For as long as I can remember, there was always a bible either by my bedside or somewhere close by in my room. My mother put it there; thinking that one day I'd pick it up out of curiosity -- ummm....that never happened.
In fact, it was used as a paper weight, a coaster, and to prop up one of the leg stands underneath my bed. I never really took to my own interest in reading the bibles that were passed down through my matriarchy; from my great-grand mother , to my grandmother, to my mom and then to me. Outside of memorization of a few scriptures here or there, I barely touched it.
If I'd known that the book I used as coaster was actually a copy of thegreatest story ever told and that the power it held would be used to transform me; trust me I would have thought WAY differently about using it that way. For those looking at your nightstand right now, I want to let you know that The Bible, comprised of 66 books, authored by over 40 people, years and years ago holds some of life's greatest lessons, and reading it now feels less like an obligation and more like coming home.
Before digging deep into our #BibleBreakdown Series, I wanted to start off with the basics -- some of the things I'd wish I'd known back in the paper weight days (ie. what is the bible, why do you need it and what its intention is for your life) -- simple enough? Ok cool.
Q: WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
For a lack of better literal definitions, The Bible is a sacred collection of books (stories if you will) that are bound together by a unifying message of Gods love. The Bible is the holy book of both Judaism and Christianity. It differs from one religion to the other as Judaism accepts only 39 of the 66 books entitled the Old Testament. Most Christian Bibles include the remaining 27 books known as the New Testament.
Q: NO REALLY...WHAT IS THE BIBLE? WHY DO I NEED IT?
Ok so here goes, there was a time where I would just stare at it. 👀 Too afraid to even pick it up because I just KNEW that it would mold me. I trembled at the thought of stepping into the will of God, how hard it would be, and how much of an active part He would take in my life after I got to know Him through a physical book of His teachings. I knew that the text would make me reflect on things that I didn't want to because His word is living and breathing and active andINTRUSIVE. And honey, I didn't want God all up in MY SPACE.
But alas, He drew me near and used His word (first in the form of the little my daily bread book thingys the saints would hand out in the L Train station) to bring light to the places that I once covered with darkness. It revealed my inequities and celebrated the things that society has chastised me for. It challenged my thinking, and elevated my standards. The Bible became my armor to get through the tough days and my anchor to ground my good days.
Although there are sooooooo many... here are my top
5 REASONS WHY I -- AND GIRLS JUST LIKE ME SHOULD EMBRACE THE BIBLE.
1. THE BIBLE IS GOD'S WORD. Simply put, God provides us with physical transcript of how He crafted, designed, fulfilled and will continue to fulfill His plan in our lives. The Bible is a living, breathing account of Gods work; scribed and re-scribed by humans for daily application.
Read: Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is alive and active...it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
2. THE BIBLE IS HISTORICAL ACCOUNT: The Bible is a record book of all things Holy. It serves as a chronicle of the formation of the world we live in, the first downfall of man, the expression of Gods covenant with His people, and the perfect promise of a Savior. It also tells the account of the birth, work, death and the resurrection that Savior Jesus Christ. Although it may seem like a rigid read at first, The Bible provides the true narrative that lays at the bedrock of out faith.
Read: Matthew 1:1 -- "This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham"
3. THE BIBLE IS MEANT TO BE CONSUMED: Unlike other religions where sacred books can only be transcribes by elders or clergy, the Bible is meant to be read by everyday people like you and I irrespective of race, color, shape, size, or hierarchy, The Bible provides easy relatable context that is designed to be translated to speak to our individual hearts. Because Gods word is true, even the parts that are sad or difficult to read are good news!
Read: Matthew 4:4 -- "Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
4. THE BIBLE IS FOR YOU: No amount of knowledge, status or lack there of makes you more or less qualified to receive the word of God! (THIS RIGHT HERE IS THE GOLDEN NUGGET) For so long Black Women have been the bottom rung of life's ladder. We take the blame, brunt, and burden for our communities, all to either be objectified by our looks and sensuality or have our true worth and value neglected and given to others (say Amen #Praymates!).I come to tell you that every time you take in the word of God, you are RE-QUALIFED for your rightful place in God's Kingdom. The Bible provides uplifting direction after being pulled down by the world. It lends its self as protection and renders you eligible for the good news and glory of God's promises!
Read: 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 10 -- "(2) for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (3) This is good, and pleases God our Savior, (4) who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth, (10) but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."
5. THE BIBLE IS FOR RIGHT NOW: The Bible is designed to be living and active. It is the only book that evolves as you do. Each time you engage with The Bible a new finding or revelation SPECIFIC FOR YOU will be uncovered. The Bible is used as a tool for God to communicate with you. He will guide you to the scripture and passage needed for THIS VERY MOMENT if you earnestly seek His guidance.
Read: 2 Timothy 3:16 -- "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"
Use this short list as a jumpstart as to why you should not be intimidated by the Word of God! Dive in expectantly and God will reveal His specific reasons for you engaging with His Word.