I didn’t read the Bible a lot when I was younger. In fact, I never remember doing much of anything with it except looking at it on a shelf. It wasn’t until about a year ago I opened it and started studying.
Jason asked the question in church on Sunday… Do we believe the gospel still has the power to change a culture? I would also ask, do we believe Jesus has the power to change a culture?
We would never say no outright. But honestly, do we believe that? I struggled for a long time because it felt like the gospel was so distant from my life in this century. What does an ancient church or a man being healed from leprosy have to do with me? And Jesus isn’t here in the sense that I can’t see him like the disciples did. I think a lot of people feel this way. The gospel seems so old and unrelated to our lives today.
After I started studying the Bible and dug into it a little more, I started to make connections. I started to have realizations. God was showing me things. I don’t have leprosy, but God saved my unborn child. No doubt, that was a huge miracle in my life. And I wasn’t a part of a massive meal where we started with five loaves and two fish… but I remember not feeling well and needing to make dinner, praying God would give me the strength to do so. Guess what? I gained enough energy to get through it.
Obviously, I’m not a whole culture. I’m one person. I studied Psalm 119, the longest psalm in the book and the longest chapter in the Bible, and was amazed by the constant reminders of the power of God’s word and the value it holds. And I loved how the psalmist clearly struggled at times and went astray. What constantly brought them back was the truth found in God’s word. It’s a great piece to study. I highly recommend it. Of course, that isn’t the only place you can learn about the power the gospel holds. It’s everywhere throughout the Bible. If you study a person of the Bible, you’ll also see how God’s word was prominent in their lives and journey. For example, God gave Joshua a list of things he needed to do to be successful in his mission. One such item was to stand strong in God’s word.
Maybe today you aren’t going to be marching around a city, eventually watching it crumble. Maybe you aren’t going to have to fight an actual giant person. But you may have a tough task ahead of you or what appears to be an impossible situation standing in your way. There are pages and pages of wonderful lessons and applications for our lives today in the Bible. We just have to be open and receptive. We need to see what God has for us. We need to listen.
I read in Greg Finke’s book Joining Jesus on His Mission: How to be an Everyday Missionary, people aren’t always looking to go to church, but they are looking for hope. They’re looking for something to hold on to. It’s like Jason said during his sermon… If we neglect to love God and people, Prescott Christian Church won’t last. We need to love people, and in my mind, that means you tell them the truth of Jesus. It wouldn’t be very loving to know such great news and not share it with someone you know doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus.
There are certain verses and pieces of the Bible that will always mean something extra special to me. They’re verses God revealed to me in tough times. I’m sure you may have some as well. Beyond those special verses, there are so many promises and different things God says we can have as his children. The enemy wants us to be in the dark about these things. He wants us to know as little as possible about what we can have. And he certainly doesn’t want us to tell others about it.
What does that mean? I think it’s staring us in the face. Even the devil knows God’s word has power. Do we? I mentioned this in one of my other blogs, but I think there are a lot of miracles we don’t hear about because people are afraid to tell their story. They’re afraid someone will think they’re crazy. I know because I’ve been there, and I’m sure other people feel the same way.
But what if we weren’t afraid? What if we told our stories and shared the gospel and loved people? There’s only one way to find out.