Spring has sprung in Alabama. Flowers are blooming. Trees are budding. Pollen is overwhelming.
It really is a beautiful time of the year as life is seen all around.
It is the time of year to stop and enjoy beauty. As flowers open up, it is gorgeous.
But have you ever considered how differently flowers can be treated, and how it relates to the different ways some treat the Bible?
Here are three ways we can view flowers that are similar to how some people view Scripture.
This is usually me as it pertains to flowers. I do not know much about flowers, but I like the beauty of them when they bloom in the springtime. So, because I like that beauty, I just look from flower to flower, visually jumping here and there, but not really concentrating on any one flower.
How many people treat the Bible the same way? They jump from passage to passage (and, quite often, the same few passages), but never think about the context or the larger picture of what is going on? They are not allowing the full picture of Scripture to be their focus, just the “pretty” parts they personally like.
You take a botanist to a flower garden and you can learn some stuff! That scientist will be able to tell you more about a flower than you thought was possible to know. Often, though, it is just academic stuff, maybe the latin name or how the systems inside the flower work. All of it is interesting, but it may not help you appreciate the flower itself very much.
Again, many people treat the Bible this way. Certainly, there are intellectual matters to consider as it pertains to Scripture. We must be thinking as we come to the Bible.
But if it is all “academic,” we are missing the point! Yes, our minds need to be renewed (cf. Romans 12:2), but that renewal must lead to a changed life. To put it in terms we often hear in Bible study, there must be interpretation, but there must also be application.
You and I may appreciate a flower for its beauty this time of year, but a bee takes it to another level, doesn’t it? That bee sits down in the flower and takes in the pollen. The very life of this bee is dependent upon the flower and regular interaction with it.
That must be our attitude toward Scripture! We need to dig deeply into the Bible and find that our life seems incomplete without it. We need to hunger for the righteousness it gives (Matthew 5:6), and get our life from it (see Psalm 119:25).
Conclusion and Resources
So, how do you treat Scripture? Are you just a tourist, just floating here and there, but never taking in the full picture? Are you the botanist, learning all the academic jargon, but not letting it change you fundamentally? Or are you the bee, making certain that Scripture sustains your life?
If you are serious about digging deeper into the Word of God, here are some resources I have used, both in the past and some I continue to use, that help me in my Bible study, especially as it pertains to marking notes in my Bible. Maybe you can find something here to help you drink more deeply from the Scriptures.
Study Guide to Greater Bible Knowledge [Book by Wayne Jackson. Amazon carries this book, but it is very expensive. I would call a local Christian bookstore and ask about it, or contact ChristianCourier.com.]
Grasping God’s Word [Textbook by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays. Note: The link is to the latest update (2012), but if you can find the 2001 version at a used book store, many say it is better than the update. It is the one I use.]
Notes from the Margin of My Bible [Book by Wayne Jackson. Again, Amazon only carries expensive used copies. Ask a local Christian bookstore for this wonderful volume. I treasure mine!]
ChristianCourier “Notes” search. [Wayne Jackson has released many of his “notes from the margin of my Bible” on the Christian Courier webpage. The link takes you to a search result for all of them.]
“Bible Marking Topics” [Series of blog posts by Kathy Pollard on Come Fill Your Cup]
Pigma Micron pens [The best pens for marking your Bible. Archive quality, and they do not bleed through the pages. I keep one on my Bible at all times, ready to make a note!]
Crayola Twistables [I have not used these yet, but am getting ready to. They replace a highlighter and do not bleed through pages as much.]
The 66 Podcast [Drew Kizer and Andrew Kingsley walk through the Bible. Great material for Bible study and you will find yourself taking some notes along with them.]
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn