Friday, September 14, 2018

The B-I-B-L-E

I was talking to a friend the other day about the best selling book of ALL time & wanted to share some of these “fun facts.”

There are actually over 100 million copies of this book sold each year, and many households report having 3-4 in their home.

Yes- I’m talking about the Bible. This has been my Bible for the last 11 years and it is one of my greatest treasures.

No automatic alt text available.

There are 66 books in the Bible. There are two main divisions- Old Testament (made up of 39 books), which was written before Jesus’ life on earth, & the New Testament (made up of 27 books), which were written after Jesus’ life, ministry, death, & resurrection. These books were written by approximately 40 men over a 1600 year span (from 1500 BC to 100 AD). The books of the New Testament were written within 100 years of Christ’s death by disciples…Men who knew/encountered Jesus or served closely with him. There was also a 400 year time frame between the OT and NT where they didn’t hear from God (often referred to as the years of silence)until the angel spoke to Mary.

40 different authors /writers...from all different backgrounds...over a 1600 year time period...and the theme is the same throughout. It is SO powerful seeing prophecies fulfilled, & I don’t see any other explanation besides “Well that was God.” (If you’ve never read John Bevere’s book called “Good or God,” I think it’s chapter 4 ? that has some really fascinating thoughts on the “chances” & probabilities of the specific details of those prophecies actually being fulfilled in the way they were...mind boggling numbers/statistics that I believe can only point you back to Jesus.)

There are 8 major themes of the Bible.
1. Creation
2. Brokenness
3. Promises
4. Redemption
5. Law
6. Rebellion
7. Grace
8. Eternity

Most of the Bible is not organized chronologically, but rather grouped by like kind. The first five books of the Old Testament are the “Books of the Law.” The next 12 books (Esther - Job) are “history books” known as narratives. Job is considered by many to be a “wisdom book” & Psalms through Song of Solomon are the “poetry books.” Isaiah through Malachi are “the prophets.” The first 5 (Isaiah - Daniel) being considered ‘major prophets’ and final 12 books in the OT (Hosea - Malachi) referred to as the ‘minor prophets.’

In the NT, the first four books are “the gospels.” Matthew was written thematically, & Mark, Luke & John were written chronologically. The book of Acts is considered a “history book,” and the book of Romans begins the letters/epistles. Revelation is the 27th book of the New Testament, and definitely one of its own kind...a book of prophecy.

Here are a few of my favorite verses about the Word of God.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” - 2 Tim 3:16

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” - Isaiah 40:8

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” - Psalm 119:105

The Bible is transformative when you apply it in your life. The Word never returns void. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read a particular verse or passage...God always has something new to show us. It won’t change us if we are simply a ‘hearer of the word’ thorough...because that is just ink on pages. The power lies when we allow the Lord to speak to us, mature us, and mold & shape our hearts & as we become ‘doers of the Word.’

I am so grateful to have the freedom to be able to freely read & study my Bible. And my prayer is the the Lord gives us all an overwhelming hunger & desire to study it, meditate on & pray the Scriptures over our lives, and learn the character of God so we can become more like him. It is SO rich, so interesting, & so powerful. It is the best “self help,” inspirational, parenting, finance, work, marriage, leadership book there is. It has a remedy for every ailment, and a solution for every issue. Yes, even though times are different, we can still apply the wisdom of this book. If we will just FOLLOW it, He gives us the equation for “success.”

What a gift He has given us in His Word!! There is just nothing like it.

No comments: