Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There's Always Something New to Learn!

We're always learning. There's always something new to learn! And one thing I've learned in my gardening experience is to NEVER let garlic go to seed. You'll have baby garlic growing everywhere...in the garden bed...in the flower bed...in the footpath. And when multiple seeds sprout in one spot the plants are too crowded to produce decent sized bulbs. So my gardening hint of the day? Never let garlic go to seed!

There is always something new to learn in our spiritual lives as well!

I grew up in Sunday school and Church. I believed that Jesus was the Son of God but I always thought he had his origins in Bethlehem (or at least at his conception). My misunderstanding may not have been the fault of teachers or preacher...it could have been simply that I did not understand what was being taught.

And so at the age of 28 when a new preacher began to expound on Christ the Creator, teaching that Jesus was God from before the beginning of time, I was astounded! I began digging into the Scriptures to learn more and more about the divinity of Christ. Scriptures such as John 1:1-5; 14 and Hebrews 1:2-3 and Revelation 19:13 and Colossians 1:16-17. (Place your cursor over the Scriptures to read them!)

Suddenly Jesus became more! There was more to learn! And I began digging deep.

Since then (many years have passed) I'm constantly delighted to understand more deeply the things of God. There's always something new to learn and I don't say that in the sense that I jump from one belief to another as some folk jump from one church to another. I say that in the sense of deeper and deeper. I believe one could read through the Bible twice a year (not that I manage that!) for all the days of their life and they would discover things that they did not understand the previous reading.

If you've never read through the Bible in its entirety I recommend you read at least three books of the Bible...Genesis, the Gospel of John, and Romans. Three books...a short part of the Bible...and yet so rich in what they convey.

Genesis takes us back to the Creation. Chapter 1 ends with "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good." And then, in Chapter 3, Adam sinned and took all of posterity (every last one of us) and all of creation into death. Things weren't so good anymore! In my Bible that takes up only five pages. The rest of Genesis tells us about God's mercy towards His people. It's fascinating!

The Gospel of John was written by Jesus' beloved disciple John. John's intent was to help readers see that Jesus is who He claimed to be. John was there with Him, listening to Him preach, watching Him heal, watching Him bring the dead to life (Lazarus in ch. 4). He saw Him die on the cross and John, along with the other disciples, went into hiding for fear the Romans would arrest them next. But on the third day John and Peter see the empty tomb! And soon thereafter John is with the other disciples in hiding when Jesus appears to them in His resurrected condition! He is one of the witnesses to whom Jesus presents Himself alive over a period of forty days (Acts 1:3) and he is witness with the others when they see Jesus ascend into heaven (Acts 1:9-11).

As for the book of Romans? Ah, that's complex. Not in the sense of being not understandable (although preachers sometimes take years to preach through Romans) but in the sense that the Apostle Paul presents much. Much, I say, Much! I have many favorite verses in Romans (in particular Romans 8:26-39). (Don't forget to click on More at the bottom of the popup!) But you will have to find your own favorite verses.

So...if you don't think you have time to read the entire Bible (that's a lotta words!!) then consider reading Genesis, John and Romans. You can do that easily. Then read them again and again, asking questions as you read. God will give you answers.

(By the way, don't be afraid to write pencil notes in the margin or to underline or circle key verses or phrases. This has always been helpful to me in studying. )

1 comment:

Laurie M. said...

Those are exactly the books I would recommend. And for those who may have ideas that Christianity is rigid and legalistic I would add Galatians to that list.