How the Bible Became More than Pages of Tissue - Encouragement for Today - June 9, 2015

Angie Smith

JUNE 9, 2015

How the Bible Became More than Pages of Tissue

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

One of the first things I learned about successfully fitting in with Christians was the power of nodding my head.

It made people think I understood things I didn’t, and it masked the insecurity and frustration of feeling like the Bible was never going to make sense to me. So, when they said things like, "I’m so inspired by Paul’s courage," I would bob my head and make a mental note to investigate it later.

When they upped the ante with phrases like, "This story takes place in modern-day Iraq," I nodded. I couldn’t point to modern-day Iraq on a map if my life depended on it, let alone do the mental bridge-building to get to the part where this realization was as euphoric as it seemed to be for other people.

Have you ever felt like that? It’s all over your head and you’re counting the minutes until you can leave the situation that reminds you that you aren’t smart enough to "get it."

And it’s the worst. It’s the absolute WORST.

I’m a relatively bright person, and I tend to pick things up (fairly) quickly. But the Bible? That was different. I just couldn’t make sense of it.

So many pages. Such thin, thin pages.

Like tissue that taunted me. That’s what the Bible was to me for many years: taunting pages of tissue.

Eventually I became so frustrated that I walked into my local Christian bookstore and asked where the children’s section was. Then I sat cross-legged on the floor, thumbing through the bright photos and short summary stories for a few hours.

And don’t laugh, because it actually helped me. I bought a few children’s storybook Bibles and after I finished my classes each day, I would sit on the balcony of our apartment and read. Slowly, without letting the voice of condemnation speak louder than the voice of devotion.

That was my start of reading and understanding the Bible. I’ve had other Bibles since then, and I’m thankful I didn’t give up trying. Because the more I read, the more I began to understand the bigger story of Scripture.

Maybe you can relate?

You love the stories you’ve heard, but aren’t sure how they fit together. Or maybe you understand it from an academic perspective, but you can’t quite get your heart to care.

Or possibly, you’ve simply done what you could to understand enough to get by in a small group, yet you go home feeling like you’re behind the curve.

I want you to remember something very important: The Bible wasn’t written just for a few experts to understand while baffling the rest of us.

Did you hear that?

The Bible was written for all of us, and as our key verse reminds us, it helps equip us for every good work God intends us to do. With that being the case, I want you to erase any part of your self-talk that says you aren’t smart enough or educated enough or even spiritual enough. Deal?

As we commit to reading God’s Word and not giving up, we’re throwing off anything that has held us back. And we’re moving forward in full confidence that He will bless us with the desire of our hearts — to know Him better.

Father, thank You for sharing Your perfect Word with us. Help us to overcome our fear that we aren’t smart enough to understand it. I want to know You better and am willing to do whatever it takes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Psalm 19:7, "The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple." (NIV)

Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (ESV)

Do you wish you understood the Bible better? Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story is a 7-week Bible study by Angie Smith that covers the people, places and promises of the Bible, tying them together into the greater story of Scripture.

Enter to WIN a copy of Seamless by Angie Smith. In celebration of this book, Angie’s publisher is giving away 10 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here, letting us know why you’d like a copy for yourself OR whom you would give the book to, if you won. {We’ll randomly select 10 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, June 15.}

How did Angie’s experience of feeling lost or stupid trying to study the Bible resonate with you? What have been your own challenges in studying the Bible?

What are some steps you will take this week to devote yourself to better understanding God’s Word?

© 2015 by Angie Smith. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks LifeWay for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105

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