We all do a lot of things for the wrong reasons. Cleaning up the house to look good; going to work for money rather than to honour our employer; coming to class to get the diploma rather than to become competent. The results may indeed be there, but deep down we know that the basis for our actions may not always be as strong as it seems. In the long run, a bad foundation often ends up looking bad.
Similarly, Bible reading can be practiced for different reasons, some legitimate, some less so. Indeed, one may be tempted to read the Bible to appear above one’s business, to avoid appearing careless, or just out of a sense of duty, because a Christian must read the Bible.
At the start of a new year, many people reset the counter to zero. It’s a new year, motivations are renewed, and maybe even some resolutions are taken (whether still held or not at the beginning of March). At the dawn of this new beginning that is 2020, it is important to remember the foundation of a life that is lived in mission for Jesus. It is equally important to remember the link that unites a life in mission to Bible reading, read for the right reasons.
A life in mission for Jesus must flow from a life rooted in nothing but the Gospel
Anything less than a growing wonder for the Gospel and its benefits in our lives will only disappoint us. We cannot stay the course of a life lived in mission out of a sense of duty, because we have to, or because a good Christian has to invest himself in it. These reasons end up putting a Christian out of breath and do not provide a firm foundation for the Spirit of God to work fully in the life of the believer who wishes to make Jesus Christ known.
The Gospel is revealed to us in the Word of God
All truth about God is revealed to us in two ways: through the nature and beauty of the world God created, and even more grandiose, through the Bible which reveals to us God’s attributes, his way of being, his disposition of mind towards human beings, his love for us and ultimately, his plan of salvation for humanity, which is called the Gospel. The Word of God allows us to deepen and taste more the reality of the Gospel, and there is no other means available that can be used with the Word of God to reveal to us the greatness of God’s grace and forgiveness for us.
A disciple in mission who wants to bear fruit must grow in his knowledge of the Bible
If a life in mission for Jesus is to flow from a life rooted in the Gospel, and that the Gospel is revealed to us in the Bible, then a logical reasoning follows: a disciple in mission must know the Bible.
After all, how can one train disciples and apply the Gospel to every day situations if one does not know the Bible, the way par excellence that reveals the Gospel? The Gospel is the story of God developed in all the stories of the Bible. As Jesus said to the disciples of Emmaus, the whole Bible and its stories bear witness to Him. The more we know the stories of the Bible, the more we know the teachings of the Bible, the better equipped we are to connect Jesus to daily life and its various situations.
So what is your plan in 2020 for knowing more about the Bible?