Bible Engagement Blog: JumpIntoTheWord

Read, Reflect, Respond


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Perfect!

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple” Psalm 19:7 (NIV).

David says the law of the Lord is temimah, an adjective meaning faultless, whole or complete (temimut is the state of being tam, meaning unblemished or defect-free). Now why would the psalmist say that God’s Word is perfect? Are the Scriptures composed of all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics? Is the text of the Bible as good as it could possibly be? Does God’s Word lack nothing essential to the whole? The answer to these questions hinge on your view of God. Do you believe God is perfect? Do you believe He is the source of the Word? If God is perfect, then what is God breathed – the Word of God – is perfect too. Simply stated, God’s Word is bound to God Himself. It is therefore complete, accurate, trustworthy, sufficient, right and true.

Honey is perfect. Unlike other food, it doesn’t spoil (if kept in a sealed container). There is no expiry date with honey because it has a very low ph and low water activity. Be it one, or a hundred years old, you can still eat it!

Psalm 19:10 compares God’s Word to honey. What a great association. The food that lasts is compared to the Word that endures forever. But it’s not the enduring composition of honey, its antibacterial, antiseptic, or health benefits that are of interest to the psalmist. He makes the connection to state that the Scriptures are “sweeter” than honey.

So God’s Word is more pleasing and more agreeable than honey. Could anything be more perfect? The context of Psalm 19:7 indicates that nothing surpasses the temimah nature of God’s Word. In fact Psalm 19 contains one of the best biblical examples of synthetic parallelism – accessory ideas to emphasize the perfect nature of God’s Word: “There are six parallel statements in Psalm 19:7-9, and each contains three elements that are likewise parallel. There are six terms for the written revelation, six adjectives to describe it, and six statements of what the Bible does” J. M. Boice – Expositional Commentary.

“The law of the Lord is perfect.” It doesn’t get any better than that! As my son would say, “Sweeeet!”

© Scripture Union Canada 2013


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Pastor Alert!

Studies by the Barna Group, Gallup Poll, and others, reveal that regular Bible reading in North America is in sharp decline. There are approximately 25% fewer people than a generation ago who would be characterized as even occasional Bible readers, and about 700 people in the USA quit Bible reading every day!

The drop in Bible reading contrasts sharply with the finding that 87% of church attendees want practical help in understanding the Bible. Unfortunately only 20% of churches offer the help required.

Pastor, are you giving God’s people what they need to understand the Bible? Scripture Union can help equip your congregation with the means to read the Bible with understanding. Here are some proven resources you can recommend to your church:

  • Encounter With God, Daily Bread and Closer to God are excellent Bible reading guides for adults. These guides take the reader through the entire Bible in about four years. Many Christians testify to how they grow in understanding and meet with God daily through the use of these resources. Billy Graham, among many great examples of faith who use Scripture Union reading guides, says, “I am totally, completely and forever a Scripture Union man.”
  • Essential 100 Challenge is based on carefully selected short Bible passages – 50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament – that helps Bible readers grasp the essence of the text. The E100 Challenge is the systematic Bible reading challenge your congregation will love to complete. Consider doing it together as a congregation
  • theStory™ – a free daily online adult Bible reading guide that emphasizes the biblical narrative, utilizes a chronological reading plan, engages the mind and ignites the soul. One of the great features of theStory™, apart from the fact that it’s free, is software that tracks with each individuals progress – allowing a person to read and reflect on the Bible at their own pace. Available at: theStory.scriptureunion.ca

It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to give your congregation the help they require. Here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling:

  • Feature the above information in newsletters, bulletins, PowerPoint announcements, your facebook and church website
  • Preach on the importance of connecting with God’s Word. Emphasize how Bible reading and reflection is the primary catalyst in spiritual health and growth. Apply the teaching by inviting the congregation to join you in doing the E100 Challenge or asking them to turn on their phones and sign up for theStory™. [Note: Scripture Union will send you logos and promotional jpg’s, slides, banners – everything you need to promote the E100 Challenge or theStory™. Simply e-mail us at: info@scriptureunion.ca]
  • Invite a member of staff from Scripture Union to set up a promotional display of Bible engagement resources with free samples of Encounter With God. Phone (905) 427-4947 to book one of the SU staff to present the latest research on the Bible and culture or share an inspirational and invitational message on Bible engagement

© Scripture Union Canada 2013