We have to decide for ourselves this one thing.....
Do I believe that the Bible is God's Word and that it is Truth?
It is all or nothing.
My answer is YES. I believe the Bible. All of it.
I don't understand everything in it, but I believe everything in it.
I don't believe the Bible because someone told me to. I believe it because of what it has done to me. God's Word is living. It has changed me. God's Word has given me hope, wisdom, and conviction.
We don't like that very much. Maybe that is why we stay away from the Bible. Maybe that is why we stay away from churches that preach ALL of the Word. We get convicted of our sin.
Oh, another word we don't like.
Let's just get it out there.....We don't want to be told we are wrong.
Some see the Bible as a list of rules. Don't..... Don't..... Don't......Oh, the negativity of it all.
But really, the Bible is not a list of rules. For me, it is a book of life instruction....that if I follow what it says, then I will be better off. Not that my life will be perfect and pain free --- the Bible tells me that isn't so ----- but I can find joy in the sorrows of life, I can have hope for tomorrow, I can be free of the things that hold me back.
Bad things happen. Why? Because we are sinners. We chose to do the wrong thing. When I yell at my kids, that is wrong. It affects our relationship. When I gossip about a coworker, that is wrong. It affects our relationship with each other and our relationship with others. If I were to steal, that is wrong. If I were to get drunk, if I were to cheat, if I were to lie, if I were to put anything other than God first in my life.......all of it is wrong, wrong, wrong. The Bible tells me so.
Our world would be a different place if we all accepted the Truth of God's Word. But it isn't because we don't.
Some choose to believe it all.
Some pick and choose.
Some dismiss it completely.
The Bible talks about some hot topics: the sanctity of life, homosexuality, drunkenness, marriage, idolatry, gossip, gluttony, laziness, theft, causing others to fall into sin, blasphemy, adding to and taking away from God's Word.....shall I go on?
And I don't see this as list of DO NOT..... I see this as "If I follow God's instructions on these things, I won't have to deal with certain problems."
I believe a sin is a sin. A sin is anything we do that God doesn't want us to.
I'm not going to rank sins on a scale of 1 to 10. That's being judgmental and that is God's place to judge our sins.
Some people say gossip isn't really that big of deal, but I beg to differ. I'll admit that I have gossiped about people. After doing so, I've felt guilty. I've worried over what would happen if that person found out. I've lined up a set of lies to get myself out of trouble if I was confronted. Not really what you want to hear from me, but it's true. I've seen what gossip has done to people, the pain it has caused, the broken relationships. I've walked away from gossip sessions that I was a part of and that I just overhead and felt dirty and disgusted.
I've seen what idolatry can do.
I've seen what laziness can do.
I've seen what drugs and alcohol can do.
I've seen what abortion can do.
I've seen what homosexuality can do.
I've seen what sin has done.
I'm not saying any of this to be a bigot or judgmental or hypocritical or unloving. I'm saying this because I know what God's Word says, and I've seen the effects of what happens when we don't obey it. I've also seen the effects of what happens when we thrive on God's Word.
Don't take my word for it.
I challenge you......
Take God's Word for it.
Get a Bible in a translation that is easy for you to read. I prefer the NKJV, NLT, and ESV translations.
Wholeheartedly, say this prayer: God, if you are real, if this book is Holy, if it is Truth, show me.
(Hey, You really have to mean it.)
Start with Matthew in the New Testament and read at least 15 minutes each day.
Read the entire New Testament, say that prayer each and every day before you start. Try it to live the way it tells you. See what happens.
I have found truth, love, grace, mercy, patience, hope, and wisdom in God's Word. I don't feel the need to change anything that God says. I believe and I pray you do too.