We’ve been given everything. All that we need to live a life fitting a believer in Christ. I’m taking a Gospel class at the church I am in the process of joining and there was a statistic that jarred me, albeit only slightly. Of professing evangelicals in this country, over half agreed there was another way to heaven than Jesus. At that moment, my heart began wrenching, but it wasn’t the first time I had heard something like this. In other words, my experience knows this statistic to be plausible at the least, if not dead on. It hit me like a hollow-tipped shell (sorry, my roommate’s been playing a lot of Call of Duty recently) to the chest that I as well as that fifty-plus percent don’t read the very word of God that has been passed down to us.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” – II Peter 1:3-4
Everything. Not just most, but every thing. And where are the referenced promises found? You got it, in the Bible. That thing over there on my desk/shelf/dresser/etc. that’s just collecting dust, do we, do I, not realize what is contained within the covers of that book? Could it really have within it the secrets to life standing in plain sight for any and all to see? Yes. But that doesn’t seem to be good enough. In my heart, I want something else, something more. What could exist that is more? This is everything. This is the account of God, grace’s crash course with our inherent shortcomings, the death and resurrection of Christ, and broken people being transformed radically in the wake of this phenomenon. What more, oh my soul, could I desire?
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” – Hebrews 4:12-13
Unchanged. We cannot read such a text and expect to remain the same. If the text is as it claims to be, there is no way we can hope to walk away unaffected. Then again, why would we wish this for such a piece of literature? Why would we desire it to be muted? Yet, that’s precisely what we’re saying when we cease reading and spending time in the Word. We are asking God to tone it down, to not be so active. We are asking God to be who He isn’t.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – II Timothy 3:16-17
It’s the swiss army knife of the soul. Seriously, in that list, what is left out? What purpose could we possibly devise that isn’t included? Then, why does our Bible continue to gather dust? Why is it not being worn out like that favorite pair of sneakers we can’t let go of? Why are we not clinging to it as if our souls, let alone our lives, depended on it? Friends, these are questions we all need to be asking ourselves. Maybe the context of these questions needs to be with a trusted friend or group of friends who can help keep us accountable, but I’ll leave that to you.
We cannot ask for anything more than what we’ve been given in the Bible. We have literally been given everything to live a life following Jesus. We have a book that is explicitly meant to change lives, irreversibly so, yet we choose to stay the same, unaffected. We have every tool contained within it that we could possibly need, but we insist on doing everything shoddily with our two weak hands. I hope this makes no more sense to you than it does me. Let’s take today and use it to begin to turn the tide of this great ocean of fallacy into which we’ve waded. Let’s start with ourselves and bring our friends and loved ones with us one at a time. We’ll soon see that indeed, we’ve been given everything.