Have you ever sat down with the Bible and felt disconnected from it?
It’s actually a pretty common experience. And one explanation for WHY that happens is this:
If you’ve never gone through it, you don’t know it. And if you don’t really know the Bible, you might feel disconnected from it.
Feeling disconnection in any relationship is unhealthy. In part because we humans can’t fix fractured relationships. We tend to just make them worse. Healing is one of God’s specialties.
Before we get too far, if you’re stuck on the idea of having a relationship with the Bible—that’s understandable. It’s one thing to RELATE to a book or movie. It’s another thing to actually have a relationship WITH it.
RELATIONSHIPS are something you have with people. Living, breathing people. Or pets perhaps. Because the whole idea of a relationship is give and take. You invest in the relationship, and you’re able to get something out of the relationship based on what the other person (or pet) brings to the table.
But here’s the thing—The Bible claims to be a living entity:
Hebrews 4:12 The word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
John 1:1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus is described as God’s Word, sent to the world to reveal God to us directly. Which means that having a relationship with God’s Word isn’t as far-fetched as it might first appear.
Why Does Getting Into the Bible Feel Like a Chore?
When I ask people for honest feedback about their relationship with the Bible, I get all sorts of answers. Responses like fairy tale, myth, and outdated, as well as things such as inspirational, helpful, and valuable.
One term that keeps popping up is “should”. As in, “I should read it more”, “I should be more consistent”, and “I feel like it should be more enjoyable”.
Any relationship based on SHOULD needs help. And while it’s true that If you’ve never gone through the Bible, you don’t know it—treating it like a chore doesn’t help.
However, if we knew what to expect going in—like any epic book or movie—it might make it easier to get engaged. Even if we’re merely hoping the story turns out better than our low expectations. If it were an action movie, or a romance, or even a Hallmark Movie, we’d have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
And knowing what to expect always makes it easier to find ourselves in the storyline, so it makes it more relatable. And easier to connect.
What if we condensed the Bible into a singular short story? It might look something like this:
Long Story Short
In the beginning God created everything, including the human race. And God declared everything GOOD. Including the human race. Then the humans disobeyed God. And their disobedience resulted in a broken relationship with God. But God sent Jesus to pay the price for the broken relationship and offer restoration to anyone who will accept it.
Romans 5:8-11 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has reconciled us with God.
When Everything Is Broken
What happens in your personal story when everything breaks? When your relationships break? When your hopes & dreams break? When your health, or work, or source of income breaks?
What happens in your story when you get absolutely buried by defeat, wreckage, pain, & doubt?
What happens when your heart is torn? When the questions keep oppressing you? When God doesn’t listen, and doesn’t answer, and doesn’t show up?
Because that’s how it feels when everything breaks. Like God isn’t even there at all.
Find Yourself In the Story
That’s why this story matters. That’s WHY your relationship with the Bible can make a difference in your life. Because this is the story of God’s rescue mission for all of humanity. And you can FIND YOURSELF inside this story.
When all you can see is wreckage in your life and there’s no faith left, no hope, no confidence that your situation could EVER change, You can find yourself—again and again—inside this story.
And you can be reminded that God Is Able to handle whatever you’re facing.
When evil is ruthless and relentless, we can find ourselves in the story of Noah. God rescued Noah when a world full of wickedness was flushed down the toilet. Noah found himself in the story by trusting when God told him to build a boat in a land where rain had never before fallen.
When the rug gets yanked out, and we’re left with no job and no prospects, and our lives seem to be hanging by one thin thread, we can find ourselves in the story of Joseph. Whom God remembered and lifted to a place of influence and authority so he could rescue the perishing. Joseph found himself in the story by waiting patiently and continuing to believe that God would fulfill the promises He had made.
When we get news that shatters our plans and turns our lives upside down, we can find ourselves in the story of a young girl who was visited by an angel.
“Greetings, from the creator of the universe! God has anointed you and has chosen you—and is surprising you with a wonderful gift! Mary—you’re PREGNANT!
And even though that was the most earth-shattering, engagement-ending, life-altering news a first-century Jewish girl could receive, Mary’s response was completely at peace:
Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have told me come to pass, just as you have said.”
How does a teenage girl have that kind of confidence, that kind of trust, that kind of belief?
She had a secure relationship with God.
And how could she have possibly gotten THAT secure in her relationship with God? She had found her place in the story. And you can too.
Your relationship with God is fixable. Wherever it’s broken. No, WE can’t fix it. That’s why God sent His son Jesus, to pay the price to restore our relationship with God, yours and mine.
On top of that, our relationship with God can be so completely secure that when He moves in ways that are different from what we prayed for, we can rest in the unshakeable assurance that He is continuing to work everything together for our good.
How do you get there? To having a renewed, secure relationship with God and the Bible? Start with a small step. Here are a couple of ideas:
First, select a tool. Would you rather read or listen? For reading, grab your Bible or the YouVersion app (it’s free). If you’d rather listen, use the YouVersion app or go online to BibleGateway.com
Second, choose a version. If you’re reading a physical Bible, whatever version you have is fine. If you’re using the YouVersion app or Bible Gateway it can be easy to get overwhelmed. If you don’t already have a preference, try the New Living Translation (NLT) as a good place to start.
Third, pick a place to begin. Sure, you can read it as a regular book from front-to-back, but keep in mind this is a large collection of books and letters. And we’re simply trying to start with a small step here. So I’d recommend starting with either Genesis, Psalms, or John.
Fourth, pick a place to end. Remember, there is no SHOULD involved here. Perhaps you’ll listen to one verse. Or a chapter. Perhaps you’ll read for three minutes. Or ten. There is no wrong method.
Finally this: Figure out a time that works for you. Perhaps you’ll read over breakfast. Or just before bedtime. Perhaps you’ll listen while getting ready in the morning. Or during your commute. Then next time—whether it’s the following day, or later the same day, or a couple days later—you can choose to continue from where you previously stopped, or repeat the same place as before, or jump to something completely different.
Pro Tip: Asking God for help isn’t a sign of weakness or confusion. It’s plain good sense. This is His Word, and this is your relationship with Him. Scripture says that God is the giver of all good gifts. And having a secure relationship with God, and His Word, is the greatest gift we can ever receive.
Renew your relationship with the Word of God, and find your place in the story.
Talk About It…
- What do you learn about God from this lesson?
- What do you learn about People?
- If you really believe this is from God, what should you do?
- What did you discover that you would be excited to share with a friend?
For The Kids
Video Share link – https://youtu.be/xtF9l3Raf9I
- Check out our Partner site – PursueGodKids.org
- Here is a great one for today
- At the bottom of the page there are teacher packs for each age group.
- Select the one appropriate for your children’s ages.
- There are activity sheets in the teacher pack.