Meet my friend, Jeni Bullis. She has reluctantly agreed to contribute to my blog. She is incredibly humble. I admire her character and she inspires me to be a better person and Jesus follower. I am not at all sure why she loves me – because I am TURRRRRIBLE! But, I am thankful. Jeni and I have planned women’s events together and I have always enjoyed her teaching. So, that is what I asked her to contribute here. My only instruction to her was “Make it Jesus-y.” I love her. You will, too. Enjoy this intro into her contributions.
I became a Christian at age 19. The condition of my heart and life had become such that it was clear to me that I was broken and in need of a Savior. It was a drastic change in every aspect of my life. One thing that became very clear to me was that this religion centered around this book, the Bible. I felt almost urgently that I needed to know what was in it, how it was formed, it’s history, it’s writers, and what in the heck in had to do with my daily life. For these reasons and also because I’m a fiercely curious person, I dove in and began researching, asking questions, listening to teachings, going to bible studies, reading the insights of other believers, and asking the Lord help me understand what I was reading. The amazing transformative work of the Word began and a broken and lost life was quickly equipped with a GPS and a destination. When my tires finally got traction I took off
Within a very short time, I noticed something that was very troubling to me. Every Christian I met owned a Bible, sometimes several Bibles in various translations, and yet I found that very few actually read it!
The protestant movement was instigated by many things, but one major impetus of the break from the Catholic church was that, at that time, the bible was in Latin or Greek and only the priests or the educated rich could read it. Some like Luther and Wycliffe fought (and died) on the principle that the Bible is the Word of God and should be accessible to all those who chose to read it. It’s hard for us to imagine a time when people didn’t have bibles on their side-tables or weren’t able to pick one up at a store.
So, why is it that so many Christians still have the mindset that the Bible is too difficult to understand and should be left to pastors and teachers to decipher and then administer? This should not be. The Bible is this wondrous combination of beautiful literature, troubling events, provocative exhortations, eyewitness accounts, and letters of loving guidance. But most of all Heb 4:12,13 says “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” And this is just one minor benefit of the Bible! The most striking and significant offering is that the scripture, in it’s entirety, gives an inexhaustive glimpse into the personality of God; temperament of God; heart of God; and the workings of. Over and over the Lord says “then they will know that I am God”. Did you know that He desires to be known? By you??
I love that there are no prerequisites to understanding the scriptures, apart from faith. I am an uneducated housewife and mother. I have a highschool diploma which I earned by the skin of my teeth. I have never been the sharpest knife in the drawer, but when I open my Bible…I have access to the world’s best tutor and I enter the classroom of both the creator of the universe and of my own mysterious heart. Trust me…I’m all ears. You don’t need a seminary degree, a title of pastor, or a high-ranking position in society to understand the scripture. You just need a willing and committed heart, and the ability to search for answers when something doesn’t make sense to you. It’s power can soften the hardest heart, heal the deepest wounds, and give hope and direction to broken and lost….like me. What a beautiful gift.