Imagine sitting at home at night, watching one of your favorite TV shows, only to hear this:  “We are interrupting your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this breaking news.”  A global news personality flashes on the television screen and begins telling the world of a catastrophic event.  Suddenly, the image turns hazy and the sound becomes nothing more than static.  You know the information is important.  You NEED to hear it.  The picture and the sound become clearer for a moment.  You can tell this is really important.  It’s going to change life moving forward.  White noise and static resume.  What did he say?  Where is it happening?  What am I supposed to be doing?  You bang the TV, change the channel, hoping for clearer information, but every station is the same, bits and pieces of real news sandwiched between hazy colors and the hiss of bad signal.  The broadcast ends, programming resumes, and while you have a vague impression of what was said, you’re missing so much! The theme song from your show plays, distracting you, and you settle back into your routine, convincing yourself that it wasn’t THAT important and hoping that maybe somebody will tell you more tomorrow. 

There is no such thing as a second-hand relationship with the Father.

Sadly, this is the way that most of us approach our faith, our Bible, and our relationship with the Father. At some point in many of our lives, we heard the Word, knew immediately that it was important, and tried really hard to focus.  Unfortunately, what many of us were exposed to were snippets of the Father’s Word, surrounded by the white noise of man’s opinion and religious doctrine.   Like a badly dubbed movie, this left what we were reading in our own pursuit feeling slightly out of sync with what we were hearing.  We were never told to dig-in, to research, to study, and if we were, we were never really shown how.  Then, distraction happens, life steps in, and we convince ourselves that what we don’t know can’t be THAT important.  We reassure ourselves that those who know more than we do will tell us what we need to know and what we should be doing.  But we have to remember that God doesn’t have grandchildren.  What I mean, and what my friend Christy Jordan is fond of saying, is this:  “There is no such thing as a second-hand relationship with the Father.”  We have his Word, the choice to pursue Him is up to each one of us, individually.  

A little over a year ago, I got an invitation from a couple of friends to follow along with an online Bible study group.  To be honest, I was skeptical; I’ve run into these before and in many cases they are either an attempt to sell a product or to teach a specific doctrine.  So I started slowly in late September of last year, reading notes on the website and talking with my friends about what they were reading, what they were learning.  I was immediately intrigued.  I started running into phrases like, “The Bible begins in Genesis,” and “The whole Word of God is true, from Genesis to genuine leather.”  I found study notes that were covered with scriptural references and curiously lacking in references to anything else.  I began chewing on expressions like, “You won’t recognize a counterfeit if you don’t know the original,”  and “God’s Word is truth; all else is commentary.”  Even in the notes, I found myself constantly, consistently, repetitively, referred BACK to the Word of God and encouraged to toss ANYTHING that didn’t line up with the straight-edge of His Word.  At some point I stumbled on the statement of purpose for the group from its founder: “The purpose of this Bible study is to help people read the whole Bible for themselves, not dictate how they respond to the Word. I will endeavor to accomplish this with no bias for or against any particular denomination or sect of Believers.”

The purpose of this Bible study is to help people read the whole Bible for themselves, not dictate how they respond to the Word. I will endeavor to accomplish this with no bias for or against any particular denomination or sect of Believers.

That was enough, I pulled my rocking chair onto the porch and began my journey with Seeking Scripture through the whole Word of God.  We began in Genesis in January and yes, I was still skeptical, after all I’ve been reading the Bible for 20 years.  But I settled in and really started studying His Word, joined by hundreds of others sitting on the same porch walking through the same Word with no agenda other than to read and begin to understand the love letter that Father left for us.  I have seen connections made that I have never seen before; I have seen pictures that were previously hazy come into sharp focus; I have learned things that I never knew and been given the resources to evaluate that knowledge. And at every step, I have been reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “Test everything, hold tight to what is good.”  

Now, as some of the white noise and the static begins to clear, I am coming to understand more and more of this global broadcast.  I find in myself a renewed desire to follow God more closely, to step only where He steps, and to spend more time in his presence.  I find I am more aware of the abundant grace that he has shown me and how overwhelmingly unworthy I am of such a gift. More and more, I  look forward to my time in the Word of God, to seeing what He wants to show me each day, and to hearing what he is showing the other members of our fellowship.  Culture, geography, race, and economics are all tossed aside as we attempt to chase after the heart of God, to tease out every treasure he has left us in His Word.  We are seeking scripture, following fast after YHWH and his Messiah, and there is a rocking chair beside me with your name on it!  New members are admitted in December and we continue the chase in January!

ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

I’ll see you on the porch, soon!  

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About the Seeking Scripture Team: We are a group of believers from all walks of the faith, saved by grace alone through faith in our Messiah. While we are of one accord in many things, we are all works in progress and lifelong learners. Therefore the opinions of one may not always represent the opinions of all.

Matt Adams
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