The next prompt from Writing in the Margins…
In the margin next to 2 Timothy 3:16 write your reflections on the purpose of scripture in your life and for your life in this world.
I’ve already illustrated this passage, but I love the questions in the invitation above. My recent study of the fourth commandment made me rethink the purpose of scripture in my life. As I reviewed the Bible passages, I did so one-by-one as I found them in the Bible (with the help of BibleHub, an awesome online concordance!). I just took my time with each passage, and I finally got to the point where I could see what God intended in the law by asking his people to take a day to rest and enjoy, and I felt willing to conform. Then I turned to the letters of Paul and felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. Paul’s advice regarding treating one day of the week as special was simply: “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
After I finished my long post, I took a walk and sat on a swing outside my front door. There was a quiet conversation in my heart that went something like:
“Sally, you can take one day a week to rest and enjoy; this will be good for you, but you don’t have to; it’s not binding on you. “
By this point, I was ready to protest: “But in Scripture it says, ‘Above all keep my Sabbaths.’”
And then I heard the quiet whisper “now you know what freedom in Christ means. You are saved by faith not works of the law.”
It’s not that I didn’t know this before, but I still always felt some kind of tension to get things right in my life and “sin no more.” I suddenly had new appreciation for Paul’s assertion: While we were sinners Christ died for us. The fact is: I am terrible at resting—and as it turns out, that’s a sin! (Not just the main reason that I am on only child–my mother says I never took naps!) But I wasn’t aware because I totally resisted reading the text the right way!!! And it’s perfectly clear, but I had a ridiculously bad case of “Already knowing!” I just had it firmly in my head that to keep the Sabbath holy simply meant: “Make it to church”. It never occurred to me to look into it any further. My sins were like scarlet, but I was completely and totally color blind!
And just as I felt like a discovered a really big problem that needs corrected in my life, I heard God whisper:
There is nothing you can do to earn my love. Oh restless child, I couldn’t love you any more than I do now.
I still plan to make some life changes just because I can see the good in doing so, but the changes I’ll be making will be done with an awareness and appreciation of just how radically free we are in Christ. So I will keep Sunday as a day of holy freedom!!!
Regarding the purpose of scripture, I was reminded of a quote I posted a while ago by Rich Mullins:
I always find it interesting to hear those who read the Bible so they can find answers. Just about every time in my life I thought I found an answer, if I went back and read the Bible, it would blow it out of the water. I’ve given up trying to find answers in the Bible and am looking in the Bible to meet the weirdest character of all, God Almighty himself.
I felt like I discovered this for myself! Since I’ve already journaled Timothy, I decided to put the quote next to the moment Job met God:
And as for life purpose….I ‘m gaining fresh appreciation for the Westminster Catechism, which seems to fit nicely with Psalm 84 (I used gelatos over the text with the help of homemade stencils for the background color):