Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his son (Hebrews 1:1 The Message).
God loves to communicate with His family. That is why He sent His Son, the Word, to live among us. That is why He gave us the Bible, His written word. That is why He puts such an emphasis on prayer. He is so intent on making Himself understood that His Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of His believers. Unlike false gods, He is totally engaged with His people.
If someone wants to know what God has to say, he studies the Bible. Unfortunately, Bible “study” is often viewed as an obligation rather than an exciting privilege. However, the psalmist did not feel that way. I have put my hope in your word. . . How sweet are your promises to my taste. . . I gain understanding from your precepts. . . Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119: 81,103, 104, 105 NIV).
Reluctance to spend time in God’s word is usually more prevalent in a society where Bibles are readily available. In countries where access is limited, if a Christian owns a Bible, it is his most precious possession. He can say with Job, I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread (Job 23:12b NIV).
There are many ways to study the Bible: a careful word-by-word exegesis of a particular passage (such as John 3:16), an in depth study of a book (such as Genesis), a character study (such as Daniel), and many more. The important thing is to set aside time each day to hear from God – through His word and through prayer. I get excited about discovering threads of truth that run from the beginning to the end of God’s word or “connecting the dots” about a Biblical theme.
Although the Bible was written by many people over several hundred years, it has one underlying theme. It is, after all, God’s word. It is all about God and what He is doing. The theme of every story, book, and character is how God used that person or circumstance for His redemption of fallen man. Redemption is through Jesus, the Word of God. He appears in the Old Testament in pre-incarnate forms and comes as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies in the New Testament.
Jesus revealed Himself as God: I Am (John 8:58), the Bread of Life (John 6:35), the Light of the World (John 8:12), the Door (John 10:7), the Good Shepherd (John 10:14), the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), and the True Vine (John 15:1). Although these statements are unique to Jesus, He shared the characteristics of one of them with His believers. This is the theme of the Bible study on this site: Living in the Light: Looking Up and Lighting the Way for Others to Follow.
© Stephanie B. Blake