“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
If I could go back in time and teach the younger version of myself a few things about the Christian life that I understand now, but didn’t then, one of them would definitely be this—the Bible is not primarily about me. This may sound obvious to you, but to a younger me, it was anything but clear.
For much of my life when I read my Bible, it was often out of a sense of duty or guilt, with the thought that I needed to do it because that’s what God wanted me to do. Delight was at that point pretty far off my radar screen.
Although I was a believer who knew Jesus Christ as my Savior, I somehow missed seeing the central role He played in Scripture. As I read about the lives of the heroes of the faith, I saw how I needed to be courageous like Daniel, patient like Job, or bold like Paul. When I looked at the life of Christ, my focus was often on how I needed to be more loving, more obedient, less selfish, etc., etc. In short, I spent most of my life thinking of the Bible as the manual that told me how to be a better Christian.
With that perspective, is it any wonder I wasn’t delighting in the Word? I’m so grateful that God has helped me to see the Scriptures from an entirely different perspective—a perspective that keeps Christ as the focus, instead of me.
Yesterday, I listened to a tremendous message by Tullian Tchividjian in which he described how many Christians regularly make these same mistakes. He then went on to explain why it’s so important to realize that Christ plays the starring role throughout the entire Bible. I highly recommend that you listen to his message when you have a chance.
At the end of his message, Pastor Tullian read the following excerpt from The Jesus Storybook Bible, which he says is the best book to read if you want to understand the Christ-centered storyline of Scripture…
Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.
No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about this story is—it’s true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece of the puzzle—the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture…
[The Jesus Storybook Bible, pp. 14-17]
Such simple, beautiful, and life-changing truths.
You can watch the video or download the audio of Tullian Tchividjian’s
Photo: Andronicus Riyono