But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:14-17
“You need a new Bible.” That was my daughter’s unsolicited opinion as she plopped my Bible on our dining room table the other night because she needed assistance with religion homework.
She has a point. I have had this particular Bible since I was fourteen years old and frankly, it’s looking every day of those thirty plus years.
Allow me to paint a picture for you:
- The binding is currently being held together with packing tape.
- In the front cover is a crayon masterpiece scribbled by a two-year-old.
- In the back cover is a sweet note from Todd that he taped there when we were dating.
- Genesis 15 has a coffee stain; Deuteronomy 6 has a coffee stain AND water damage.
- Ecclesiastes 3 is missing all together. (I blame the aforementioned 2-year-old).
- The scribbled notes in the margin of a significant section reflect a period where apparently, I experimented with writing my my a’s more like upside down g’s. I have no memory of this phase. I’m glad it has passed.
- There is a prayer list stuck in the back that includes names I don’t recognize and post it notes scattered throughout of indistinguishable color after years of being bleached by the sun from my front window.
- One page includes notes and underlining in yellow highlighter, pencil, black ink, red ink AND glittery gel pen (because, the 90’s).
- And several pages in John, Romans and Psalms are visibly pock marked with dried tears.
Some of you are reading this in somewhat justified horror. I know that there are those that believe in demonstrating respect for God’s Word by never defacing it in any way with ink or highlighter (or coffee or packing tape, for that matter). I truly do understand and respect that decision. I, too, keep other more pristine Bibles close by for teaching, reference, and research (or anytime I want to read Ecclesiastes 3).
But what I love about this particular Bible is that it contains not only the inspired, inerrant, absolute truth of God’s Word, it also reflects the work that that Word has done in me over the last three decades.
In Romans 12:2 of my Bible it reads, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I appreciate that “renewing” is in the present tense. It reflects an ongoing, lifelong, continual process. My worn Bible and I are a lifetime into this following Jesus adventure and the Word is still doing its thing; teaching, rebuking, correcting, training (2 Tim 14-17) and renewing.
In other words, the Scripture regularly points out both my desperate need for Jesus and the incomparable message that nothing can separate me from His love. It shines a glaring light on my failures and a spotlight on the One who never fails. It daily brings me to the cross and then gently leads me to the empty tomb.
And the next day, it does it all again…
As it turns out, I don’t need a new Bible, I need a renewed me and thanks be to God he provides that in part through his powerful, never changing, ever-living Word.
This Sunday we will begin a worship series appropriately called ADVENTure. We will spend the next weeks exploring together what it means to live out a life following Jesus, journeying with Him and being equipped by His Word. Please join us in person or online. I’m looking forward to adventuring with you!