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The Story within the stories

Have you read the best-selling book in history? Probably, because the Bible is the best-selling Book in history. Yet, only 11% of Christians have read the whole Book. Studying the Bible is just plain hard. There are 66 books with hundreds of stories that give us all kinds of information. It spanned 1600 years and was written by 40 different people. The Bible makes War and Peace look easy and quick to read.

The Old Testament has many stories that we teach our kids, telling them this is how humanity came to be and that there are some good moral stories. The perception is that the New Testament is much easier to understand. This is where we meet Jesus; these stories point to redemption, love, and service. In this part of the Book, we know what to expect. I heard one of my favorite singers say on a podcast the other day that she doesn’t read the Old Testament; she doesn’t get it. She just needs the part about Jesus.

My friends, that broke my heart! I love the Bible, and all that it has to offer, so many great stories. There is a Story in those stories. Jesus is woven throughout the Old Testament like a tapestry with threads weaving their way to our redemption. Jesus is in the feasts, the sacrifices, and He is sometimes the angel in the stories we read. All of these things point to Him coming to offer us the mercy that comes from the sacrifice only Jesus can give.

Several years ago, I did a two year study on the Bible, one year in the Old Testament and the other in the New Testament. Memorization was a vital component of that study. I loved it. It opened my eyes to these beautiful stories in the Old Testament that became treasures to me.

A few years ago, I wanted to grow closer to God. I asked Him to help me delight in His word. Can I just tell you that He answered me in more significant ways than I could have imagined? The more I read and studied, the more I saw Jesus in the Old Testament. (Geek alert!) Today, I love spending time in His word, cross-referencing, looking up the root of a word, and using commentaries to dig deeper. I highlight, underline, keep notes, mark pages with sticky notes, and have tabs on the side to follow a thread I want to understand. My Bible is a mess; I recently read a blog about a Bible wrecker, I can relate to that on so many levels.

Another thing I love about the Bible is that it meets me where I am. I have read through it many times, but I still find fresh new ideas when I study it. Often, I will read something I know and have read before, but this day it has something new for me. That’s not magic; that is the work of the Holy Spirit, knowing when I am ready for a new nugget of truth.

Of course, I could spend a lifetime reading it and not understand all of it. I never will, this side of heaven. That is part of the beautiful mystery of the Bible; it will always offer something new. I never tire of it.

Are you ready to dive in and follow the scarlet thread of Jesus through the Old Testament? I am so excited to let you know I will offer a daily Lenten devotion that looks at Jesus in the Old Testament. Sunday nights, I will also provide a video on my web page that will further pull at the scarlet thread of Jesus in the Old Testament. This video will be available for at least a week on my web page and longer on my YouTube channel. Friends, I pray for you to crave to know Jesus better. And the Bible is one of the essential steps to make that happen.

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