In the fall of my junior year of college, I enrolled in a course that redirected the trajectory of my life. Bible for Teachers was a class designed to help us understand Scripture’s storyline and teach from within that framework.
I’ll never forget the first time Dr. Cooper paused before lowering her voice to ask, “Do you really believe God’s Word can change lives?” Since the question was clearly rhetorical, my classmates and I sat in captivated silence. Chills ran through my body, but my external silence didn’t keep my heart from screaming internally, “Yes! I do! I really do!”
I believed it because I’d seen transformation in my own life and in the lives of those around me. I couldn’t deny my own eyewitness account of God’s work through His Word.
It’s been almost five years since Dr. Cooper first posed the question, but the only change to my answer is that my “Yes” is now deeper and more confident. I’ve never been more convinced that God is both willing and able to melt hearts, open eyes, break chains, and give life to the unsuspecting and undeserving – which is all of us – through the truth of Scripture.
I mentioned that Bible for Teachers sent my life in a different direction. Before taking the class, I had no idea how well-known Bible stories like Abraham and Isaac or Joseph and his brothers fit together with the rest of Scripture to tell one cohesive story about God’s plan to rescue people through Jesus.
The whole semester was like drinking from a fire hose; I scribbled down notes as fast as I could because I didn’t want to forget a single word. By December, I shared the prophet Jeremiah’s sentiment: “Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).
Everything came back to Dr. Cooper’s original question. If I really believed God’s Word could change lives, then I wanted as many people as possible to know, understand, and obey it. I wanted people to hear it for the first time and be raised to life, since Scripture is able “to make [them] wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). And I wanted believers like myself to grow in understanding and applying Scripture, especially because it is a means by which we savor “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8).
Life has changed quite a bit since the fall of 2010. The boyfriend I had is now my husband. Tests, papers, and projects are things of the past. I call West Virginia home instead of South Carolina. In spite of all that, Dr. Cooper’s question lingers in my heart. Only now instead of sitting in silence, I shout my “Yes” of belief through this blog and the Bible study resources I’m developing.
I know there are countless others who write articles and publish curriculum, and I praise God for their work. But no one else can offer my “Yes” to Jesus. No one else can act on my belief for me. So I join my brothers and sisters in laboring side-by-side for the same gospel because I too really believe God is at work through His Word.
I’ll leave you to ponder the same question that turned my world simultaneously upside down and right-side up: Do you really believe God’s Word can change lives?
This is my “Yes” to that question. What’s yours?