When I was in college, I read through the Bible for the first time. Before that, I had only read some of the New Testament and a few Psalms.
I didn’t understand everything, but I was amazed by what I read. I felt God was speaking directly to me on each page. He explained what he had been doing since the beginning of time.
More than anything else, I came away from that first cover-to-cover reading of the Bible with the sense that God, in spite of man’s rebellion against him, has faithfully stuck to his plan.
Since God has been faithful through the centuries, never deviating even once from his original intent, I knew I could trust him with whatever would come in my life.
He showed me that I was part of his plan.
He also showed me that Scripture applies to all areas of my life.
The Word of Grace and Truth
Scripture is powerful (II Timothy 3:16) because God’s Word is inseparable from God himself.
The Apostle John beautifully describes this in the opening sentences of his Gospel.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. – John 1:1-4.
As if these words were not magnificent enough, a couple of sentences later, John tells us that Jesus is God, the very Word who made his dwelling among us.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
God is present with us – Immanuel. Jesus is the perfect embodiment of the Word of God. He is full of grace and truth.
This is the only true Christmas gift!
Meeting with Jesus
It’s possible to read the Bible as we would other writings. Many have approached it simply with the goal of gathering information from it.
When we dive into Scripture, we’re not just reading the opinions and writings of men. We’re meeting with Jesus Christ.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. – Hebrews 1:1-2.
Jesus calls us not to be satisfied simply reading the words on the page. He calls us to action and application.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – James 1:22.
God came to us as a man in order to have a deep, lasting, and all-encompassing relationship with us. When he calls us to be doers of the Word, he means that we are to take Scripture into every nook and cranny of our lives.
Does he mean that we should apply Scripture to (that is, let it have a relationship with us in) our work and vocation? Yes.
Marriage and relationships? Yes.
Vacation and leisure? Yes.
There’s not end to this list.
Jesus speaks to us and is the focal point of every aspect of our lives. There is great joy in knowing that he has come to seek us out and open our eyes to his truth and grace.
What better time to remember this than Christmas, when we celebrate Christ’s coming?