Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Bible Study

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Bible Study

Article excerpt

A WOMAN I know has for decades helped others through prayer. One day recently, though, she herself was in need of direction and comfort. Though he knew nothing of her need, a friend who lived nearby just then knocked on her door. He, too, had spent decades loving and teaching the Bible--in his case in faraway lands. He had brought his Bible to suggest that they study together that morning. She was reluctant at first, but agreed to his plan. At the end of two hours, she felt uplifted and free. How do we think of the Bible? Is it a centerpiece on the mantel-- a decoration that we look at but rarely touch? Or is it for us a living book that we turn to often? The Bible's vital message isn't limited to yesterday; it speaks to our lives today! It is full of examples of courageous individuals who accepted God's love so completely that what had appeared as insurmountable problems were solved with God's help. And the Bible tells us the nature of God and gives us tested guidelines that keep us on the path of growth in our understanding of Him. It is the living record of love--God's love for man. If we open the book and study--really study--what it is telling us, we will feel that love regardless of what we may be facing. The book of Romans, in the New Testament, points out, "Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (15:4). The Bible is a book to be opened. But opening the Bible is only the first step. It must then be read and studied. We need to grapple with its lessons and make them our own. The Bible characters won their victories through deep faith and strong effort. We share in their victories only as we make our own strong effort to understand God ourselves. From the Old Testament to the New, prophets and other Bible characters displayed great faith that a clearer understanding of God would come and that everyone needed to prepare for it. Can't we see this in the clear visions of Isaiah, prophesying the coming of the Messiah? Christ Jesus' coming, his life of healing and teaching, are the culmination of what the Bible is telling us of God's kingdom--where we all dwell. …
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