This article is written by a featured guest blogger and reflects the stories, perspectives, and insights of that writer.
I had a lot of preconceived notions about what the 66 books of the Bible contained; most of them were wrong. When I finally cracked open my Bible, I found a surprising chronicle of love, betrayal, despair, rescue and redemption.
After deciding to become Second several years ago, I made it my resolution to read through the entire Bible. It was the end of the year, and I was thirsty to learn more about God. I had known about God most of my life, but reading my Bible was not on my priority list.
Shortly after making that decision, my church announced that its annual reading plan was to go through the entire Bible. Coincidence?
When my preconceived notions about the Bible were discredited, my New Year’s resolution ended up being the best one of my life.
The Bible is not just a random collection of stories.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me …” (John 5:39)
I honestly thought that going in. I believed the Bible was a selection of stories taken from different points in history and pasted together into one long book. Rather, it is one biography leading to one man. Matthew 1 details a family line that includes many prominent figures in the Old Testament, including Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Jesse, David and Solomon.
This genealogy leads to the central figure in the Bible: Jesus. Though He is only physically present in four books, he is the protagonist, the turning point, the sole reason for the Bible. Knowing that changed my entire perspective about this book.
The Bible is not about a bunch of good guys.
… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God … (Romans 3:23)
I believed a lot of people in the Bible were near perfect saints by the way they are revered. David was a man after God’s heart. Job was blameless and righteous. Solomon was the wisest man to ever live. Yet these men and many others also had dirty, greedy, selfish, lying, cheating, corrupt and immoral hearts.
The Bible isn’t about a bunch of good guys. It’s about a bunch of bad guys and one good God. Jesus walked the earth as the only perfect man, which brings me to my last revelation.
The Bible is not all about fire and brimstone.
… but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Before delving into the Bible, I assumed God was angry and disappointed in me because I had broken so many rules. This kind and loving God I had heard about was different from the fire and brimstone God many of my friends described.
But page after page of this book profiles a God who loves people so much that their mistakes pain Him. When these misguided individuals made some poor choices and faced death, God sent His only, perfect Son on a suicide mission to save them all. Forget your stereotypical Disney princess tale. That is true love.
The Bible is full of reminders of people who didn’t deserve a second chance, and how God gave them one anyway. This applies to all of us, including you. He gave me a second chance and is now using me to continue the story.
If any of this surprised or inspired you, make a late New Year’s resolution and pick up the Bible. Even though we’re a few days in to 2020, it’s never too late to start reading.
There are numerous Bible reading plans. Check out this book, which provides a full year of Bible reading. You can also connect with a Live Second Coach to help guide you through a reading plan that works for you.
If reading through the entire Bible is still daunting, start with one book. May I suggest one of the gospels, Romans, Psalms or Proverbs? Whatever you do, just start reading. You’ll discover something new.
Lindsey Juarez Monsivais is a former journalist who lives in Texas with her husband and miniature dachshund. She loves writing to teach others about God’s love.