I have been in quite the reflective mood as of late. I have thought of and have started to “mentally write” a bunch of different blogposts. I have not had the time to sit down and seriously write in a while, and now that I have a few minutes I think I am going to write something other than what I thought I would write about.
I have mentioned a few times in the past about the journey God put me on in March of this year to read through the Bible. Even though I studied the Bible in college (the first time I went), I never read through the entire Bible cover to cover. I was challenged to do so by an English professor when I was in school and then not again until I read the book Radical this year. God really burned it on my heart to do this, so I started in March. Now, here at the middle of Novemeber, I am three One Year Bible days away from finishing.
I am not sharing this to boast that I read through the Bible in nine months. No, that is not it at all. It is more the opposite. I am completely humbled by it. Something has happened to me through the Bible. I am not sure if I can completely explain it, but I am different. I am changed.
A few major things that I have realized:
- The Bible is not what I thought. It truly is the story of a loving God pursuing his people.
- God is not who I thought. He is loving. He is vengeful. He is just. He is mercy. He is jealous. He is patient. He is all of what we as humans are, but He is holy, pure, and above all that we are.
- The Holy Spirit is not who/what I thought. He is real. He is God. He is the presence of God in our lives. He speaks. He moves. He calls. He disciplines. He is our source to be more like God. Without Him we have nothing.
- Jesus is not who I thought. He has been since the beginning. He is ever present in both the Old and New Testaments. He is the promise of God since the beginning. He really lived a sinless life. He really died a sinners death. He really rose again to show that the price was paid for our sin. He really lives and is in Heaven. He is really coming back. He really loves us. He really accepts us. He worked to hard for us to give up on us.
- We, humans, are not who I thought. We really are sinful. We really are incapable of living and trusting God as he intended on our own. Our hearts are really crooked deep down. We can not straighten ourselves out. We need a savior. We need a helper. We need a God. We can be made new. We are made whole through Jesus.
As I am completing this journey (before I start it all back over again) and look back at how it has changed me, I am reminded of something that I heard someone say ten or so years ago. There is a guy named Marquis Laughlin, and he does dramatic readings of books of the Bible (he has whole books of the Bible memorized…it is amazing). I saw him perform the book of John. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen, and it brought the book alive to me in more ways than one. At the end, he talked about what it is like to do this. He said that one of the questions he gets all of the time is, “What is it like knowing whole books of the Bible and performing them?”
He said that it is like being in school in a classroom when the teacher has stepped out for a minute and left the students alone. The students kind of do their own thing, but they have a look out at the door to let everyone know when the teacher is coming back. He said that he feels like the student standing at the door. He knows the Teacher is coming back and can see him down the hall. He wants everyone to know that the Teacher is coming and we need to be doing the work that he left for us to do. And that work is to love God and love other people. Love is our job and we need to start doing it because the Teacher is almost to the door.
This is exactly how I feel on this side of my journey. The Teacher is definitely coming back and He has definitely given us something to do. We need to be about love. We need to love generously and wrecklessly. That kind of love changes the world, and we need to be changing the world when the Teacher comes back becuase that is the assignment he gave us when we left.