What are you thankful for this year?
I am thankful every day for the Bible, but particularly this year and this Thanksgiving week, I have a renewed and profound appreciation for the gift of the Word of God.
Have you ever studied Luke 24, the story of two of Jesus’ followers on the road to Emmaus? On that seven-mile walk, Jesus explained what the Bible is all about: himself.
“And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27, ESV)
The Bible is not:
- A history of how religion developed
- A compendium of sacred religious thought
- A book of moralistic insights to help us live our lives better
- An encyclopedia of theology for people who want to make sure they believe the right things
- A catalog of stories about noble people who made the right choices
- A rule book for how to be good enough for God to accept us for eternal life
Although it contains stories like the road to Emmaus, the Bible is not a collection of religious short stories. It is one story from cover to cover with God’s explanatory notes.
It is the most amazing, radical, fear-dispelling, hope-giving story you could ever want to read. It is a story that is incredibly honest and tremendously hopeful at the same time.
The plot of Scripture will make you understand things you have never understood before and see things you would have been blind to. This story addresses your deepest questions and most terrifying fears. It has a shocking beginning, a horrible dilemma, an unexpected solution, and a glorious ending. It is the story of stories, the one narrative that every human being needs to hear and understand.
The story of the Bible is a death-and-life story. The stink of death and the fragrance of life are on every page. It can make you weep and celebrate. It can produce more sadness and deeper joy than you thought you could ever experience.
Do you read the Scriptures as a story? Are you captivated by its plot? Are you hooked on every word spoken by the main character, Christ? Are you in awe of its Author?
The Bible is the story of Christ coming to earth to defeat sin and death and to restore a perfect, eternal relationship to the creatures he made in his likeness.
Now that’s a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving!
The only hope,
the only help,
the only rescue,
the only healing,
the only solace,
the only balm,
the only redemption,
the only restoration
for a broken,
dark, and dangerous
isn’t found in
or personal reformation,
but in the willing
of a God-man Redeemer.
No idea can liberate,
no power can save,
no institution can redeem,
what sin has destroyed.
So a Son had to come.
Son of God.
Son of Man.
came to recreate.
The Savior came to be
The blessed one
came to suffer,
and in suffering
to bless the world with hope,
The cost of it all was
It was his birth mission,
his resurrection victory.
History marched toward his coming;
there was no other way.
Paul David Tripp
1. Would the people who live nearest to you characterize you as a complaining person or a thankful person?
2. When was the last time you sat down to count your blessings specifically? How about doing it at Thanksgiving and encouraging those with you to do the same?
3. What story - either a book, TV series or film - has captivated your attention and awe recently? What is so fascinating about this narrative? Consider how the Scriptures have all of the elements of drama ... and so much more!
4. How often do you tell others about the latest story (either fictional or current events) you are watching or following? Do you talk about the narrative of redemption as frequently or excitedly?
5. How can you read the Word of God more as a story? How will this deepen your enthusiasm for Bible study? How may it reduce your tendency for legalism?