Years ago, when I led the Single adult ministry at Harvest Bible Chapel, one Friday night a man named Dave showed up at our ministry. He was clearly hurting, and when I found an opportunity to chat with him before the night was out, he told a tale of woe – his fiancée Amy had just broken the engagement, leaving his heart was in tatters.
But when I drew out the story from him, I knew then what my pastoral heart couldn’t say in the moment: he had dodged a bullet. I knew this was the case because Dave related to me some of her words when she broke it off – among other things, she thought he was so “weird for carrying a Bible in his car. Who does that?” She queried.
Well, ahem…Christians…that’s who.
Now, of course you can be a committed believer without a Bible in your car, but that said, it’s perfectly normal for a Christian to carry one around with him. After all, it is the word of God.
But I’m sure that’s not what Amy thought. Surely, she assumed it was a bunch of religious stories…just the word of man…which of course would have made Dave a real weirdo. But Dave wasn’t weird; he was just a Christian.
So Paul wrote to the Thessalonians:
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV)
We know that one of the marks of a true Christian is a new view of Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:16), but going along with this is a brand new view of the Bible. Previously, we thought it was a religious book like all the others out there, but when God gave us the Holy Spirit, something changed, and almost instantaneously, we began to see it differently.
And with a new view of the Scriptures came something else: a hunger for it. We wanted to read it and learn about it and talk about it with others. So I remember coming to Christ at West Point – I had brought a Bible with me from home, not really intended to read it, I don’t think, but supposing that if I needed to bring a book or two, a Bible would be good. But when Jesus got ahold of my life, I couldn’t get enough of it. And to my roommates’ amusement, I began to sleep with it. Talk about a weirdo. That was me.
But then again, maybe I wasn’t so weird after all; for, going to sleep each night, I knew that I had in my arms…a book from God.
For tomorrow, Tuesday, August 18th: 1 Thessalonians 3