Tonight we had dinner at one of those all-you-can-eat buffets designed to starch and carb a mere mortal directly to their doom.
The upside is there aren’t a lot of complaints about what’s being served. Don’t want the chicken? There’s fish and chips in the next bin over.
Take a portion of what you want, and ignore the rest.
That can also be a good practice when it comes to other people giving you their free advice. Treat it like a plate of cookies. Take one or two and ignore the rest.
There’s a problem when we treat scripture like a buffet though. Like a plate of cookies.
And yes, we like to do that. I’ll take two of the chocolate chip please, but I’ll pass on taking any of the oatmeal raisin. Too much fiber. And whoever first put raisins in cookies should have their heart cut out with a spoon!
“Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?” “Because it’s dull, you twit. It’ll hurt more!”
So says the Sheriff of Nottingham. But I digress.
Scripture isn’t something we can cherry pick our way through to find the tasty morsels and leave the pits behind.
Why? Because EVERY tiny bit of it is the Word of God. And God thinks it’s important for you and me:
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
Not just the tasty bits, the warm and fuzzy bits, the bits that melt on your tongue and warm your toes.
But the in-your-face bits, and the call-you-on-the-carpet bits, and the poke-you-in-the-backside bits, too.
So why does ALL scripture matter?
Because God LOVES you. Not with merely a warm and fuzzy feel-good love. But with a complete and honest He-wants-the-VERY-best-for-you kind of love.
Today, I invite you to take a hard look at a hard passage of scripture from Deuteronomy. Chapter 28 isn’t a passage intended to lighten our steps. It’s heavy reading, meant to put weight on our souls. In it, Moses tells the people of Israel of the blessings they will receive if they fully obey the Lord and carefully keep all his commands.
Moses also warns Israel that they’re not strong enough to live disconnected from God’s protection. That forsaking their covenant with the Lord will expose them to the power of their enemy and they will fall. And he describes what that devastation will look like in almost unreadable detail.
Moses is laying out the terms of the covenant God is offering to the people of Israel. And he wraps it up this way at the end of Chapter 30:
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NLT
“This is the key to your life”, the scripture says.
It might be worth the read. Just sayin’. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Stepping up and engaging with scripture—ALL scripture—could well be the key to your life.