Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Is God's Word About You?

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy Of: Rachel Strong

 "For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right time—to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him."

~Ephesians 1:4-10

I often like to do a "Ask Me Anything" feature on my Instagram, and one day a lady sent in this question:

“How do I know if I am reading the Bible to learn more about God or to learn more about me? My doubt is if I am not seeking to know more about God but just about myself in the Bible... I am confused now, because I am learning so much about the Lord, but I think I’m also reading the Bible to know the answers for my specific prayers, and this feeling got me right now, because I was thinking “maybe I am not interested to know about God’s character, but only to know if He will answer me”... I am so confused now 😭 I’ve felt so motivated to read the Bible for the past few months and I’ve grown so much in faith and in my relationship with Jesus, but this question is surrounding my thoughts now... have you ever felt this way?”

I thought this was an excellent question, and, unfortunately, I think the angst I could hear in it stems from a common message we often hear today. Theologians will tell you again and again that the Bible is not a book about you, but rather a book about God. And that is absolutely true. We do need to be careful in how we handle God’s Word, interpret God’s Word, and approach God’s Word. It is not ultimately a book about us; it is ultimately first and foremost a book about God, revealing to us Him and His ways.

But stopping there, with only that message, presents an incomplete understanding of God’s Word and results in fears and struggles like the one this woman was experiencing. The fact of the matter is that that sentiment presents a false dichotomy that is not the case when it comes to Bible study. We don’t have to view the Bible – nor should we! – as a book only about God or only about us. In truth, it’s actually both.

After all, if we can’t look to the Word of God to discover truth about ourselves, then where can we? To the self-help culture? I don’t think so.

If you want to know the truth about yourself, if you want to understand your standing before God, if you want to fully know your identity in Christ, if you want to know who God created you do be, if you want to know what He has called you to do, if you want to know all about your future hope, then you’re going to have to go to the Word to read and discover the truth of each of those things (I.e. Ephesians 1!).

Turns out, God’s Word is about you, too!

Reflection Questions:

1) How has your understanding of God's Word and the purpose of it perhaps been wrong or incomplete?

2) What stands out to you about what you read today? What does the Spirit want you to do with it? How is He speaking to you?

3) If you were describing God's Word and its purpose to someone, how would you explain it?

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