Summer Reading Program Week Ten (final installment)

Bible

Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr

Aloha everyone! (I think we’re allowed to speak Hawaiian in Southern California aren’t we?)

I hope this summer’s reading program has helped you to fall more in love with your Bible than you ever have before.

The Bible contains the very breath of God in its pages. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16 that the words of the Bible are inspired—a word that means in-breathed. God breathed His life, power, and presence in to the pages of the Bible so when we open them for our times of devotion and study, the very fragrance of heaven rises to meet us. It’s truly an amazing book.

It’s filled with poetry.

Suspense.

Romance.

Foul play.

Espionage.

Murder.

Treachery.

Carnage.

Courage.

Nobility.

Benevolence.

Brutality.

And the heart of God.

It shows the ugly, repulsive side of human nature as well as the kind of honor and selflessness that stirs your soul and inspires you to give your life away for a great cause.

There’s also a personal, interactive element to it that convinces you that the God who created the heavens and the earth knows YOU. And centuries before you were born, He took so much interest in you that He inspired a book that would contain the specific wisdom that you need today.

The Bible, written by over forty authors, in three languages, over the course of approximately 1,600 years is the most historically reliable ancient document known to man (exceeding many times over some of the other ancient writings that we have, such as the works of Plato or Aristotle). And even though it can be complex and confusing at times it is well worth the effort to become its student. That has been Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s plea throughout every chapter of his book The Divine Mentor.

Although we’ve only covered nine of the twelve chapters together this summer, I’m going to make this tenth installment our final one. In the remaining chapters Wayne will reiterate his central message and also give more nuts and bolts about how to go about reading and studying the Bible in both private and small group settings (I think it would be awesome if Bible reading small groups sprung up here at Grace using his 20/20/20 method–see chapter 10 “where the rubber meets the road” for details).

I think the best way to summarize the message from this phenomenal book is to quote the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” Paul is saying that we become what we beholdwhatever holds our gaze will eventually transform us. Pastor Wayne, like the Apostle Paul, wants each of us to so consistently behold the face and character of God through daily time with our divine mentors that we become permanently marked by Him.

C.S. Lewis said, “There is a gaze in every man and every woman’s soul.” I hope that each of us can say that through this summer our gaze has become more fixed on Jesus than ever before in our lives.

I love you all, and I look forward to many more summer reading programs with you in the years to come.

God bless you!

Chris Jackson

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