I was asked to share a testimony on the importance of Scripture in my life today at church. I polished up my speech, and here it is!
So how have I found God’s word to be alive in my own personal life?
I’ve been through times when I would read the Bible and it felt like a chore. But I kept reading, because I knew it was something I should do, because I’m a Christian.
Somehow, it didn’t feel right that the book that I know is supposed to be the most important book in my life didn’t interest me as much as I thought it should. I found that it was important for me to persevere in reading and studying the Bible even when I didn’t feel like it. I also needed to come to a place where I truly and consistently desire to read God’s word. It’s not meant to be a chore. It’s meant to be a delight. So how do I find that place? There are two main things I want to share about. Relevance and Greek.
How many of you know the story of Joan of Arc? Probably not many. She was a young French woman, involved in the war between France and England in the 1400s. What would happen if I gave you a story about her? Assuming you would read it, you would probably say it was a nice story, and that she was a courageous woman, but it wouldn’t have any relevance to your life. To a French person however, who understands the impact that Joan of Arc had on the war between France and England, her story is very important. If it wasn’t for her, innumerable lives would have taken a different course.
It’s the same way with the Bible. I could read the Bible, and enjoy it as a compilation of good stories, some seemingly more important than others. But the truth is, it wasn’t until I understood how all the stories of the Bible fit together into one beautiful story about our Messiah, and that God has written me into His story, that I was able to see the Gospel as beautiful. Once I caught a glimpse of that, reading the Bible became a delight, and I was able to see the beauty of the Gospel on every page.
I’m sure some of you are just waiting for me to start talk about studying Greek… So I’m not going to disappoint you. Biblical language study isn’t something anyone can be convinced or motivated to do. It’s something you have to be motivated to do, because honestly, it takes dedication and hard work. In my experience, it’s worth it.
I will never forget the first time I read the story of the Last Supper in Greek. To think that the words I was reading were written by someone who was with Jesus made the whole story come alive in a way I had never experienced before. Sure, they were probably speaking Aramaic, but when John wrote about that night that he laid his head on Jesus, he wrote about it in Greek, and I was reading exactly what he wrote. I felt closer to Jesus. Like I was there, or saw John afterwards, and he personally told me about it. I want to be close to Jesus, and reading the Scriptures in Greek draws me closer.
A wise man once said the following:
“We independent Americans are entirely too engrossed in our own egos and smart phones to bother doing some real study, Bible study or otherwise. I’m just as guilty as the next person. Our media culture cultures us to skim, and flick, and glance at, and swipe until we don’t even know how to concentrate properly. We allow algorithms to do our “thinking”, and feed us what we want to hear. Then we try to approach the Bible the same way, and wonder why it seems so hard to understand and digest. There is no substitute for consistent Bible reading. No matter how many ‘verse of the day’ alerts you get, it is simply not the same as picking up a real Bible and flipping pages as you read.”
A special thank you to Ernest Lloyd for the photos!