God's Word Is A Feast, Not A Buffet!
One amazing part of my job is arranging receptions and progressive dinners for the meetings and conventions that come to town. It's a great way to show visitors all the restaurants and menus we have to offer, as well as tell the stories behind them. I'm happy any time we can share the diversity of our food and our people.
And nothing brings out the possibilities like a good, old-fashioned buffet. Over a two-week time period, we hosted three different food-related events, including a multi-course buffet downtown. Spread over five tables, attendees could pick and choose anything they wanted, come back as often as they would like and sample a wide range of menu items. Needless to say, if they went away hungry ... it was their own fault!
Many times, Christians treat their Bible study like a buffet line - I really like Psalms and Proverbs, but I don't want to read any other Old Testament books. And I'm happy studying Paul's epistles, but don't make me dive into Revelation. That's just not my thing.
Unfortunately, the Bible isn't a buffet to pick and choose what we want to believe and discard the rest. We get into trouble when we believe and trust in some verses but disregard others because they don't seem to apply to our own lives.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Some Scripture may not be exciting or emotional, but it teaches us something about God's character. We might be tempted to skip over the lists of names and begats, but then we would miss the importance of family and each individual person in God's eyes. The end times prophecies may be confusing, but they help us put our lives in perspective according to God's plans for all of creation.
One of the easiest ways to read the entire cannon of Scripture is a Bible reading plan like the one on this site. By following along with us, you'll read 3-4 chapters every day, and by the end of the year you'll have read the entire Bible. If you commit to keep reading these few pages, rain or shine, you'll learn something new all the time. And that Holy Spirit inspiration will encourage you to get back into Scripture day after day, for your good and God's glory.
My prayer this week is that each and every one of us will search the Scriptures daily, allowing God to teach us His will, not just so we can pick and choose what we like. Grasping at verses, like grasping at straws or working our way down the buffet line, will never satisfy our hunger for God's word. Only reading, study, meditation and prayer will satisfy.