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Introduction Day – From Garden to Glory: A Bible Study on the Bible’s Story

Last Tuesday in our time together we heard the word STORY quite a bit. It’s there in the subtitle of our book: A Bible Study on the Bible’s Story.

What do you think of when you hear the word “story?” Several years ago, I taught two-year-olds as a member of a Bible study class. In our training, we were encouraged NOT to use the word “story” so we wouldn’t confuse these little ones. “Stories,” to two-year-olds, are most often fun, fictional tales accompanied by bright illustrations, aren’t they? They’re often outlandish or silly. And, of course, they’re not true.

While scripture does present us with a story, I assure you that everything we find in its pages is true. Referring to scripture as a story does not cast a shadow on its reliability as truth, but points us toward the fact that it presents us with a narrative arc. When we first learned to write stories, our teachers taught us they had to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Further along in our education, we might have learned a more sophisticated version of this general structure. Simply stated, this included exposition, complication or conflict, rising action, climax, and conclusion. I’m sure you can see where I’m headed with this. While scripture is no work of fiction, it is indeed a story in the highest and truest sense. It has all the essential elements, and the knowing the grand story of scripture gives us a framework for understanding how the varied books, authors, and genres we encounter within it contribute to the big picture. It also shows us that scripture, by design, has a purpose, and a point! It isn’t just a random collection of varied writings of different genres by a group of people separated by time and space.

We talked a bit yesterday about how knowing the story gives us much-needed perspective. I can follow the turn-by-turn directions of a GPS, but they make a lot more sense to me if I’ve consulted Google Maps and checked out the satellite view of my route ahead of time. I can put together the pieces of a puzzle, but I MUCH prefer to do so with the picture on the lid as a reference! Whether this is our first experience learning the meta-narrative of scripture or a refresher course, each of us will benefit, I’m sure, from a studied consideration of God’s story. As Christians, such perspective is essential, because this is not only God’s story, but OUR story, as well.

I appreciate Courtney Doctor’s words from her video introduction, reminding us that our part in this story is not performance, but faithful participation. Using the words of author and seminary professor Michael D. Williams, she encouraged us to realize that we are heirs of the story, actors in it, and bearers of it.

With her, my prayer is that through this study we will…

-love scripture more

-see more clearly our purpose in God’s plan

-be captivated by the love of our Heavenly Father, and

-respond to God’s gracious and lavish affection with increased love and faith

As I might have said to those little ones many years ago, “This is God’s word. Everything in it is true.”

I hope you enjoy your first week of study, and are blessed as you lean into the work of understanding the true word of our infinite, inexhaustible God as He has revealed himself to us.

Women’s Bible Study Archives

Click HERE for the Judges and Ruth devotionals from this past year.

 

First Post!

Welcome to the blog of the Women’s Care Team of Harbor Church. We are grateful you took the time to stop by, and hope that you will be encouraged in the faith because you did so. While our initial entries, tagged “Judges,” capture or summarize key concepts of our current women’s Bible study, we believe the scriptural truths they contain can benefit those beyond the group of women presently able to attend. Over time we will post on a variety of topics related to walking in relationship with the Lord as his daughters by faith in Jesus Christ. Our virtual welcome mat is always out, flowers are on the table, and the cookies are fresh. (All of this is much easier to maintain in the virtual world!) Come by again soon!

The Women’s Care Team