Friday, August 26, 2011

Activate Your Bible

This spring we did a 7 week series looking at the different sections of the Bible and how they all fit together. The first section we learned about was the Pentateuch which includes Genesis through Deuteronomy. The Pentateuch was followed by the Historical books which includes Joshua through Esther. Gaining a greater understanding of these two sections of the Bible is crucial because they lay the groundwork for the New Testament. There is so much background information and historical context cannot be overlooked simply because these sections are a little more dry and less entertaining to read. In the Pentateuch and Historical books we are able to see that God wants to have a relationship with humanity and just how much he loves his creation. As we progress through scripture we encounter the Poetic books of Job through Song of Songs. This section not only teaches us about the character of God, but also challenges us to express ourselves in creative ways. Whether it be through song, poem or narrative we should tap into our creativity and share our emotions, thoughts and beliefs in ways that people can relate to. The final section of the Old Testament that we see are the Prophetic books. While many are scared, confused, or bored with reading the prophets, we must remember that God uses mankind at times to share his truth and his promises. Reading the prophets will also give us a greater context for the historical sections in Kings and Chronicles.

After four weeks of breaking down the Old Testament we finally made it to the New Testament. We looked at the differences between the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We discussed that while Jesus is the central figure of each gospel they are written by different men and they focus on different attributes of his ministry. The next week we had a great discussion about the book of Acts and how the Holy Spirit empowered the early church to explode onto the scene after Jesus' ascension. Our series concluded with a look at the different letters of New Testament, everything from Romans to Revelation. These letters were written by different men to different audiences at different times during early church history, but they all were written to edify the church body and point people closer to God's will for their lives and for the church.

The Bible is a book that can often be described as long, wordy, confusing, old, and boring; and when this is your view of the Bible there's no way you're going to be motivated to pick it up daily and study it, memorize it, and live your life differently because of it. Hopefully after this series students started to realize that the Bible is a book that is inspired by God, full of insight, capable of challenging our status quo, relevant to us today, encouraging and comforting during our tough moments, and one of our greatest resources for understanding who God is and who we are.

If you would like to listen to any of the messages from this series, you can find them for free on iTunes by searching for "Uturn Bothell".

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