Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJV)
“Ladies, meet your new best friend”; and with that, the new Army recruits would be introduced to one of the most important elements of soldiering. Their new “best friend” was an M-16 rifle. (I only trained male soldiers, and “ladies” of course, was a loving term straight from the heart of their new, sensitive, Drill Sergeant. BR)
As a Drill Sergeant in the Army we had to instill in the untrained soldier that his weapon was now the “best friend” he had on the battlefield. From the day he was issued the weapon, it could never leave his side or be neglected. The well-trained soldier knows every detail about his weapon: how it was made, how it works, how to care for it and how to use it. Indulge me for a moment and hear these words in your mind coming from the best Drill Sergeant voice you imagine – loud, strong, authoritative, demanding:
- “Christians! A – ten – shun! Let me introduce you, to your new “best friend”: your Bible.
- You will learn it. You will love it. You will care for it. You will protect it (Psa 119.11), and it will protect you.
- You will read it, know it, meditate on it and tell others about it.
- You will wake up with it. You will go to sleep with it. It will never leave your presence. You will become it, it will become you.
- You WILL be an expert on the battlefield and you ARE guaranteed victory over the enemy. You WILL learn to be a killer of sin. You WILL be relentless in obeying it.
- The training will not be easy and it will end only when you die. You will not quit. You will not fail. You will sweat. You will bleed. You will suffer for it; and it will NEVER fail you.
- You will report each morning for intensive training. You will not be absent; you will not be excused. Any questions? I didn’t think so. That is all. Dismissed!”
Wow, I almost went in and put on my old uniform (which of course is about 3 sizes too small now)! If only we could “order” someone to spend time with God and read the Bible. Seriously, the Bible is your weapon, your “Sword of the Spirit” (Eph 6.7). Let’s start by learning ABOUT our weapon. You must KNOW a weapon before you can USE a weapon:
- The Bible is the supernaturally inspired written words of God (2Tim 3.16-17).
- The Bible contains EVERYTHING we need to know concerning how to live a pleasing life to God (2Pet 1.3).
- God wrote it using regular people just like you and me as He inspired them to pen the words He wanted us to read.
- People from all walks of life: rich, poor, soldiers, professionals, writers, doctors, tax collectors, etc.
- People with all different educations, from the academic elite to the completely uneducated.
- People who spoke different dialects and wrote the Bible in 3 different languages.
- Normal people, whose sins and failures are not sugar coated or ignored.
- People who lived over great distances covering three continents.
- People in a variety of circumstances including war, peace, freedom, prison, bondage, slavery, poverty and wealth.
- People in a variety of moods: happy, sad, grief-stricken, depressed, apathetic, joyful, exuberant, etc.
- The Bible was written over a span of about 1500 years, by more than 40 authors.
- The Bible addresses many, very controversial issues which routinely cause argument and dispute; and all 40 authors agreed on everything controversial to us.
- The Bible contains 66 different books in various styles of writing: history, poetry, wisdom, instruction and revelation.
- The manuscript evidence supporting the accuracy of the Bible far surpasses ANY other known written work.
- The Bible has endured thousands of years of intense scrutiny and persecution yet still remains the one Book that changes men’s lives, and entire nations for the good.
- The Bible is the runaway leader in number of copies printed, number of languages translated into, and extent of distribution.
- The Bible is the only book that contains hundreds of predictions of future events that have all come true down to the last letter. No other book claims more than a handful of predictions, and even those are generally vague.
- With the increase in scientific and archeological discovery, the Bible continues to be vindicated as completely accurate historically and technically
- Researchers continue to discover people, cities, societies and events that only the Bible records. In the past, those very same historical facts recorded in Scripture were used to “prove” the Bible as being false.
- The Bible records many scientific ideas that have not been discovered as true until recently: the earth is round, thermodynamics, dinosaurs, cosmology, wind patterns, the water cycles, atmospheric pressure, the earth “hangs” in space, rivers in the sea, the “balance” of life on earth, man’s circulatory system, psychosomatic illness, conception, and many other facts about nature and biology.
Despite the time span, distance, languages, circumstances, diversity, and sinfulness of the authors… the Bible miraculously contains a consistent, harmonious, error free message from cover to cover.
The Bible is God’s plan for the salvation of mankind and
the glorifying of His Son, Jesus Christ.
The subject of Biblical authenticity, accuracy and proof is one far too extensive to cover in a Devotional format. I present these facts to you as an introduction to your “new best friend”. The more you know ABOUT your Bible (origin, evidence, proofs, structure, etc.) the more you can trust and defend what the Bible “says”. Tomorrow we will continue our training by learning what the Bible says about itself.
O God, Open our eyes to the importance of being trained with Your Written Word. Instill in us the desire to know it, prove it, test it, examine it and apply it. Give us ears to hear, and eyes to see the Truth You have set before us. In the Name of the Ultimate Best Friend, Amen.
Contemplation: How much do you know about where the Bible came from, how it is structured, what evidence supports its authenticity, and why it can be trusted as inspired from God? If you had the same level of knowledge about a rifle, would you march into war confidently?
Application: It is important to know ABOUT your Bible, as well as knowing what it says and applying it. Be ready to give an adequate answer when someone asks you “can I trust the Bible?”
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Written each weekday by Brent Riggs. Brent is a member of Tulsa Bible Church in Tulsa, OK. These devotionals are produced as an individual work and there is no intention to imply they are the official teaching or doctrine of Tulsa Bible Church. Do you have a question or topic you would like to know more about? Send your comments or questions to: email@example.com