Knowing the Story

February 9, 2014

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” (1 Timothy 4:13 ESV)

I believe the heart behind Paul's charge to Timothy was to strengthen his hearers' conviction of the veracity of the Law and the Prophets and to show them who Jesus of Nazareth was in light of those writings. In simpler terms, he was saying "Timothy, tell them the story. Help them believe it. Don't spare the details, and don't let them forget it."

The Bible is not just about the good news of forgiveness of sin and how we can go to heaven. Grand themes like "creation", "covenant", "exodus", "return", and "restoration" fill the pages of Scripture. These themes are not just theological concepts to be studied by those with a Ph.D, but are God's way of calling us out of ourselves and into His greatness. The "gospel" story, though primarily about a small nation in the Middle East called Israel, is the story for all humanity because Israel's God is the one God of all the nations.

Public reading of Scripture might seem a bit odd to us in modern Western culture, but we can still walk in the spirit of Paul's exhortation by having a Bible reading plan. Though conferences and audio teachings have been a blessing to me over the years, I have grown more in my knowledge of the Word simply by reading the Bible from cover to cover regularly. Don't neglect even the few minutes you may have each day to read it. Before you know it, it will be the book you can't put down and can't stop talking about. Get to know the story, and find joy and delight in losing yourself in it. You won't regret it.

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