Most Christians will readily admit that understanding the Bible can be a daunting task. There are so many strange names, places, customs, and sayings preserved in the text that it can feel awfully remote. One of the things that preachers love to do is whittle the story of the Bible down into a short, memorable phrase that will help the average Christian understand what it’s about. Some examples you might hear on any given Sunday morning are:
- God’s Rule Book for Life
- Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (Get it? B.I.B.L.E. Yep.)
- God’s Love Story
- His Story (like history, but with an extra ‘S’.)
I freely admit that I’ve done this sort of thing. I like to think of the Bible as the story of Redemption & Renewal; or of God reconciling humanity back to himself; and on this blog I even described the Bible as “the story of God in search of friends.” All of these are helpful, and describe one particular way of looking at the Bible.
I’d like to add another one to the list. One way of understanding the message of the Bible is hearing God say this: You need me. I want you. We could say that the Bible is the story of God in dogged pursuit of humanity, which has failed to acknowledge their need for him.
We need God. You need God. He knows this. The Bible says, “in him we live and move and have our being.” Our very lives depend on God. But he doesn’t sustain our lives begrudgingly. He doesn’t get tired of us. He doesn’t want to write us off. He wants you. He has a place for you in his home. He will treat you like a son or daughter. He wants to tell you about himself and yourself and how you fit into his plan for the world. So the next time you look at your Bible, hear God saying to you, “You need me. I want you.”