Travel is always and adventure. Several years ago when I was flying I left a small airport in Hamilton, Alabama making a short hop to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was night time but the weather was spectacular. I reasoned that I could just set a lazy course to the south and watch for the lights of the city. No reason to bother with radio navigation aides or even a chart. There was only one city of any size south of Hamilton and that was Tuscaloosa. As I departed the runway and turned south I was immediately impressed by the serene scene of a rising full moon. The air was smooth and the flying was a piece of cake. I turned the C-172 onto a heading of south, climbed to about 3,000 feet and just waited for the Tuscaloosa lights to appear. They did not.
Tuscaloosa was to the southeast, not south. The bright lights to my south, I soon learned, were the lights of Mobile on the Gulf Coast. I needed a guide. I had a guide, but I failed to use it. Such happens in life sometimes. We need guidance but we reject it at our own terrible expense.
Our God does not leave us to struggle through life without direction. He has left us with the Bible which reveals all we need to know in order to live righteously in this life.
God Helps Us to Know Him
Scripture reveals God to us. In Romans 1 Paul reasons that we can know about God through an examination of nature. But that only gives a passing awareness of a greater power. It is in the Bible that we come to know the love and mercy of God. Apart from the Bible there is no knowledge of God’s work in salvation. There is no knowledge of his love, mercy, compassion and grace. It is through the Bible that we know God.
It is God who reached out to man in the depths of man’s own sin (Romans 5:8) and expressed his unwavering love (John 3:16). It is the Bible, the divine guide that tells of this great expression of love. God has withheld nothing from us even including his own son (Romans 8:32).
God Helps Us to Know Ourselves
People have been asking questions for centuries. Questions the Bible answers. “Who am I, why am I here and what is my purpose?” The Bible answers these questions. I am created by (Genesis 1) and beloved of God (Romans 1:7). I am here to respect God and serve him (Ecclesiastes 12:13). But it is also through the Bible that we come to know of our own deficiencies. We learn of sin through Scripture (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-10). It is this sin that comes between us and God and thus threatens our eternal salvation (Psalms 5:4-5; Habakkuk 1:13; c.f. Revelation 21:27).
Mankind is very good at deceiving himself. We hide our actions and even our motivations so deeply that sometimes we fool ourselves into believing just how good we really are. But it is the Bible which shatters those ideas. A glance into the holy mirror will reveal our bondage to sin and our inability to escape on our own. We would not be confronted with our own weaknesses were it not for the Bible.
God Helps Us Avoid Sin
This is important. The Bible is far more than a book of stories. Rather God uses the Bible to guide us toward him and away from sin. The father knows three key facts that he seeks to communicate to us:
- Sin is horrible,
- The consequences of sin are terrible,
- Man is headed for those consequences (hell).
Only by communicating with us can God hope for us to avoid those consequences. The wrath of God can be avoided. It is through the Bible that we are warned and instructed how to avoid that wrath.
No one likes to be told what to do. When the doctor says we need to lose weight, get more exercise, cut down on fats, stop smoking, ect. we chaff and resist. However we understand that his advice or guidance is for our own well being. When we fail to heed his advice we may see the results of our own foolishness very soon. Sin is different. Because the effects of sin may not be immediately tangible, we feel free to reject and even to ridicule the Bible. But the effects of such a choice are indeed grave.
I am a Christian because of God’s guidance. I am thankful for his teaching which saves me eternally.
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