So What? What can the Bible do for me?
"A thought knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education." Theodore Roosevelt
Whether you have personal questions about love, suffering, guilt, loneliness, success, God, the future or the meaning of life, the Bible has answers. Consider these analogies.
The Bible is a light. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105). "The unfolding of your words gives light" (Psalm 119: 130). A light illuminates the way, provides direction, and allows us to see. And the Bible sheds light on human nature, God's plan for the world, and the right paths to take.
The Bible is a mirror. "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like" (James 1: 23-24). Through this book, God reveals what we're like and what we need to change. It's a mirror that reflects the inside - our personalities and souls - not just the outside.
The Bible is food. "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good" (1 Peter 2:2-3). Much of the Bible is direct, simple, and immediately applicable to life. "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5: 14). In an age that craves easy directions and Instant solutions, the Bible challenges our minds and hearts, helping us grow in character, love, integrity, insight, and courage.
The Bible is a shield. "You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word" (Psalm 119: 114 ). God's truths, recorded in His Word, shield us from attacks on self-concept, emotions, and faith. Against doubt, guilt, fear, insecurity, and inferiority, the Bible offers protection.
The Bible is a rock foundation. "I (Jesus) will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built" (Luke 6:47-48). To resist life's storms (illness, injury, grief, separation, loss, and reversal); we need a place to stand. God's truth can be our solid foundation.
The Bible is a counselor. "You guide me with your counsel" (Psalm 73:24). There's nothing quite so helpful and comforting as the advice of a friend, especially if that friend is also knowledgeable and wise. Think of the Bible as a trusted counselor, providing understanding, insight and answers.
- The Bible can make a tremendous difference in your life if you read it, believe it, and apply it.
Where can I find answers to life's questions?
"It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand." Mark Twain
Life is filled with questions. Here are some brief Bible statements on a few of these issues.
1. What's the meaning of life? After studying and analyzing life, Solomon, known as the wisest man who ever lived, wrote: "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12: 13). "Jesus said: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
2. Why is human life important? Human beings have God's stamp of approval: God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over...all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. " So God created man in His own image... male and female he created them" (Genesis 1: 26-27).
3. Why do people fight with each other? "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet... You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures" (James 4:1-3).
4. Why is the world in such a mess? The great theologian and missionary Paul answers this question: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. They claimed to be wise, but they became fools" (Rom 1: 21-22). "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred... jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition...drunkenness, orgies, and the like" (Gal. 5: 19-21).
5. How can I get the wisdom I need? Solomon said to go to the Source: "For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 2:6). James agrees: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him" (James 1: 5).
7. What is real love? Paul's classic definition: "Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:4- 7, 13). John, known as the "apostle of love" adds: "…God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16).
6. How can I resist temptation? "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Cor.10: 13). Look for God's way out and take it.
8. How can I get along with others? Paul wrote: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:3-4).
9. Where can I turn when I' m lonely? King David knew times of desperate loneliness, but he knew that: "the Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth" (Psalm 145:17-18). And Jesus said: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" (John 14: 18).
10. What can I do about guilt? Through the prophet Isaiah, we hear: "Come now, let us reason together, " says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool" (Isaiah 1: 18). If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1: 9).