Monday, October 14, 2019

One Shall Become a Thousand

When I started writing these posts in 2008, I had no aspirations or expectations. I just wanted an avenue for expressing random thoughts about a variety of topics. My desire was to offer my perspectives as both journalist and follower of Christ, applying biblical truths I believe are as practical and relevant today as they were when God inspired dozens of men to record them many centuries ago.

When I first thought about writing a blog, I wasn’t sure I could sustain it. So I wrote several posts before publishing the first one, reasoning it would be silly to run out of steam after just one or two. Obviously, I haven’t. It was my plan to write only one per week, but soon realized that wouldn’t accommodate all the stuff I was “just thinking” about.

Initially I limited each post to 300 words, since someone had told me that was the optimum length for online articles. Before long, however, I found that limit too restrictive, especially for including Bible passages related to the issue at hand. Soon my word count grew to 600 or more, with occasional gusts up to 900 or so.

My first efforts included topics like personal finances, communications, holidays, death, setting goals and making resolutions. Over the years since, I’ve revisited many of these, as well as others. The question I’ve always asked and sought to answer was, “What do the Scriptures have to say about this subject?”

Today marks my 1,000th post, which I suppose is an anniversary of sorts. A lot has happened over the past 11 years – career changes, additions of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, learning about the aging process firsthand, hearing daily about a polarizing figure named Trump. But what hasn’t changed is my conviction that the Bible is true and that God has provided it as His perfect Owner’s manual for how He intends for us to live.

I know there’s an incredible range of opinions about the Scriptures. Some consider it outdated and irrelevant; there’s a segment of people who have labeled it “dangerous”; and others find it “figurative,” that we’re free to pick those things in it we like and ignore – or re-interpret – the rest. However, I concur with what the Bible says of itself: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

A friend was leading a Bible study and asked one of the participants what she thought that passage meant. She replied, “It means that God wrote a book!” I wholeheartedly agree. Jehovah God, who created the universe, saw fit to guide and inspire the writing and compilation of a book that stands unique from any other. As someone has said, “Many books can inform, but only the Bible can transform.”

I recall a top executive speaking to a crowd years ago, telling how he had spent countless hours listening to and reading books by self-help gurus who claimed to know the secrets to business success. Then he discovered the Bible, and after thorough examination, concluded it was superior to all the other resources combined. 

Sharing that view, I continue to offer these posts in the belief that the teachings and principles the Lord gives us in the Scriptures – starting with how we can receive forgiveness, reconciliation with God, and eternal life through Jesus Christ – provide the answers to all of life’s biggest questions. We’ve become what some call a “post-Christian nation,” which I think is much to the detriment of our society. But that doesn’t diminish the importance and impact of the timeless truths available to us as we read from Genesis to Revelation.

Toward the end of one of the Bible’s prophetic books it says, “one shall become a thousand” (Isaiah 60:22). I’m sure this had no reference to online commentaries – unless Isaiah was an even more insightful major prophet than we realize. But as of today, my idea for one short blog post has literally become a thousand. 

I haven’t a clue as to what I’ll find to write about, Lord willing, for the next 1,000 posts. But I know one thing: I’m eager to get started in writing post No. 1,001. Because as Psalm 45:1 states so well, “My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”


Fred Balding said...

2 Timothy 3: 16 - 17

Just thinking...

The most interesting fact to me about this passage - realized only relatively lately in my 46 years of Christian ministry - is this: When the Apostle Paul penned these words to Timothy, the "Books" of the New Testament had not yet been canonized into "Scriptures". The subject of God's Word to Timothy via the Apostle Paul are the accounts in the scrolls of the First (a.k.a. Old) Testament. (Of course, this is all the more applicable to the New Testament.)

Bob Tamasy said...

You're right, Fred. This is one reason that those who advocate discounting the Old Testament in their teachings are off base. Even Jesus referred to the Old Testament Scriptures when He taught, because as you say, they didn't have the Gospels or the epistles back then.