image created by Chris Harrison and Pastor Christoph Römhild, Courtesy of : https://www.chrisharrison.net/index.php/visualizations/BibleViz
I saw the spark and it kindled my curiosity.
Bible study class members eagerly discussed their discoveries, unable to hide their enthusiasm. Their study led participants cover-to-cover through 85% of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
Some weeks they shared a mind-blowing revelation.
They were on fire, and it was spreading.
Their enthusiasm for the Bible—for the Bible—was as compelling as the nuggets they shared. I wanted that to ignite my faith and my life! I was first in line for the next class.
We read directly from God’s Word for 5 days followed by one day of commentary, each day asking the Holy Spirit for understanding. Each week, an expert presented relevant cultural insight by video and we discussed our findings.
Praying, reading, and discussing Scripture changed my life.
Honestly, scheduling time and learning to read deeply was work at first, but gradually I looked forward to it. Reading God’s Word regularly felt like getting to know a friend over coffee.
Because I thought I should, I had tried many times and failed to find meaning from reading the Bible on my own. You too?
Blessed is the one…. whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2 NASB
But studying with others adds discussion, accountability, camaraderie, and expert guidance which makes all the difference.
For the word of the LORD is right,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
Psalm 33:4 NASB
Reading the Bible in its entirety reveals connections between the Old and New Testaments. The colorful image featured in this post isn’t just pretty. It displays the web of scriptural connections, each line one of the 63,779 cross-references. It’s connect-the-dots on steroids!
Prophecies fulfilled, of course, but also recurring themes. For example, look for water and you’ll find fresh starts:
- God separated the waters on Creation Day 2 (Genesis 1:6-8)
- The Flood reset humanity through Noah (Genesis 6)
- Moses led the Israelites to freedom through the Red Sea (Exodus 14)
- Joshua brought them across the Jordan into the Promised Land (Joshua 3)
- Jesus’ baptism signaled the arrival of God’s kingdom (Mark 1)
- You and I died to sin and rose as new creation in our baptism (Romans 6:10-11, 2 Corinthians 5:17)
My epiphany from that first study was discovering a unified, ongoing story rather a conglomerate of childhood church lessons. One thread of God’s persistent love for His people weaves throughout, despite our inability to live as He instructs and our outright rejection of His way.
How could 40 different authors, spanning 2000 years, produce 66 books that together follow a single, consistent plot leading to Jesus? The only answer is supernatural authorship. This epiphany secured my decision.
All Scripture is God-breathed.
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
If the Bible is God’s Word and True, it changes everything.
The sum of Your word is truth.
Psalm 119:160 ESV
Daily devotions help us turn to God with a verse or two and encouraging commentary. Good Christian authors write theologically sound books that help us apply God’s message.
There is no substitute for the Word itself.
The last 3 posts (links below) have explored the church’s celebration of Epiphany, so I wondered:
- Is that it? No more epiphanies?
- Is God all done revealing Himself?
Then I remembered the many epiphanies from my first Bible study.
No! God reveals more and more of Himself as we dig deeper into the divinely planned intricate layers of His Word. And when we look to Jesus who is the Word made flesh.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 ESV
Here’s how to get that!
Join a Bible Study Group: If your church doesn’t offer Bible studies that spark enthusiasm, online options are available. Message me for help finding one.
Establish a Daily Routine of Bible Reading: Open your Bible and follow a reading plan. Pray, asking the Holy Spirit to enliven the message. Follow footnotes and cross references (the effort is worth it).
Kindle the Fire in Others: What was the last Bible discovery that set your heart aflame so that you couldn’t wait to share with a friend? Please share! Your moment of clarity might ignite someone’s faith.
Read this Blog: Every post aims to stoke a fire for God’s Word, extinguishing the idea that the Bible is boring. We step into the sandals of characters and join the original audience. We follow cross-references to discover the writer’s point in using it.
This is when my life began.
This series on epiphanies opened January 6th with an exploration of how the church celebrates Epiphany as the visit by the Magi, Jesus’ baptism, and Jesus’ first miracle at a wedding in Cana.
Learn more about the rendering at https://www.chrisharrison.net/index.php/visualizations/BibleViz
Thanks to Chris Harrison (chrisharrison.net), Pastor Christoph Römhild.
#seedsofscripture #readthebiblebetter #biblestudy #epiphany #oneunifiedstorythatleadstoJesus #onestory