After that first verse analysis study on 2 Timothy 2:2, I was hooked. I went to the local Bible bookstore and bought a New American Standard Bible, not a study Bible. All it had was side column references. It was the first time the NASB had been published as the full Bible both testaments. I also bought a couple of books that I thought might be helpful. Those were the first two of many.
Within the next six months I was leading 7 Bible studies per week and teaching Sunday school at the Base Chapel. I do not recommend that as a normal course of action. But there is a point I want to make…
The Bible was/is Central
From the first time I understood the gospel it was obvious to me that I needed to be in the Bible. It was never a question. I took the Air Force commission because I wanted to fly fighters, well really RF-4s, reconnaissance. After I got into the Word it became clear that the planes were temporal, they were going to eventually burn. But the people flying them, were eternal, they were going to live forever, either with Christ or else separated from Him for eternity.
The Bible First
So in the midst of learning to fly supersonic aircraft, the Bible became more important to me than the planes. Don’t get the wrong idea, I was a good pilot. Graduated near the top of my class and was fighter/IP qualified. But, flying, though I loved it, was no longer my top priority.
So from the first week I was a believer, it has been crystal clear to me that the Bible had to be central, had to be a focus of my life. It was obvious to me that apart from that Book I could never know Christ well.
The Bible Not Central
So, I share all of that yesterday and today to explain why I am bewildered. I continually run into believers who view time in the Word as good but not necessary. I hear messages from pastors and Christian speakers that refer tangentially to the Bible or not at all. I have had people tell me that in their “Bible” study they are studying a book by Mark Batterson, Craig Groeshel, or Francis Chan. I like those guys, I have read some of their work, it is not the Bible and it is not inspired.
Yes and No
I have had multiple people tell me that they wanted to learn to study the Bible, yet when I begin to show them how, they bail. It looks like work, to them. Probably because it is. So what? We go to school and take classes for two to 10 years depending on what degree we pursue. We take tests. We do that to learn a profession. That kind of smacks of work. Yet we are not willing to invest some level of effort to learn to study the Bible so that we can know our Lord better? I do not get it?
There is more that I do not understand. I will finish with that tomorrow