The Bible.. a Love STORY?Posted: September 2, 2013
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
Psalm 145:7-9 (NIV)
The Bible can be intimidating sometimes, especially when you are first getting into it or have been away from it for a while… Often we feel uncomfortable with the Bible in groups such as Sunday school class, Bible studies and prayer groups. There is always someone in the group who is a living breathing Bible machine… you know one don’t you? ….I was one, who felt uncomfortable in the groups for many years.
I knew Bible stories; I had heard those since I was a kid. Mama read one to us every night before we went to bed. Sometimes I would drift away into dreamland with one of those stories on my mind. “David and Goliath, Daniel in the lion’s den, the three guys in the furnace”, Shack, Rack and Tobedugo… you remember them don’t you?…
But as far as being a Bible machine, nope, not me!
After I grew older, not being able to quote Scripture began to bother me. Now I could tell you any of the stories and relate to you how they could be used to guide us through life’s many circumstances, but I couldn’t tell you the “book” the story was in or “the chapter and verse number” where the story began. I was not able to tell the story to you word for word, exactly as it was written down. ….Can you do that?
I remember someone telling me how important the “addresses” were and how every single word in the Scriptures carried some substantial meaning which should not be overlooked and so on, and so on… So, I made up my mind to study and become a “mean lean Bible machine” and I did.
Now let me explain please…. I do not have any problem with you or anyone else if you can quote scripture word for word and know the book, chapter and verse numbers… I think that is great and I am able to do the same, now… Those skills come in handy more often than not, and if that is what it takes to have confidence and self-esteem in classes and groups, by all means, do it. …It is also a tremendous help when teaching and studying and such.
You knew it was coming didn’t you?
“But” is a great little 3 letter word, unless it follows this little 3 word sentence: “I love you.”
And that is kind of my point. You see, I view the Bible primarily as a love story, an action packed daily dramatic adventure filled episode of God falling madly in love with His Creation Bride and His Creation Bride, falling madly in love with Him… Have you ever thought about “it” like that? …and it’s ok to see it this way… and to learn it this way… In fact, it is the preferred way, if you will…?
See, after I began my studies, I discovered that “Story Telling” is the language of the Bible. …Stories are the method the Bible and all of its mysteries and treasures were handed down through from generation to generation… Story Telling was the “entertainment industry” of that day and age so to speak. … Jesus taught in “parables” a type of story with a message embedded to be discovered or revealed (realized) at another point in time… and so on and so forth.
Now lets wrap this up… Being able to Quote Scripture word for word, knowing the book, chapter, verse number and so forth is great and often beneficial, unless you do not know the story. Too often I hear folks quoting Scriptures in the wrong spirit, the wrong frame of mind… They use it in order to gain the upper hand, or to silence their questioner…to show their assumed superiority or authority… you know what I mean right? …This practice is far too common today in many circles, and it is wrong, just plain wrong!!!
Conclusion: Please learn the Story, before you learn the Bible, …more often than not this will eliminate the problem… God (Jesus in us) is a lover not a fighter! Sure He got angry at times, we all do… but He did not sin in His angry and we do… and when we do we hurt and drive people away who are in despair and only wish someone would just tell them a Beautiful Love Story!!!
Love in His Name!
1 Corinthians 13
New International Version (NIV)
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.