As part of Bible Study homework, I was recently assigned the task of writing a letter to a friend telling them what scripture has meant to me personally. Sadly, these days it seems more and more that people are mostly just offended by scripture. I feel that so much of the purpose of scripture is unknown to our society, so as I looked back at my letter, I felt compelled to share it.
So here it is, this is my letter to a friend. To all my friends, really.
This letter is to my friends who have encouraged me to read scripture. The ones who have sent me a verse at exactly the right time, and have taught me so much about what God has in store for us in His word. To those friends, I just want to say, thank you! You have had more of an impact on my life by sharing the Word with me than you may ever know.
This letter is to my friends out there who may or may not have a Bible in their home collecting dust, and have never picked it up to read it for themselves. It’s for the ones who have been hurt or offended by people throwing scripture at them out of context, but have never heard or read the part that says God is love and His grace and salvation are for all of us.
And finally, this letter is for my children, and all other children, who are going to grow up in a culture where God’s word isn’t valued as it should be. It’s to my daughters, who I pray, will hide His Word in their hearts and truly make it a light to their paths no matter which direction their paths may go.
It seems like an impossible task to explain in one short letter what scripture means to me. I have years worth of journals that convey the way God has personally spoken to me through His word, but here’s my best shot at it.
As a young girl, my mom taught us to go to God’s word whenever we had a problem or something weighing on our minds. She had a box of scripture cards, and we would pray about our issue and pick a card from the box. It worked like magic, except it wasn’t magic. It was the work of the Holy Spirit. Every time, without fail, it spoke to us directly about our issue, giving peace, guidance, or reassurance in the face of our problem. Those cards led to pages of scripture where I met my best friend—the best listener who always had the best advice to go with my problem.
As I matured and began to take hold of my faith for myself, I went to scripture expecting to find rules and laws for how I should live as a Christian. While I did end up finding instructions for how to live, and was convicted by many of them, I also came to know the character of a merciful God who is madly in love with me. The Bible stories began to weave together and draw a detailed sketch of the heart of the God I was longing to know.
There was also a season in my life in which God had to continually speak through His word to tell me how loved I was. I will never forget the first time I understood that the verses about being chosen, loved, and delighted in by God were about me. I began searching every translation on my Bible app to prove that those verses didn’t apply to me. It had to be referring to someone else other than me. My phone froze so I couldn’t keep searching, and as I stared at the frozen screen I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me, “This is about you. Stop that and rest in the love I am presently pouring over you.”
The season following that revelation of God’s love for me was one of the most difficult seasons of my entire life. I am so grateful that I had that foundation of knowing God’s love or I wouldn’t have been able to fight the lie that my circumstances were some sort of punishment or pay back for something I had done.
Scripture is the one thing that God used to comfort me without fail during those most difficult days of my life. As I began to heal and asked God to answer why so much pain had come to us, I scavenged through scripture and was surprised when He actually gave me an answer. And in case you are curious, the answer he whispered to my aching heart was, “It’s all for our good and His glory.”
I could really go on and on about what scripture means to me personally, but don’t worry, I won’t. Let me wrap this up by saying that scripture is not just a list of rules and regulations. It is not a book of politically incorrect ideas that are no longer culturally applicable. As 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is breathed out by God,” and it was put here for you by God. Taste and see for yourself. Open the Holy Word of God, and in pain you will find comfort; in sin you will find conviction, in repentance you will find forgiveness, in seeking you will find more than you even realized you were looking for. Pick up that old dusty book and meet Jesus. Let the God of the universe spell out just how extravagantly he loves you. And when you do, don’t keep it to yourself. There’s a world of aching hearts out there that need to be healed by TRUTH. Be sure to pass it on.
In Christ’s Love,