Sometimes, when I read the Bible, I’m stopped in my tracks by a certain phrase or section. The truth will sometimes punch me in the face, as it were, and I’m left to ponder the audacity of God to say such things in His book. I certainly don’t mean that God is ever, will ever or has ever been out of line. What I mean is that compared to the general thinking of this world and my own corrupt heart, the truth of Scripture sometimes cuts so dramatically across the status quot that I’m left staring at the text with simply nothing to say. “Scandalous!”, I think to myself. “How can this be? How can God be so good? How can we be so wrong? How can I ever make it? How can this ever come true? How can Jesus be so kind?” And on and on it goes. Here are some of the passages that have rocked my world over the years. There are far more than ten (I just had to use a provocative post title to suck you in 🙂 ) and they are in absolutely no particular order of potency.
1. “I believe! Help my unbelief!” (Mark nine:24)
Is this not the cry of any honest saint?
2. “When Christ appears, we will be like Him” (1 John two:3)
Even so! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
3. “Jesus Wept” (John eleven:25)
Behold our precious savior, made like His brothers in every way.
4. “a man is justified by faith, apart from observing the law” (Romans three:28)
How can this be?
5. “And even if He doesn’t rescue us, we will not serve your Gods” (Daniel three:18)
Oh Lord God, give me faith like these three young men!
6. “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew five:48)
How can anyone stand, be it not for the righteousness He clothes us with?
7. “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews twelve:14)
This passage blows me away with both joy and terror all at the same time. Joy for the holiness that He gives, terror at the way I so often squander it.
8. “Immanuel (which means God with us)” (Matthew one: 23)
God=holy, spotless, infinite, eternal, glorious! Us=unholy, spotted, finite, bound in time, common. My mind = blown.
9. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians five:21)
This may be the most shocking, humbling, crushing and encouraging line of truth in all of God’s word (at least for me).
Please remember when you read my list: Context is critical to properly understanding each of these. I put very small snippets that come from larger sections of Scripture here. There is a context behind and around each of these. Don’t ever read the Bible like a dictionary, taking tiny bite-sized snapshots and building your definition of life upon them. Instead, read the Bible as a grand story. Precious tiny promises it surely includes, but the grandeur of it all is that it is one story from beginning to end.
What Bible truths have slapped you up side the head for the glory of God? Do you have a top 10? Top 5? I’d love to read them.