JUNE 12

Christ in the Word

Bible Reading: Luke 24:25-27, 44-45; John 5:39

A co-worker and I were talking about puzzles the other day, as she was planning to take and work on a puzzle with one of our hospice patients.  Putting together a puzzle can be a time-consuming enterprise in working to figure out where each piece fits.  Bible study is kind of like putting together a puzzle.  There’s a lot of verses and passages and it’s sometimes difficult to figure out where they fit. 

In putting together a puzzle, it’s good to focus first on the edge and the corner pieces, since with those there’s at least some limitation where they go.  Building the outside frame of the puzzle will make it easier for the rest of the pieces.  It’s kind of like that with studying our Bible.  We need a framework in which to fit the rest of the pieces.  There are certain fundamental themes that run throughout the Bible that are founded on basic truths we learn about who God is and who we are.  Learning these will help us as we go!

The more you get done in working on a puzzle, the easier it gets, since there are less possible vacancies for the remaining pieces.  It’s common for a newly saved person to struggle with studying and understanding the Bible, but as with anything else, the more you learn, the more equipped you are to learn even more. There’s encouragement in that!

The biggest frustration for me in doing puzzles is when I’ve got a piece that seems to be the right one, but for whatever reason, it won’t quite fit where I want it to.  With Bible study, that’s arguably the source of greatest error.  We’ve got a piece (a preconceived idea of what we think the Bible says or what we want it to say) and we are determined to shove it into place no matter what. But context rules in Bible study–the context of a passage, the context of the book of the Bible, and the context of the Bible as a whole–if it doesn’t fit, then you are not understanding it correctly!

The biggest help in putting together a puzzle is the picture that’s on the front of the box.  It is that picture that ties everything together.  In looking at the picture, and at the colors of an individual piece, it’s sometimes possible to discern where that piece might go.  In studying the Bible, it’s imperative that we realize that above all else it’s a book about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  All the pieces in the puzzle have to do with Him!  It is through the Word of God that the Spirit of God works to unveil to us the beauty of the Savior!  

The Bible is all about Jesus Christ.  In the Old Testament books of the law, we read of the promises of Christ.  The other Old Testament books–history, poetry, and prophecy–anticipate Christ in their types, experiences, and prophecies.  The four gospel accounts have to do with the life of Christ.  The book of Acts and the epistles speak of the church of Christ.  The book of Revelation foretells the unveiling and coronation of Christ.  From beginning to end, the Bible is a book about Jesus Christ.  He’s there in the first verse, as the One through whom all things came into being (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3), and you’ll find Him in the last verse too (Revelation 22:21).  

The Bible is “the word of Christ” (Colossians 3:16).  Wherever we look in the book, we find Him!    And if His word “richly dwells within us” we are Spirit-led to worship and serve Him.  That’s why we need to be devoted to the Word!

God the Father is the giver of Holy Scripture; God the Son is the theme of Holy Scripture; and God the Spirit is the author, authenticator, and interpreter of Holy Scripture.

J. I. Packer

TELL ME THE STORY OF JESUS

Tell me the story of Jesus,
write on my heart every word;
tell me the story most precious,
sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels, in chorus,
sang as they welcomed His birth,
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”

Refrain:
Tell me the story of Jesus,
write on my heart every word;
tell me the story most precious,
sweetest that ever was heard.

Fasting alone in the desert,
tell of the days that are past;
how for our sins He was tempted,
yet was triumphant at last.
Tell of the years of His labor,
tell of the sorrow He bore;
He was despised and afflicted,
homeless, rejected, and poor. [Refrain]

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
writhing in anguish and pain;
tell of the grave where they laid Him,
tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
clearer than ever I see:
stay, let me weep while you whisper,
love paid the ransom for me. [Refrain]

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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