The first and most important thing that I've learned in my Christian life and what I'd like to share is that God's written word is not a book of theory, a religious rule book or a collection of secret coded messages. No. In the eyes of a scholar, they may see it differently...but in lay terms...or human terms, it is a collection of God's thoughts about His character, His power and the desires He has for the people He created. All well put together in a beautiful quilt, with every single piece and every strand of thread having it's own unique importance to the over all story...from the God of the Universe Who patiently is bringing His creation back to Himself.
My Father reminds me that He didn't Author a book that I must find time to read - as though I'd better know His rules or else! NO. He who has His very own collection of wonderful stories and eternal truths, invitesme to crawl up onto His lap, and snuggle into that quilt He lovingly pieced together for me a long time ago...then tells me about His plan, and helps me see a little at a time, how every single word comes together in Jesus.
I've also learned to be more of a literalist. Meaning, that when a verse says command...then it's not a request. When it says 'all'...it means all. When a verse speaks of God's love...then I don't refer to the love I have experienced in my life as being the definition. NO!(Yikes!!) I go straight over to 1 Corinthians 13, to start out with, then Christ's life, as well as various other verses to find out what God's love is made of.
When God has made it clear that I am saved by grace, yet something in the bible seems to tell me that I'd better be a good girl orelse! Then something is amiss with MY understanding - NOT God's word. When scripture says something is 'new', then it's new. So, if I read some passages that seem to contradict or confuse me...then the contradiction is in my own mind and not in God's word!
1 Cor. 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace,
as in all churches of the saints.
When a scripture uses the word fulfills or satisfies...then it means that something has been fulfilled or satisfied...and it does not have to say, 'very satisfied' in order for us to take in the true meaning. Likewise when I read the word obey and my heart feels a twinge of fear, then sadly I have been fed some very faulty information in my past...but yet, this also tells me that God desires to do more healing in my heart! (Hurray!)
When God says in Isaiah 55: 8-9 "My thoughts are not
your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways," declares the LORD.
Just as the heavens
are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts
are higher than your thoughts.", what He means is, when we read scripture we have to keep in mind that it very often may not seem logical to our human nature...therefore, we must expect to usually have to dig deeper in order to find the true meaning.
We mustn't dismiss what we don't understand, no, of course not...instead we learn from Jesus who exemplifies God perfectly. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle
and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls". Matt. 11: 29-30 He wants to yoke with each one of us, as the Holy Spirit helps us know what God truly means, as we follow along with Christ in the Gospels, and learn to emulate Him in this world. ~ Which could not happen if we are relying on our own finite understanding! These are the 'uniquely important threads' in the beautiful quilt that must not be overlooked, so as to better understand God's words.
John 14: 26 Jesus said, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit--the Father will send
Him in My name--will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have
Have you ever eaten something so sweet, and so rich - that you just had to have more? Then the baker tells you that he would be glad to give you the recipe for their Honeycomb Cake? But, not being a natural at things like this, you ask if he can come over and show you how to make that wonderfully rich dessert!
This is how I've learned to see scripture as well. When I am sitting in my Father's lap, He doesn't just tell me about His Son Jesus and how He is the exact representation of Himself. He doesn't just tell me the things Jesus said or taught...and then sends me home with the recipe book. No. He provides me with very visual examples of how Christ related to all different kinds of people and how He handled the many situations that came His way...as well as His very real Spirit inside me. God has surely provided everything I need to not only live a more satisfying Christian life, but a fruitful life that delights my wonderful Father as well!
God desires His words to be sweeter and sweeter on my tongue, because in truth, that is what they are! They are sweeter than the honey in the honey comb and are worth more than fine gold! Pls go to Psalm 19: 7-11 and follow along!