies? A bit of evolution? Perhaps…because it is ALL THINGS.
So what is the Bible? It is mystery. It is our story. It is God’s story. It is redemption. You only need read it and as any story, choose to believe it or not. He gave us free will. Believe it.
It is Truth. It is the Word.