It's the Same Old Thing... And It's New Every Time
When's the last time that you read the Bible? Do you have a favorite verse? Have you ever done the Bible-in-a-year reading program?
I'm taking VLI (Vineyard Leadership Institute) and since it's a church-based leadership program, we do a LOT of talking about the Bible. Like, a lot. I just finished reading Matthew, Mark and Luke (in one night, I'm pretty impressed with myself).
But what I find the most amazing is that no matter how many times you read something in the Bible, there's always something new. Really there is. Think about it this way--have you ever watched a movie at the theater and you love it so as soon as it's out on DVD you buy it and watch it over and over? And maybe the second time you realize that the kid really IS wearing red in all of the important scenes, and the third time you catch a line that didn't make sense the first two times and you just laughed because everyone else did, and the fourth time it suddenly dawns on you that yes, that is the girl from Braveheart.
OK, so think about it like that, only Biblical.
Really honestly, you can read the same book, chapter, and even verse over and over and over again and get something new out of it each time. Of course you do have to want to.
But just last week I was starting Matthew for this VLI project, and I figured it would be a fast read, right? Yeah... until verse 5. Yeah, not book 5. Book one, verse 5. The geneology that everyone skips over. Where it says that Rahab is the mother of Boaz.
Wait, Rahab the prostitute?
So now suddenly I'm thumbing through the Old Testament, trying to find that one book where Rahab hangs a red scarf outside her window so her family will be saved because she was promised her life in thanks for hiding Joshua's men. And of course it doesn't say who she marries. But two books later is Ruth, the one about Ruth and Boaz (right, the son of this "Rahab" woman). Hmmmm...
So what on earth did I get out of this, you might ask. Well it came to me that God doesn't look at "who" we are, but rather He looks at our hearts and our willingness to do His will, no matter how hard or scary or unpopular it may be. And I realized that His rewards for doing His will are way cooler than the world's rewards. I mean, come on, Rahab is listed in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Savior of us all.
I'm an inspired dreamer, a social loner, a skeptic optimist... to wit: A writer.
I love Jesus and He loves me. Ask me about Him sometime and I'll tell ya that even being at the bottom of His barrel is better than being on the top of the world's heap.