An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless a force acts upon it – Sir Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Motion.
I became a Christian after years of living a very immoral and drug-induced lifestyle. When I told my family what had happened, they were glad, but skeptical. I had done enough crazy things in the past that they weren’t about to just “take my word for it”. Without them saying it, I could tell they thought, There goes Bob on another crazy tangent.
Thankfully, my wife and I got into a good church that taught the scriptures. We found friends who also had made the decision to follow Christ. I told my sister about my new life, but she raised her brow and decided to watch and see what I would do. After all, lasting change does not happen overnight. But the truth was, my wife and I had really become different people.
A couple of years later, my sister started going to a church like the one we were attending. She told me one day, “When you first said you became a Christian, I didn’t believe it. I did not think you would ever change. But you did. After waiting two years, I finally saw that your change was real.” What my sister didn’t know was how many times I had come short in this “being a Christian” stuff. But from the deepest part of me, it was true: I was different.
What Isaac Newton found to be true in physics is also true in people: “An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless a force acts upon it.” People can’t change unless something of greater force acts on them. Something bigger than ourselves must act upon us to make change really happen. I decided to follow Christ and get involved in a church, and from there I learned the scriptures and partook in God’s community. Because of those two things, God’s power began to set into motion real permanent change in my life.
This change that happened to my wife and I has been happening to people for almost 2,000 years. But if that “something greater” is necessary for change, what is our part? First, let me share with you the importance of scripture.
1. See the Bible as a carving knife, not as your “religious duty”.
The Bible has a force to change someone all on its own. Take in the Bible as if taking in an agent of change:
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Little did I know this book could change me like it did! It has the power to transform the heart: all of our will and desires.
2. Read it as instruction. The Bible taught me how to be a good husband, a good father, how not to be foolish with money, who to trust, and who NOT to trust.
Proverbs 2:6 [NASB] For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Learning this was a big deal. I never had to guess what wisdom looked like. The Bible was my guide to making good choices and living right. It aligned my thinking with the truth which in turn pointed my feet in the right direction. The more I saw how the Bible was changing me, the more I enjoyed it.
Psalms 119:165 [NASB] Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.
Giving this sort of attention to the scripture was truly working a change in my heart, and the change was influencing my sister. But it wasn’t only the scripture that changed me…