The longer I go…on our journey through Scripture

Since September 2015, we’ve been making our way through the Old Testament. We’re in the midst of a 3 year chronological journey through the story of Scripture, Genesis to Revelation.  I have absolutely loved this journey so far, and have heard really encouraging things from Crosspointers since last fall.  We’re on our 10th month of 36 total months, and here are two observations I’ve had, the longer we go…

There is only one hero, and all the other characters are ones we can identify with and learn from

It is easy to think that because someone’s name shows up in Hebrews 11, that they were flawless or in a way, spiritually superior to all the rest.  And while they certainly were leaders and examples of what it looks like to live and walk by faith, we continually see their sin and brokenness.  The longer I go, the more I see their humanity spoken of in Scripture.  How they were men and women who were in desperate need of God’s grace.  They were not exempt from needing the Lord.  They were as much in need of Him as you and I are today.  It has been encouraging for my own heart to see that reality. And yet also encouraging to see how the Lord used broken, yet redeemed, people to accomplish His purposes.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us that all of Scripture is breathed out by God and useful.  I’ve found that promise only affirmed in this journey.  That the stories of the Old Testament are as applicable and relevant to our lives as the New Testament, and the Spirit has used them to teach, rebuke, correct, and train my own heart.  I pray your heart as well.

And the more we see the humanity of the characters, the more we see that there is ultimately just one hero in all of Scripture.  Jesus.  Only Jesus was sinless.  Only Jesus was given a mission and fulfilled it perfectly.  Only Jesus did all the Father commanded Him to do.  Only Jesus walked and lived by faith 100% of the time.  Only Jesus.  And knowing that, it reminds us that we are unable to save ourselves through our good works or efforts to become better.  Instead, Jesus is rightfully and lovingly, the way, the truth, and the life.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  (Colossians 3:16).  Jesus is the first and the last, and the Hero of all of Scripture, and I love how the Old Testament is continually pointing us forward to the Promised One to come.

The nature and character of God is on continual display

Too often, the casual observer of the Old Testament says that we only see God’s holiness, justice, and wrath toward sin on display in that section of the Bible.  Or the thought is that you don’t find those attributes on display in the New Testament, which just isn’t the case when you look at the life of Jesus, the cross, Acts, or the book of Revelation.  So yes, we have and will continue to see the Lord’s wrath toward sin, His justice, and His awe-striking holiness on display in the Old Testament, and yet those are not the only attributes we’ve seen.  We have also seen God’s exceedingly good grace, love, mercy, and patience.  We have seen the Lord be faithful to His promises, care for His people, and be gracious to them when they have been less than gracious.  He is the God who defends, protects, and provides for His people.

As we continue on this journey, and especially as you’re reading your Bible the other 6 days of the week, be looking for where you see God’s character on display.  Asking yourself as you read your Bible, what does this teach me about my God?  What do I learn about my God through this text?  The Bible does not have you and I at the center of it, but rather God Himself.  So be looking for the Lord’s nature and character on display.  I love to hear the stories of how Crosspointers are reading the Bible on their own, and as a result, seeing their understanding of Scripture and their knowledge of the Lord increase.  2 Peter 3:18:  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.