For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus. You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book, including excerpts, can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.
Day 18: A “With-God” Approach to Scripture
– The average Bible consumer owns nine Bibles and is looking for more
– The Bible is about human life “with God”
– The unity of the Bible is discovered in the development of life “with God”
The Bible is too segmented and broken up. We have different Testaments, different Books, different chapters, different sections, different passages, and different verses. All of this segmentation is needed to help us organize, locate, and remember parts of scripture, but the downside is that we lose the unity and continuity of scripture. We end up segmenting God instead of seeing his full character expressed through scripture.
Apprentice Activity: Meditations On The “With-God” Bible
– Scripture can be grouped into the 15 ways that God is “with us.”
– Read through a “Brief Overview of The “With-God” Life” (go to Amazon and using the Look Inside feature find pages xlvi-xlvii)
– Then resolve to spend as many moments of this day in dialogue with God
– Ponder verse 4 of Colossians 3:1-17 – When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
I have a copy of the Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible that is referenced in this chapter and where the “Overview” is found. I also am using the Year With God devotional which uses many of the notes and emphasis from the Renovare Bible. I would highly recommend these resources if you are intrigued by the idea of the ‘With God’ Life. To see scripture as the story of God with his people will really help shape the way you view the Bible.
What is Jesus teaching me? I have a love-hate relationship with the Bible. Of course I love what it teaches me about Jesus and life as a follower of his but I also struggle with its strangeness, harshness, and immensity. I admit that I use certain passages and books of the Bible like pets and ignore much of the rest of scripture. This is why I am enjoying the Year With God devotional. Each day is a scripture reading related to that sections spiritual discipline. I get exposed to passages from all over the Bible. God continues to convict me regarding my Bible reading practices but he is also gentle and patient with his leading me through progress in this area.
Is reading scripture a struggle for you? Are you afraid of being confused or puzzled by scripture? Do you lean too heavily on certain parts of scripture?