This past Tuesday, beyond the Halloween hype, a more noble celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation was celebrated around the world. The sound of Martin Luther’s hammer still rings out today as his message of the 95 theses, nailed on the door of Wittenberg Castle, challenged the way people worshipped and practiced their faith in God. One of the core beliefs elevated in the Reformation was Sola Scriptura, a Latin term meaning “by scripture alone.” Just like today, there were many voices that were telling people how to live and Luther’s call to the church was to get back to life by the Bible.
It is the solution for life. God’s word given to man: a pattern for life. Humorously given, the acrostic, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, reveals the standard by which people can live. Its universal teachings transcend time, culture, politics and ethnicities. These teachings transform lives.
However, the reality is that though the average American household owns 4.4 Bibles, says Caleb Bell in the Huffington Post, that 57% of 18-28 year olds “read their Bibles less than three times a year, if at all.” If this is a manual for life, we may be missing out on its best features! I am a manual reader. No, not the “quickie guide” with pictures of how to plug and play, the long one with multiple chapters and very few pictures. What I find is you get to know your new product better and can really answer “what does that button do?”
How does this equate to the Bible? How to live is discovered in the universal principles given in the Bible. The Bible shows us, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” (Ps. 19:7) It continues in verse 11 to say, “By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”
If you have never given the Bible a second look, give it a try. Go to the Book of Mark in the New Testament and read the short 16 chapters. It is the story of Jesus. You can read the whole book in less time than it takes to watch two sitcoms and the value to your life will be much more eternally fulfilling.
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- Bell, Caleb. “Americans Love The Bible But Don’t Read It Much, Poll Shows.” Huffington Post. Retrieved from: huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/04/americans-love-the-bible-but-dont-read-it-much_n_3018425.html