The Bible’s Not an Instruction Manual

Jared Wilson: “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” Ever heard the Bible explained that way? It’s a handy mnemonic device that certainly has some truth to it. But does it get at the heart of what the Bible really is? The way so many of us treat the Scriptures—as God’s “how to” book—doesn’t seem quite right when we carefully look at what its own pages say. And I fear that the way we use the Bible in this way actually accomplishes the opposite of what we intended. If the Bible is not essentially an instruction manual for practical application, then, what is it? If it’s not mainly about what we need to do, what is it about? If it’s not about us, who is it about? The Bible Is about Jesus About Jesus? Well, duh,” you’re thinking right now. That goes without saying. And I agree. It has been going without saying. But we need to keep saying it. We don’t “go”

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He Leadeth Me!

Sam Storms: In 1862 Joseph Gilmore wrote one of the more familiar of our traditional hymns: He Leadeth Me. He leadeth me, O blessèd thought! O words with heav’nly comfort fraught! Whate’er I do, where’er I be, Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me. He leadeth me, He leadeth me, By His own hand He leadeth me; His faithful follower I would be, For by His hand He leadeth me When Jesus turns to describe himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep, he not only speaks of how he loves us but also how leads us. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep

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God’s Will for Your Life Is More Obvious Than You Think

Courtney Doctor: Have you ever wondered what God’s will is for your life? I’d venture to guess we’ve all asked that question at some point. For most of us, the question rises to the surface at critical junctures: choosing a spouse or a job, choosing what school to attend or which house to buy. These are the times we tend to cry out, Lord, show me your will! As we seek to know God’s will, we often feel tension. In a sincere desire to please him, we can sometimes walk in fear that we will make the wrong choice about the details of our lives. We spin in circles, wondering where God wants us to get coffee, how much he wants us to spend on groceries, or whether he’d be happy if we went to Disney for vacation. Every choice becomes a paralyzing decision: either discover what God wants, or make a choice that could ruin everything. For some, obsessing over

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5 Things Every Christian Should be Doing with God’s Word

Michael J. Kruger: Psalm 119 is an amazing Psalm.  Not only is it the longest Psalm (176 verses!), but it is also the Psalm that deals the most directly with the topic of Scripture.  Virtually every verse, in one way or another, refers to God’s Word. David (who is most likely the author) uses a variety of terminology to describe God’s Word:  commandments, law, statutes, precepts, ordinances, rules, words, testimonies, etc.  These all refer to the Scriptures as they existed in David’s day (essentially the Pentateuch). Thus, Psalm 119 is one of the best examples of Scripture speaking about Scripture.  It is the Word about the Word. And in it, we find David interacting with the Word of God in five ways that should be paradigmatic for all believers: 1. Trusting the Word of God.  Time and time again, David expresses his belief that the Scriptures are true (v. 151).  He believes in them (v. 66).  He trusts in their reliability (v. 42). 

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The Real Reason We Don’t Read Our Bibles

Brandon D. Smith: Through my work with the Christian Standard Bible, I came across some stats about Bible reading. Eighty-eight percent of American households own a Bible, but only 37 percent of people read it once a week or more. People said they don’t read their Bibles because they don’t have enough time, and they struggle to understand the words. These two frustrations are understandable, and we’ve all struggled with them. But are they the real reasons people aren’t reading their Bibles? Root Issue When you think about it, we should get really excited about Bible reading. The God of the universe has given us his Word. He could’ve tapped out when we disobeyed him in the garden, but he didn’t. He went looking for us and talked to us (Gen. 3). Knowing our gracious God gave us his Word should make us want to read it, but often that’s not enough. We don’t read the Bible regularly because we don’t understand how it works. We

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3 Things We Must Believe about God’s Word

Kevin DeYoung: Essentials In Psalm 119 we see at least three essential, irreducible characteristics we should believe about God’s word. 1. God’s Word says what is true. Like the psalmist, we can trust in the word (v. 42), knowing that it is altogether true (v. 142). We can’t trust everything we read on the Internet. We can’t trust everything we hear from our professors. We certainly can’t trust all the facts given by our politicians. We can’t even trust the fact-checkers who check those facts! Statistics can be manipulated. Photographs can be faked. Magazine covers can be airbrushed. Our teachers, our friends, our science, our studies, even our eyes can deceive us. But the word of God is entirely true and always true: God’s word is firmly fixed in the heavens (v. 89); it doesn’t change. There is no limit to its perfection (v. 96); it contains nothing corrupt. All God’s righteous rules endure forever (v. 160); they never get

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