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The Challenge: Live for a Year as If the Bible Were TrueJanuary 1, 2024
The Bible often sets itself against the wisdom of this world. Paul writes in I Corinthians 6:6, “We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.”
There are plenty of skeptics in our modern world. From our scripture verse above, we might contrast these modern skeptics with mature people of faith. Today’s worldly person sees the Bible as another source of wisdom in the world. However, in many areas of life, it is considered an inferior source of wisdom. For example, when it deals with creation, the spirit world, evil, sexual ethics, the end of life and the beginning of life issues, the end of the world, Jesus’ divinity, what his death on the cross means, whether he was raised from the dead and whether there really are miracles. Actually, Biblical concepts of love and justice seem to be the Bible’s most important and, perhaps, the only contribution to wisdom in the minds of many modern skeptics.
People of faith like to think that they believe the Bible is THE source of authority for all things in their lives. I write, “Like to think” because I think most Christians struggle, to some degree, reconciling the wisdom of this world with the wisdom of God. Many modern Christians actually are Biblically illiterate and rely on vague memories of Sunday School lessons from decades ago to form their faith. Unfortunately, they seem to reason that they are believers, they have eternity figured out and that is about as deep as they really need to go. In effect, they have treated believing in Jesus as a form of fire insurance. “Now that I believe I don’t have to worry about going to hell,” and their search for the wisdom of God is complete.
I want to challenge you to decide which kind wisdom do you want to understand more, that of God, or that of the world? Then don’t just give the matter lip service (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Joshua 24:14-15). Whether you lean toward seeking worldly or Biblical wisdom, do so with integrity, gaining real knowledge about what the world and what the Bible teaches.
I remember a day when I had been in the ministry for a few years, and experienced a number of medical miracles, as well as some faith miracles from my work in the ministry. I was surprised that my faith and prayers had had an impact on others. I was a skeptical believer, who didn’t believe in a lot of the Bible’s teachings. I had been in ministry for just over two years, and I had just experienced another one of those moments when my simple prayer changed a man’s life. As I prayed about how God had clearly used me to change the direction of people’s lives, in spite of my skepticism, I made a deal with God. For the next year, I was going to do ministry as if the Bible were true. Everything was different from then on. I made that promise sometime in 1987. I don’t even know when the year was up. The ways that God was able to use me after that were so powerful, and came with such regularity that I have sought out the wisdom of God and the truth of the Bible ever since. I invite you to try living as if the Bible is true for this year. I offer that as a suggestion for a New Year’s Resolution.
When was the last time you read the Bible? When was the last time you studied the Bible? Do you ever talk as if you know what is in the Bible, but honestly know you are Biblically illiterate? Do you care if you are Biblically illiterate? List some benefits and problems to being Biblically illiterate. Do you know what resources are available to help you study at a deeper level? List those you know of and who can help you find more. Do you know where you can join a Bible study so that experienced Bible students can help guide you to learn more about the Bible? Will you take the challenge and live for a year as if the Bible is true? I hope you will take this challenge. It may change your life with God forever. I can tell you from personal experience, if you take the challenge, you will have the best year of your faith life! (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see, www.lagrangepres.org).