(80) They are not just idle words for you – they are your life – Deuteronomy 32:47

In 80 short tweets we have covered the story of the Bible, from creation to the end of the world – and beyond. It is 66 books and yet one book that has turned the world upside down.

Through the Bible we have encountered many great characters who have much to teach us. Abraham was a man of great faith. Jacob struggled with God and set an example in perseverance. Joseph, despite being sold into slavery by his brothers, was able to forgive them and see that God’s hand was on his life. Moses thought that he was beyond being useful until God called him at the age of eighty to lead two million people through a desert to the promised land. Joshua felt inadequate to the task that God set them but found strength in God being with him.

Elijah courageously stood up for God’s standards in dark days. Amos upset the market traders by challenging their fraudulent practices. Hosea demonstrated God’s broken heart for his people through the pain of his on broken marriage. Esther came to a unique position of influence at a time of crisis. Peter let Jesus down but went on to lead the church. Paul put Christians to death but became Christianity’s strongest defender.

All these people set us examples to follow in their different ways. We cannot be like all of them but we need to follow David’s example when it is said of him that he “served God’s purpose in his own generation” (Acts 13:36). That is all that any of us can do.

But the central character of the Bible is Jesus. He was active in creation and came to earth as a baby, born to fulfil Isaiah’s prophecy that he would be the “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) and would reign on David’s throne forever. Jesus was an amazing teacher and showed great compassion to individuals but his prime purpose in coming to earth was to bring in the new covenant, promised through Jeremiah, by dying to bring us forgiveness of sins, so enabling us to have a relationship with God.

This is the message of the Bible and it has the power to transform our lives. Moses told the people of Israel that the words that God had given him “are not just idle words for you – they are your life” (Deuteronomy 32:47). We have only skimmed it with these 80 tweets but I’d encourage you to continue to follow the example of Ezra who “set his heart to study the Law of the Lord and to do it” (Ezra 7:10 – ESV). This is a life-long journey.

If you have never read the Bible then read Luke’s gospel which starts with the Christmas story and gives a rich account of the life of Jesus. Or, if you prefer the quick-fire approach, read Mark’s version in his gospel. Then read about the growth of the early church in Acts and some of the letters such as Romans or James. If you want to get a broader overview of the story of the whole Bible then read “Through the Bible in 80 Days” which combines Bible readings with explanation.

There are parts of the Bible that are harder to understand and we can all benefit from sharing the experience of others. Get involved with a local church where you will meet people who are also on the journey to understand it better and to put it into practice in their daily lives. If you have not been to a church before then find an Alpha course which will provide an excellent introduction to the basics of the Christian faith.

We will never fully understand everything in this life, but the Bible has the power to open our eyes to God’s perspective on the world and change our thinking forever. As David wrote about God’s words,

“They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:10)

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