“‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery’” (Exodus 20:2).

REFLECT

Before I became a Christ-follower—as someone who grew up in Chicago as a Bulls fan—Michael Jordan was my idol.

I literally had a wall in my room dedicated to him, from photos to posters to pennants.

Thus, watching ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary has been a gift while live sports have been put on hold.

“The Last Dance” follows the 1997-98 Bulls season, which culminated with a sixth NBA Championship.

The Bulls front office gave a camera crew an all-access, season-long pass to shoot the documentary. Getting a behind-the-scenes look at what drove Jordan to be such a competitor has been incredibly insightful.

In the similar fashion, I’m so thankful for the Bible because it’s God’s all-access pass for you and me to see who He is and His story of the redemption Jesus gave us all.

Plus, it’s a behind-the-scenes look without opinions. It’s 100% truth.

In our everyday devotional reading, it can be easy to forget that the focus from beginning to end is to connect with Jesus.

Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image.”

We can look to the Bible to be a better worker, servant, spouse or parent and learn principles to help us defeat debt, subside anger or conquer laziness.

We can look to the Bible to learn about prophecies, parables and characters.

However, Paul says first look at who Jesus is and then you’ll look like Him.

Many times, I’ve tried to look like Him and change myself by studying topics and applying principles rather than “contemplating” or gazing at Him.

God conforms lumps of clay into His image.

Exodus 20, which includes the Ten Commandments, actually starts with God reminding the Israelites that He delivered them out of slavery.  

If you don’t start there, but skip to the first commandment, you’ll forget the why behind the what.

God wants us to first love Him. If we don’t, the Bible will be informational instead of transformational.

God desires obedience that is out of an overflow of His deliverance.

When you read the Bible primarily as a road map to overcome your sins or find solutions to your problems, you focus on yourself and your flesh rather than falling in love with Jesus, with the byproduct of that being Christlikeness.

The Bible isn’t a bunch of stories, but it is flowing with a raw and real storyline leading us to Jesus.

Author Paul David Tripp says, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but your Bible isn’t arranged by topic … the Bible is essentially a story. It’s the grand narrative of redemption. It’s a story with God’s notes.”

REACT

>What do you love most about reading the Bible? 

>Why do you read the Bible?