My ABCs: B Is For Bible

by Kevin Burton

   I had tremendous fun in the late 90s wielding one phrase, a question actually.

   It was “based on what are you saying that?” I eventually shortened it to “based on what?”

   It’s not trademarked. Feel free to try it out if you wish.

   It started at a job I used to have in Columbus.  We had a lot of down time in the winter. The staff used to talk about anything and everything.   Some of the time we spent talking about God and the Bible and philosophy.

   My general point was that there should be some basis for the things you believe in, the things that shape your actions and goals for yourself and your family. 

   My specific point was to talk about my “basis” the Holy Bible, the word of the living God. 

   I’m recalling those times as part of the My ABCs series on Page 7.  The idea is to update from kindergarten the words used to represent the letters of the English alphabet.

   If apple, ball, cat, etc. are good for small children, what words are more appropriate for a more seasoned person?

   Today my B is for Bible.

   If you think the Bible is nothing but a rule book, you probably haven’t read it enough. It is God’s love letter to mankind.

   It does contain rules, restrictions just as you might have as a parent. It demands obedience just as you do as a parent.

   I started asking “based on what?” at work but I extended it beyond that, including asking it of myself. I asked my father that question a lot. 

   At great, great length I got him to admit that his statements were based on “my own intuition” as he put it.

   I have intuition. I have common sense. But I don’t put either up against the word of God.  

   God wasn’t waiting for me to be born into the Midwestern American middle class 20th century to get my take on the meaning of life and where just every little thing ought to fall.

   There are things I don’t understand or agree with. My biggest one is this; if I were a perfect God and I had created a perfect world why would I allow sin to enter it in the first place to usher in centuries of misery and mayhem?

   I will never understand that on this side of Heaven. I’ve already had this talk with God.

   But what I will not do is declare that my intuition supersedes the word of the living God.  Where the two differ, mine is the error, each and every time.

   There have been long stretches of time in my life when I didn’t read or almost never read the bible. This was always to my loss. What I forfeited with time with God and His good direction for my life.

  Those were the times I needed to read

Isaiah 55: 6-9 (NKVJ) “Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”

   “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

   Then there is Jeremiah 29: 11-13:

   “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

   In this setting I can scarcely begin to talk about the richness of the Bible, its historical accuracy, the examples, both good and bad, of people following or not following God’s will.

   As Old Testament books go, Ecclesiastes is relatively short. For a concise view of the results of doing things your way vs. God’s way, read that book.

   I just noticed that you can make my “based on what?” question into the acronym BOW.  That would get you to the right frame of mind when it comes to God and His word, the Bible.

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