As you read these words, do you picture a Christmas tree in the corner? What an appropriate passage to kick off our next section in the Discovering the Bible Challenge. This week is “Who is Jesus?” Knowing the answers (note the plural) to this question, will help us know Jesus and maybe even meet him in a new and impactful way. After all, Jesus is so many things to so many of us.
For today, we’re at Jesus’ birth. The birth of our king! If this was the very first introduction you had to Jesus, you would meet his mother, Mary, who appears to have gotten pregnant before she was married. She is only “engaged” to Joseph. A few verses later, we see how the angel explains how Mary can become pregnant and still be a virgin. Joseph was simply chosen to be Jesus’ earthly father.
Was it just me, or did you read today’s passage and feel like it was highly appropriate for today and all that we see transpiring in the world around us? God’s word is timeless. It always says the right thing we need to hear. Do you trust it as a reliable guide for your life? I hope we can all agree we can certainly depend on the truth we find in the Bible.
There are plenty of skeptics turned believer out there with some great stories of their journey to faith. It doesn’t get old hearing about those transformations. Often, they share about how the Bible is real and reliable. It does us good to remind ourselves how precious God’s word is and why it is so important to listen to its wisdom. As James puts it, “humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.”
This week our texts have been focusing on the importance of Listening to God’s Word. This is one of the passages that always comes to mind for me when I think about the gift we have in our hands—the Bible.
Some of us have been acquainted with the Bible since childhood. Others may know the Bible exists but have no idea yet how precious it is. My heart breaks for those who are not reading God’s word and listening for his voice. They are missing out on trusting Jesus for our salvation. “You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.”
If you’re not familiar with Saul, he’s a devout Jew but, up to this turning point, had not believed Jesus was God’s son. Saul had been doing horrific things to persecute the followers of Jesus. Saul believed he was being true to his Jewish faith.
I love how God shows up in this passage to get Saul’s attention! This becomes a life altering moment for Saul. I imagine that any time God gets our attention by speaking out loud our lives are changed.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible! The whole thing is a great meditation on the importance and beauty of God’s word in nurturing our faith. Fun fact: in the original Hebrew, this psalm has 22 sections, each starting with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Repetition is common for their culture because it would have been memorized and shared orally. God’s powerful word is that important!
We are given all sorts of ways we can interact with God’s word. We can obey, memorize, recite, study, reflect, delight, and not forget!