I hope that you’re engaging once again in the teaching series that we currently have going at Journey in the book of Genesis. It’s all too easy to put more emphasis on the New Testament of the Bible, leaving the Old Testament “on the shelf” to collect dust, as we try to be this version of the New Testament church (a notion that many modern churches strive for, and with good reason). We have to remember though that the nature and character of God is steadfast and unchanging, and the Old Testament is a rich source to tap into the understanding of the character of God. So…don’t be too quick to leave the OT behind if you’re getting into the Word.
On that note, I wanted to pick up on something that Mark mentioned this past week as we discussed the question of why God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. We spent a little time talking about discipline, and I’d like to get into one big thing that we as followers of Christ should be doing and growing with on our walks with Him.
The Word. Scripture. The Bible. We should be reading and getting to the place of studying the Bible so that we KNOW the Word and it has become implanted within us. This does not have to be the daunting task that it’s sometimes made to be; it can actually be very enjoyable! We live right now in the tension of this seemingly odd dichotomy in our city. Did you know that in 2016 the American Bible Society and the Barna Group ranked Chattanooga as the most Bible-minded city in the country? (See first link for that article below; the methodology is included there.) Also, did you know that we in the American Church are living in a post-Christian society where Biblical literacy is on the decline on the whole? Only a year after the study of “Bible-mindedness” the Barna Group released a study of the 100 most post-Christian cities in America in 2017. Thankfully this was not a list that we (Chattanooga) topped, however we do find ourselves on the list at #96. Comparatively speaking, our city has a better connection to the Word of God than others; however our country as a whole is living in a time and moving further in the direction of lessened Christian influence, which means that over all less and less people see the Word for what it really is.
What does this do for you and your own walk with Jesus? How does the Word of God affect you?
What do you think this means for your potential to impact the people around you? How might you be involved in encouraging others in their connection to the Word?
I encourage our students to get into reading the Word and to grow to a place that when that day comes where they did not pick up their Bible to read it, they’ll realize afterwards. It’ll be evident to them that they missed that day and they’ll want to pick it back up. I would encourage you with the same. Just try to do that, a little bit day by day, and see where that takes you.