I was trying to program a garage door button on my car. I read the instructions and re-read them. I followed them exactly — it didn’t work. So I tried the alternative method. That didn’t work either. I tried 10 times with no success – and gave up. I promised my wife – I’ll get it later when I have time to figure it out.
Then, when the holidays were in full gear and I had a little time on my hands, I decided I would not be denied. I repeated the whole process – nothing. Several more times – still no luck.
Finally, I re-read the instructions. There was this little detail – Pull your car out of the garage and face the motor unit. So, I did. And behold, it worked.
That part of the instructions had been in there the whole time. As a matter of fact, it was in the first step of directions. For some reason, it didn’t reach my brain until I had tried everything else.
My wife congratulated me for being smart enough to figure out a complicated process. I still haven’t told her that it was in the instructions the whole time.
As Church Leaders, we are often “Legacy Christians.” We’ve heard Bible stories and memorized scripture verses most of our lives. It all can become so familiar that we often fail to go back to the text and read it again. Often, I find myself quoting what I remember rather that read what it says. I probably miss some details more frequently than I want to admit.
But, how many times have you read a passage and seen something you had never seen before? Or understood something in a way that you had previously missed? It has something to do with openness and context. Our recent life experiences give us a different point of reference. Have you ever experienced something you said you believed become something you would stake your life on?
God’s Word is alive. It is powerful. It can convict and convince. It informs. It has the power to change our minds and direct our steps. His Word inspires us. It encourages us. It shapes the way we think. It produces purpose and direction. The Bible is a miracle book and unique. No other source has the words of life from our Sovereign Lord. It is beautiful and interesting. It is a two-way mirror that both reflects our souls and reflects God’s glory. There, we find His story – and ours. We read it – and God’s Word reads us.
It is waiting for you and is filled with every single thing you need to know to live a meaningful life for God’s glory.
Read it again.
P.S. George H. Guthrie wrote a wonderful book called, Reader’s Guide to the Bible: A Chronological Reading Plan. I encourage you to pick up a copy today. There’s also a Bible Study Companion if you’re interested in going even further in your study.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.