Read John 1:10-13
When we say a community turned inside out should live out the teachings of the Bible, we don’t mean that it should be somehow followed mechanically, like following the owner’s manual of a car. So many people approach the Bible this way, as a sterile, informational, owner’s manual for life. No wonder they struggle to read it, understand it and make some attempt to live it out. Personally I even find the word “Bible” to be a little cold and sterile since “Bible” simply means book. But what kind of book is it and how do I read it? Is it a science book? Is it a history book? Is it a textbook?
Well it’s some of these and none of these. Each description just comes up short. Usually people approach the Bible using only one or two of these categories. So what is the Bible and how do we look at it and live it out as a community? It is the record of God’s words. Think about it. The creator of the heavens, earth, the universe has spoken and those words are available for us to read. But more importantly, the Bible is the story of God and us. It’s about how we relate to him and he to us in community. Primarily, it is a love story of God’s desired relationship with His people and we should approach it with this understanding.
I loved my Dad and I know he really loved me, but we each have our own unique way of expressing our love for one another. My father’s heritage was Dutch. Not to be hard on the Dutchmen or anything, but the great written works, love songs and poems of our time, were not written by the Dutch. In keeping with his heritage, my dad didn’t always express himself well in words or writing; he was more of a man of action. I will never forget his simple words to me to love the Lord my God with all my heart and soul and a call to serve Him. He wrote it in the cover of a study Bible he gave to me when I was in Grade 11. I have never turned back. He also inspired us with a family verse in Nahum 1:5 where it says, "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him."
The Bible was given to us for a purpose, and yes, some of that does have to do with history and passing along information and truth. However, I don’t think these are primary objectives. The way we read the word of God influences how it affects us. If we can understand that it is a love letter, written from a dad to his children, then it changes us.