I’m excited to read the Bible together with you during this Lent season. If you are taking the “avid reader” route, you need to move at a brisk pace in order to read Mark, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 & 2 Thessalonians by the end of the week. If you want to slow down and enjoy the scenery, you may choose the “light reader” option, as you’ll linger in the book of Mark for this week.
Whichever pace you choose, I would like for us to remember something as we read our Bibles. The goal of Bible reading is to know and love God more. Period. As we peer at the words, we want to feel the heartbeat of its Author. In essence, the Word of God leads to the God of the Word. This is why we read – we want to see Him.
I wonder if that’s not partly what apostle Paul is getting at in Romans 12:1-2: 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1 is upward faith – I am presenting myself up to God. Because of my union with Christ, he finds my offering – me! – holy and pleasing.
Romans 12:2 is downward grace – His Word comes down to us from heaven. Because of my new nature, I find His Word not only objectively true but subjectively good, pleasing and perfect.
The Father finds his child holy and pleasing.
The child finds His Father good, perfect, and pleasing.
Because of Jesus Christ, I please God and He pleases me. The relationship of joy flows both ways!
This is our aim every time we crack open the pages of Scripture. The faint but true voice of my Father says to me, “Welcome, child. I am happy you are here. I see you covered in my Son, therefore you are my son. I want to speak life into your soul. You’ve done well to come to my Word today.” And in response, I can feel my soul crying out, “Abba Father, thank you for loving me in Jesus Christ. I am hungry for your Word and I am thirsty for your Spirit. Father, there is nothing more worthwhile for me to do than to sit at your feet.”