I do not like the metaphor that the bible is an ‘owners manual for life’
I have never enjoyed reading an owners manual, whether its for a car or a toaster, owner’s manuals just aren’t that fun. To limit the word of God to a manual that helps us succeed at life does a terrible disservice to the bible. We can’t just pull the bible out when things are going wrong. It is not meant to be a book of quick life fixes.
I believe the bible is a story, it is a story that is still unfolding, it is a story that we have a part to play in.
We have to embrace the Bible as uncensored, wild account of people experiencing the king of kings. It is not something pulled out when we need a problem fixed. It is a messy, exhilarating story of life change.
It has people doubting, arguing with, worrying about, reconciling with, loving, worshipping, thanking and following the one true God.
We cannot put it in a box, we can’t tame it.
The bible is about real people in real places at real point in time writing about their growing understanding of who they are and who God is.
Truth meets us wherever we are yet there is something powerful about seeing the historical contextual significance of the story.
For example, Paul writes to Timothy about women being saved in childbirth and he is making a direct reference to the goddess Artemis, whose temple was just down the street to Timothy who was based in Ephesus.
Artemis’s followers believed that the goddess saved women in childbirth. Paul’s writing has a big social and political impact. He is basically saying that the goddess Artemis is a fraud.
The writers of the bible are speaking in a language that the readers of the day will understand. The bible has authority and God is speaking into real space and time. The bible is a story that shows us what it looks like when God interacts with ordinary people. The point in the book of Acts isn’t the early church. The point is that God is using people to change the world. He is using ordinary people to represent His love, power and authority to the world.
We have a choice today to believe that the same God that was at work in the bible is at work in the world today.
He is the same God doing the same kind of things.
Ask God what He is up to in your world today?
Partner with the King of kings and allow the story of God to unfold.