What if the Word Never Existed?

 

When I slow down long enough to think back to where God has brought me from, I stand in awe of the difference of who I was and who I am becoming. I realize I am not perfect nor anywhere close to it but I am fully aware that some things have changed in my life. In fact, my family and friends could testify that they’ve seen radical changes in me through the years. So what has caused this significant transformation? The change came in my belief and surrender to the gospel of Jesus and continues to come through my study of the Bible. It is in those pages that you and I discover who Jesus really is and the true nature of God and His ways.

Do you ever wonder what it would be like if God had not given us a book of laws, commands, encouragements, and instructions – a manual of how to live in this new identity? What would we look like as Christians? Would there be any difference in my life from the rest of the world, or in my life from my old self? Probably not! I would flounder around trying figure out how to love and live in a way that reflects Christ and brings God glory. But God, in His grace, has given us insight into His heart and His ways through a book that has stood the test of time.

When asked how studying the Bible has changed my life, I realized it has been the lifeline in my walk with God. I was blessed to have a couple invest in me and teach me how to study my Bible shortly after my salvation. Almost immediately, I developed a passion for studying God’s Word because through it God was so drastically changing me inside and out. The truths of scripture refine me, urge me to press on, encourage me to trust fully, and uplift my weary soul in difficult times. When I mess up, give into temptation, or blatantly rebel against God, I know from studying the Word that grace is extended and that I have an Advocate with the Father that I can confess my sins and receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1 & 1:9). I know when I’m crying on my bed because of a loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, or strained friendships, God is near to the broken-hearted and heals my wounds (Psalm 34:18; 147:3). I know when I’m suffering for living a life contrary to the world maybe in how I make my decisions, what I wear, where I go or won’t go, I can cling to the promise of 2 Timothy 3:12 that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Like I said before, I’m not perfect but I am being perfected daily through the study of God’s Word. It has truly shaped me over these past six years since becoming a believer. I can and have been able to live this new life in Christ because I have sought to treasure His Word in my heart so that I will not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

This might be a good time to stress that studying the Bible can be dangerous if all we do is gain knowledge but do nothing with the truths revealed. First Corinthians 8:1 warns us that “knowledge puffs up” and James reminds us to be a doer of the word, not merely a hearer (1:22). Verses like these strike cords in my heart as I know I have lost the proper perspective while studying at times and have seen the damaging results. We must marry diligent study and passionate obedience to experience a powerful and impactful relationship with Christ.

So here are a few questions to ask yourself: What is my heart’s motivation in studying the Bible? Is it to only gain knowledge? Or is it to have a deeper understanding of God and experience life-change? My honest ambition is to study the Bible first to know my God and second that my life can be transformed more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. May we be a people that will place an importance on studying the Bible AND committing to live out the truths we discover so that others will see Jesus by our example and desire to follow Him!

 

 If you’ve been around Transform Student Ministries the past couple of years, you’ve probably met Carlotta! Carlotta has been aconference/camp staffer, office volunteer, summer intern, teacher/mentor, etc. etc. for us here at Transform! Carlotta’s love for the Lord is contagious, and being around her makes you want to know more about her Savior. 

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