Hey, friend. Welcome to my fireside moments. It’s my favorite time of day – when I relax in my recliner chair with my favorite book. You can see the chair there in the photo, reflected in the glass of the fireplace. And if you look closely, you can see my favorite book open on the floor just in front of the flames.
My favorite book? Oh, yes – it’s the Bible. It has been a lifeline for me. It has sustained me as I deal with the many questions that life presents. I have had lots of questions over the years, so I have read it often.
I frequently ponder what I read. I ask questions. I look for answers. Sometimes I find that the answers are not always readily evident or easy to apply. Perhaps it’s because truth is rarely revealed without our participation. That’s why I take time to think about and reflect on the things that I read.
Oh, sure; of course, there are times when reading the scriptures feels dry or boring. There are many times that the answers evade me, and I am left with the option of acknowledging that I don’t understand. But I keep coming back to my favorite book – because sooner or later it speaks to the dryness, and the disillusionment that caused the dryness in the first place. Eventually, The Word again becomes fresh and relevant. It encourages me and strengthens me. It helps me cope. And always, it offers life to me. I would not want to be without it.
I don’t know how you see the Bible. But if you see it as a rule book, you are missing the joy of its message. It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s a collection of many messages, written over more than a 1000 years’ span; all coming together to tell one amazing story: God’s story – and your part in it. It tells about the promises and covenant (or agreement) that God made with you.
Actually, it’s the recording of two covenants: One that has to do with the law, and one that has to do with God’s love and grace for you. The covenant of love and grace is far more attractive than the first covenant. Since the requirements of the first covenant were fulfilled by Jesus, God now offers us this new, second covenant. If you opt in on this new agreement, any judgment or “wrath of God” that you see in the Bible is meant for your enemies – which is actually good news for you.
So I don’t read the Bible as a list of requirements of what to do or not do. Nor do I read it primarily for knowledge about God, although that comes as a side benefit. I read it primarily for relationship with God Himself. I am continually amazed that the Almighty, powerful God of the universe is willing – and even intensely desirous – of having personal relationship with each one of us. As I learn to know God better, I grow more in love with both Him and His Story.
The purpose of this blog is to share that love for God and His Story, and to invite you to also explore His Story and your own relationship with Him. The blog expresses some of the thoughts that grow out of my times with His Word. At times, those thoughts may stimulate your own reflective ideas by asking questions, sharing insights, or presenting unique perspectives. The entries are simply expressions of my experience in scripture. Please know that I read (and write) as a lay-person. Which means that anyone wanting exegesis or a theological study will have to look elsewhere. I simply want to enjoy the scriptures and grow in the relationship with God that results.
I chose the name, Light Reflections, for this blog. I like the name for two reasons. The first reason is because the blog will raise questions to stimulate your own thoughts about God and His interaction in our lives. I don’t want heavy theological questions; just light, ordinary reflections arising from everyday life.
The second reason I like the name is because Jesus referred to himself as “The Light of the world,” (John 8:12). He also stated that we are the “light of the world,” (Matthew 5:14). As we learn more about Him, we begin to live more like He did. It just tends to happen that way, simply because we’ve spent time with Him. Living that way, we become reflections of Him to those around us. That makes our life brighter and more hopeful. It makes the world around us brighter, too.
So come join me during my fireside time. Bring your coffee or warm beverage, and let’s explore this book together. Let’s read His Story, and lay hold of the promises, gifts, wisdom, and relationship with God that come to us through His story. As you read, I hope that you, the reader, will find yourself encouraged and drawn closer to God and to His son, Jesus Christ. And I hope that you enjoy the entries as much as I enjoy creating them.
In most instances, references are from the New Living Translation (NLT) or New International Version translation (NIV).
“You cannot hold God hostage (to your questions). He doesn’t owe you an answer. If you want the peace that passes understanding, you’re going to have to give up your right to understanding. It’s called trust.”
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