We invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff. Today’s devotional is part of our 2023 pastoral care theme, “Know God, Love God, Serve God.” See Know God – Part 1 here.
By Campus Pastor Matt Anderson, SummerWood of Chanhassen and SummerWood of Plymouth
My Christian journey really took off when the genuineness of my faith was challenged by a friend and the Scripture verse, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19). This passage hit me like a Mack truck. I had not been living the faith I professed. Up to that point, my excuse for not reading the Bible was that I would read it when I was older.
After that double challenge, however, I immediately began reading the Bible regularly. It transformed my life! Why read the Bible on a consistent basis? For me, I wanted my life to accurately reflect my Christian faith. I needed to know God.
God makes himself known through his Word. He reveals wisdom, mysteries and ultimately his plans for all things. We can know his character, his mighty acts and his plan for all of creation.
“All Scripture is God-breathed,” says the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16. Another way of saying God-breathed is God-inspired. The Bible presents the very words of God to us through different human authors.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. —Ephesians 1:7-10, NIV
It tells a unified, God-directed story that we are a part of from beginning to end. Paul later calls his young mentee, Timothy, to preach God’s Word (2 Timothy 4:2)! Timothy was to take what God said in his Word and apply it to the day-to-day lives of his listeners.
You can know God through reading and studying the Bible.
The Bible has been described as a love letter from God. The sender takes the initiative to make known what the letter addresses. The receiver’s part is to open and read the letter.
That is my invitation to you—to read God’s Word to you.
You can do this by yourself or with others. Bible study groups are a great way to learn and apply God’s word together in community. If a part of the Bible is confusing to you, there is good news: God gifts people to be teachers of his Word. And there are also many helpful (and free) resources available to better understand each book in the Bible. One such free resource is GodSpeaks.org. And remember to take time to read and reflect on our daily StandUp Scripture verse.
Pastor Matt Anderson lives in Chanhassen, MN, with his wife Liz and their two teenaged children. When he’s not keeping busy with Bible teaching and pastoral visitations, you can find him playing guitar or reading.
The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.
Find more in the Light for the Way series:
Know God - Part 1
Love one another
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series