PART 2: continued from Too Incredible to Deny
The truth is I could beg a person who stands on the edge of believing to just trust Jesus…to just believe in Him. I could share my convincing testimony with someone; I could challenge him or her to watch the sun rise and fall or count and name the endless stars…to consider the complexity of a baby forming in the womb and then try to tell me there’s no God.
But when it comes down to it, none of those things can cause a person to truly know, love, and appreciate God the way the Bible can. Although a Bible (in its material form) can’t offer salvation, the words within can certainly lead a lost soul to the Lord. No matter how incredible the very thing we view and marvel over appears, the word of God is absolutely by-far the best proof of God’s existence. The Bible makes all of those things worthy of appreciation when we choose to acknowledge God as their Creator.
If you struggle to believe, if this just sounds too bazaar to you, then I challenge you to read the Bible for yourself. You’ll be entertained, motivated, shocked, held in suspense, wowed and awed as you read the history of:
women and men going from zero to hero
- Moses’ leadership (read Exodus through Deuteronomy)
- Rahab’s prostitution yet devotion to her family (Joshua 2 & 6)
- David’s heart for God (1 Samuel 16 through 1 Kings 2 & the book of Psalm)
- Queen Esther’s life at risk (the book of Esther)
- Matthew the despised tax collector (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
crazy love stories and scandals
- Adam and Eve’s sin (read Genesis 3)
- Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar (Genesis 16 & 21)
- David and Bathsheba’s adultery (2 Samuel 11)
- Solomon and his bride (Song of Songs)
- Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5)
war zones, deadly battles, defeat, and victories
- Battle at Jericho (read Joshua 6)
- Deborah (Judges 4 & 5)
- Gideon’s army (Judges 6 through 8)
- Strength of Samson (Judges 13 through 16)
- David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
- Daniel and the Lion’s Den (the book of Daniel)
faith, forgiveness, miracles, blessings, and eternal salvation
- Creation (read Genesis 1 & 2)
- Noah’s ark (Genesis 5 through 10)
- Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22)
- Jesus’ life on earth, teachings, healings (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
- pouring of the Holy Spirit (the book of Acts)
- Saul to Paul (Acts 7 through 28 & New Testament books)
There’s too many to list and these are just a few to note. God’s word is incredible…too incredible to deny; but don’t take my word for it—take His! To further studying, get into God’s word.
A great online tool to access Bible stories/verses is found using the link below: https://www.biblegateway.com/
You can also read and study by downloading YouVersion, a free Bible app at: http://bible.com/app
Also if you don’t already have one, pick up a hard copy study Bible at: NLT Study Bible from Amazon
I choose to read from an NLT study Bible because I need simple in my life, and for me this version is easier to understand but I love to cross reference and compare too. There are dozens of versions available and what you choose depends on your style of learning. It’s no different then if you were purchasing a pair of sneakers, you might choose one brand while I’d choose another, yet both serve the same purpose. *Side note: I’d choose Converse btw.
Here’s an example of James 4:8 in four different versions, all with the same idea but slightly altered wording in each.
New International Version
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
New Living Translation
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
English Standard Version
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
King James Bible (closet to Greek/Hebrew language)
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
The Bible isn’t just a single book, it’s actually composed of 66 books coming together as one, written by about 40 different authors. It contains books in story, poetry, songs of praise, and letter format. These books weren’t all written at one time, but rather over a period of about 1,500 years. God began inspiring people to record His messages nearly 3,500 years ago, using papyrus or parchment to write on and creating scrolls. The messages or books were also copied onto other scrolls, this way more people could read what had been written.
At this point the scriptures were in the author’s native tongue: Hebrew and Greek. Around 400 AD they were translated to Latin by a man history refers to as Jerome. It wasn’t until the late 1300s that the Bible was translated into English with each copy being made by hand. The first “printed” English copy was published around 1455. Since that time many other translations have been produced.
The Old Testament and the New Testament: “Testament” (in simple form) merely means “will,” in other words God’s will for our lives.
The Old Testament makes up more than half of the Bible and is located at the front part. It consists of stories of God’s love and will for His people. He desired people to know and worship Him as their only God and He would then forgive them of their sins. When mankind chose to not follow this plan, God sent His Son (Jesus) as the Perfect answer and Way to seek forgiveness of sins which is where the New Testament steps in.
Both testaments point to Jesus, however the stories of Jesus’ life on earth (God in human form) and His followers are written in the New Testament, giving a clear understanding of God’s will for our lives now: to seek eternal salvation by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior and to glorify Him.
Christ offers salvation through our asking of forgiveness and acceptance of Him. Once you accept Jesus as the Son of God, seeking forgiveness of sins, believing He died on the cross for those sins and rose on the third day (conquering death) THEN, and only then, have you obtained a promised citizenship in Heaven.
What are the Gospels? These are the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They give a direct historical account of Jesus’ time on earth: His ministry, death, and resurrection. Gospel literally means “good news”…the good news is revealed through God’s way of saving us—he died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day so we could be saved only if we choose to repent and believe.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE (Categorized)In part one of this post I wrote about Vera and how I poured into that sweet girl. I taught into her wavering faith and later witnessed her excitement after she received her first and very own Bible. I did my part in pointing her to Jesus, now it’s her choice to remain obedient to study His word—to believe and trust that it’s just too incredible to deny…
We all are given the choice to study and learn scripture…or not…which will you choose?