Thursday, February 4, 2016

In the Beginning...

February is known as the Month of Love. I've been loved my whole life. My parents loved me. Family and friends love me. Twenty-nine years ago this April I married the love of my life, the bestest hubby in the world! When I gave birth to two amazing little boys, my understanding of human and God-love grew exponentially!

But let me tell you about a different kind of love affair...

I love my Bible. I mean, I love my Bible. I love my Bible!

Get it?

God's written word has become like breath to me. I can't live without it. I can't function without the life-giving nourishment it gives my soul. If I try to begin my day without getting into the Word, I get the feeling something important is missing. And more often than not, I'll have a really icky day. Not because of the things that happen necessarily, but  because of my own attitude and thought process toward whatever comes my way. It's just so much better to start out the day with a word from the Lord, ya know?

I didn't always feel this way. Growing up in a Christian home, we had plenty of Bibles around. I often saw my Mom reading her Bible, and when my Grandma moved in with us my Senior year, I found comfort in passing her open door to see her sitting in her Lazy-Boy recliner reading the Word. But very seldom did I pick up my own Bible to read. Very seldom did I turn to God's word for answers to life's problems. I was a married woman with children before I fully understood the powerful resource I had within my grasp. Now I cherish God's word! Like many of you, I have an abundance of Bibles to choose from:

  • A white-covered King James version given to me by "Mother and Daddy" on June 30, 1971
  • A Children's edition of the Living Bible given to me by our church Christmas 1973
  • The Living Bible given to me by "Mom and Dad" Christmas 1980. I would graduate from high school and head off to college a few months later. I'm sure my parents hoped the Word of God would go with me!
  • For Christmas 2001, my sweet husband bought me the New International Version Bible. Funny, he accidentally bought a Large Print, but I'm so glad! My eyes ain't what they used to be, so the larger print is awesome! This is the Bible I read every morning. I have so many, many scriptures highlighted or underlined, with notes written off to the side, some with meaningful dates. If our house ever caught fire (Lord, never!), that Bible would be the first thing I'd grab! It is literally my life. 
  • In 2003, hubby gave me The Message Bible, which is a way-cool version. Makes things so, so clear sometimes. 
Every Bible, no matter the version, is God's word to us. It's a story of His great love for mankind. So many, many lessons are within those pages. So many, many lives touched by God's amazing grace. I honestly don't think I will ever tire of reading my Bible. Seriously. I learn something new every single time I open it!

But I came to an interesting conclusion while reading in the Book of John. Despite the fact that the Bible contains 66 books with 1,189 chapters and somewhere around 31,000 verses....

...there are only TWO verses that really, truly matter when it comes to our faith. Twenty-seven words, to be exact:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1

Those two verses sum up everything we need to know about God. In fact, you can whittle those sentences down even further:

"In the beginning GOD!"

"In the beginning was the WORD!"

God is the Creator of everything. He has always been and will always be. And John 1:1 makes it abundantly clear that Jesus--the Word--is God. John 1:14 says, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." Those two truths -- God is the Creator and Jesus is God -- are the very foundation of our faith. They are what we build everything else upon. Without those two principals firmly rooted in your heart, the rest of the Bible probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense. 

If you aren't a regular Bible reader, I encourage you to become one. God speaks through His word. Let Him speak to you today!

This week's Shout-Out countries are:
USA, UK, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Georgia, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Slovenia


Betty said...

Beautiful, Michelle. Yes, the Bible is the love of my life. It has carried me through storms, bout me comfort, given me wisdom, healed my wounds, it has danced with me and rejoiced with me as prayers were answered, people touched, lives changed. It God's love letter to me. It's not my God, but my God is in it, speaking to me, calling me, caressing me. I do love God, and I cherish His Word.

Michelle Shocklee said...

Thank you, Betty! I agree 100%. Hugs!