The Bible – The Most Powerful Book in the World

The Bible is by far the best-selling book of all time with around 6 billion copies printed. Add to that the online versions now available. What sets the bible apart from every other book? What does the bible mean to you?

Bible Facts

Here are a few Bible facts that may surprise you:

  • has been translated into more than 2,000 languages
  • over 1,000,000 copies are sold or given away every year making it the top selling book every single year
  • written by about 40 different authors over a period of about 1,500 years
  • written in three different languages (Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic)
  • three major divisions in the Old Testament and four in the New Testament
  • the Bible’s authors wrote under divine inspiration from God

Quill Pen

Just a couple days ago a new acquaintance commented, “I have a bible. It is too hard to understand and isn’t relevant for today.”

He’s not alone in thinking this way. Many people question how a book written so long ago could possible be applicable to our fast pasted changing world.

Relevance

In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states:

“God’s Word generates life, creates faith, produces change,
frightens the Devil,
causes miracles, heals hurts, builds character,
transforms circumstances,
imparts joy, overcomes adversity, defeats temptation,
infuses hope, releasespower,
cleanses our minds, brings things into being,
and guarantees our future
forever.”

Notice all the verbs?

Sword

“For the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.
It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
Hebrews 4:12

The bible gives a plumb line of moral character. It sets boundaries of healthy personal and corporate relationships.

Love Letter

The bible is the most incredible love letter ever written. The Old Testament contains writings about Jesus Christ concealed; the New Testament writings reveal Him fully. Jesus is the greatest Lover ever!

Love Letter

Every word in the bible, though written by the hand of man, is inspired by the breath of God.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true
and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.
It corrects us when we are wrong and
teaches us to do what is right.”
2 Timothy 3:16

The Things We Don’t Understand

Whoever reads the bible will come upon portions that are beyond our understanding or explanation. Some portions at first glance seem to contradict at each; other portions are hard to accept.

Nicky Gumbel in his Alpha Series suggests we view the bible like a crossword puzzle. Some questions we can answer quickly and easily. Some questions we will draw a blank on! Are some queries tough? We go on to the easy ones, filling in the blanks as we go. Then we come back to the tough ones, that have a few more clues added. Now perhaps, we have solutions for the really difficult areas. Little by little the answers come.

Crossword

Starting Point

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message,
and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
Romans 10:17

There are a surprising number of Christians who do not make daily bible reading a practise. In our busy lives, the best way to begin is to schedule it into your calendar. I would suggest picking the time of day that you are the most alert. Set aside just fifteen minutes!

Bible Reading

Jesus said that the word of God is even more important than eating food

But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:4

Pick out a private spot and begin!

If you need some help try the Bible in One Year App or something similar.

Valuable and Precious

I hold tightly to this, one of my most valued and precious possessions, my bible.

“They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb.”
Psalm 19:10

Several years ago I held in my hands a hand-written bible. Outlawed and banned, hidden at risk of life and liberty! Each page painstakingly copied and lovingly worn. I still feel the emotion of holding and touching those pages.

May the bible become that precious to each of us – reading, meditating on, loving and obeying the words within its covers.

The Bible

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More thought provoking reading here:

The Farmer Sows The Word – People Are Like Seed

Psalm 91 – God Has You Covered

Thankfulness – Painting On a Canvas of Gratitude

 

 

 

Jesus Christ The Sure Foundation – Building to Last

Jesus Christ the firm Foundation

The most important part of any building, ministry or individual is its foundation. Though unseen, a foundation is powerful and strategic. In a structure of any kind, if something is off-base or askew there is a problem in the foundation.

Foundations are critical! They are unseen, yet their impact is clearly visible. Where is your foundation? Is it level? Secure?

The Word of God

Since earliest times, the foundation of faith is the writing of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

“The first five books of the Bible (both Hebrew and Christian) are foundational to all of Scripture…taken by the Jews to constitute a unity known to them as the Torah or Law. To the Jews, the word Torah…means not only the “law” but also “teaching” or “instruction” which more completely characterizes God’s communication to the Israelites through Moses.”

These writing were not just read or studied, they were memorized and absorbed. Why? Here that we learn the character and the ways of God.

“He (God)revealed his character (ways) to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.”
Psalm 103:7

It is in these books that we come to “hear” the heart of God and know how He speaks.

God Still Speaks

“For God does speak
now one way, now another…
In a dream,
in a vision…”

Job 32: 14

Dreams and Visions

When we have the foundation of God’s word, we are able to discern what we hear. Everything God speaks will be laid upon the foundation of scripture. It will align to His character perfectly.

Elihu says the reasons may vary, but God speaks “in their ears.”

God originally spoke to Samuel in an audible voice.

“The LORD came and stood there,
calling as at the other times,
‘Samuel! Samuel!’ ”
I Samuel 3:10

But more often, God “revealed himself to Samuel through his word.” (vs 21)

Jesus the Foundation

“For no man can lay a foundation
other than the one which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3:11

“Therefore thus says the LORD God,
‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.”
Isaiah 28:16

The Word

Jesus is the Foundation Who has always been!

“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”
John 1:1

To know the Word is to know Christ. Those who believe in Him “will not be disturbed.” The Amplified version says, “he who believes (trusts in, relies on, and adheres to that Stone) will not be ashamed or give or hasten away [in sudden panic].”

Faith in Christ is a Foundation so secure circumstance cannot shake those whose lives are built upon that Stone!

Apostles and Prophets

“So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners.
You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people.
You are members of God’s family.
Together, we are his house,
built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets.
And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.”
Ephesians 2: 19-20

Build Together

If there would be a ranking of apostles and prophets, it would be:

  • Jesus the Chief Apostle (Hebrews 3:1) and Prophet (Luke 13:33)
  • Apostles and prophets of the bible who were given an anointing grace to write scripture
  • all other apostles and prophets

The purpose of apostles and prophets is to build and strengthen the church of Christ.

“But the one who prophesies speaks to people
for their strengthening,
encouraging and comfort.”
I Corinthians 14:3

Their work is to build upon the Foundation of The Word, Jesus Himself.

Today

To daily come to God with open bible asking Him to speak and reveal His character is a healthy practise for every believer. He still speaks; He is just waiting for us to listen.

In the margins of my bible are verses that seemed to speak directly to me or some circumstance I was facing. I pencilled in the date and a two-word reference to what was happening. Then when I read these verses, I can whisper a prayer of thanksgiving about how God has already responded.

Building on the Foundation

On my wall are key verses – verses that bring strength, encouragement, comfort, direction, or even correction. I also have written out prophetic prayers others have prayed over me. Here too, I have been able to add dates and specifics about how God has and is responding through these verses and prayers of others on my behalf.

This is one practical example of being sure the Foundation is secure. I am continuing to build on the Foundation, Jesus Christ.

The Foundation that Lasts

Lord, help me be more intentional
in building my life
upon You, the Chief Cornerstone,
my Firm Foundation,
the unfaltering Word of God.
Here I choose to stay –
secure.

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