This was my very first Beth Moore study. Did I hear a gasp?
I have listened to her teach for years (God bless you YouTube!) but this was the first time I had her book in my hands and the first time I was digging in with girlfriends and I loved it.
Beth offered a few levels in her study, based on how many hours a day you wanted to commit to this study. I had no idea how serious these studies could get. The final level was to MEMORIZE THE BOOK OF JAMES. That's right, not memorize a verse or a chapter, but memorize the book of James in it's entirety. All five chapters.
Yeah, no, I totally didn't take that challenge. But I did take the challenge of writing out the book of James. Of course, we finished the study in August and I only finished the writing today. But let's stick to the important stuff.
Writing out all of those words with my blue Bic made me see the Scriptures in a new light.
It was written. The Bible, the sacred Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, were hand-written, every word. On porches, at kitchen tables, at wooden desks, those words were all scratched onto parchment.
Early in the morning with the dog dancing around his leg, needing to be let out.
Late at night, after the dinner dishes were put away and the house was quiet.
Written with callused hands, some sweaty, a broken nail here, a splinter there.
Those original letters might have had crinkles and butter smudges on them as the authors wrote during their lunch breaks.
Maybe David's kids spilled milk on some of his Praise and Poetry.
The ink might have ran in places and there might have been typos.
Of course all of the Scriptures were written by the inspiration of God. They are God's words, yes they are. But he asked normal people to write them out with pens and paper.
The Gospel isn't lofty.
It's so gritty.
Penned by real people, for real people.
Because God loves to speak to us in real ways.
And if God wasn't afraid to let those shaking hands write out his Gospel for all of human history to read, then I'm guessing that he isn't afraid to let these shaking hands live out the Gospel for my family and my community to read.