Is the Bible a buffet or an entree?
I've heard some preachers and teachers talk about specific passages of scripture and simply use those same words over and over, rather than allowing the entire Bible to speak for itself. Even as I think of my own study, I can struggle getting away from the familiar promises of God I value most and focus on the things that don't resonate as well in my heart.
It's like when I go to a buffet and look at all is offered...I skim over the things that don't appeal to me, as I only have so much space on the plate. I don't want to waste valuable steak space filling it with some veggies or a salad! So, I skip over what is probably what's best for me to get the stuff that might not be as much.
But when I sit down for a meal at a fine restaurant and decide what I want, I get on my plate what is given to me. I don't pick and choose nearly as much because the chef is so good that everything is great...even the stuff that I wouldn't normally choose.
So, with that being said, I think of the verse:
"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Proverbs 30:5 HCSB)
Often we allow more weight to fall on certain parts of God's word when it proves our point, or goes along with what we already believe. But as we dig deeper in the Good Book, we can struggle with digesting some things.
We tend to gloss over those things which can go against our values. When God starts talking about money...denying self...suffering and persecution...those aren't words we like most times. Yet, it's often the thing we really need to allow God to work in our lives about. When the rich young ruler came to Jesus, the issue wasn't what he had done but what he wasn't willing to do in light of Christ's teachings.
So, I pray that we would deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily, and be obedient, no matter what Jesus calls us to. The moment we avail ourselves to the Lord is the moment we can acquire the true freedom God gives.