The 66 Books of the Bible in 37 Words

The 66 Books of Bible in 37 Words (Welcome to the Bible series) via www.JeanWilund.com

Dipping Our Toes Into Each Book of the Bible

To dive in and fully explain each book of the Bible would take, well, a book. Instead, we’re merely going to dip our toes into the 66 books of the Bible, not bathe in them.

I’ll give you a super-short summary of each book followed by a less-than-super-short summary.

But first, let’s consider the overarching message of the entire Bible.

Here’s what the Bible is about — its main message — in 37 words:

God created man so that we may glorify Him by knowing and enjoying Him forever. This was only made possible through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit.

Stories versus Purpose

Everything within the pages of the Bible either points forward, backward, or at Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, which He endured in order to set us free from sin and make us alive to Him. Forever.

As you read through the Bible, keep in mind that every book is another facet of this overarching story.

The purpose of each book is to serve as another part of God’s plan of salvation, in its own unique way.

For example, Genesis chronicles some of the most fascinating events in history – the creation of the world, a global flood, and a brother sold into slavery becoming second in command of the greatest nation on earth.

The stories are important and amazing, but Genesis’ purpose isn’t to tell the history of the world. That’s not what it’s about.

Genesis contains world history, but it’s not about world history.

Perhaps the following example will clarify.

The Proposal

When a man proposes to his beloved, no matter how he words his proposal, it’s about “Will you marry me?”

He may tell her about the first time he saw her, when he realized he loved her, and how she’s changed his life. These wonderful memories lead up to and support the purpose of his many words, but they aren’t the purpose.

He’s not just reminding her why and how much he loves her. He’s convincing her she ought to say, “YES, I’ll marry you!”

All 66 books of the Bible contain unique stories of the history of the world, its future, and God’s workings throughout time and events. But that’s not their purpose.

The Purpose

The words contained in each book support The Purpose, which is that God created man so we may glorify Him by knowing and enjoying Him forever, which was only made possible through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit.

I’ve tried to keep this purpose in mind as I give you a super short summary and a less-than-super-short summary of each book of the Bible.

Shall we start at the very beginning? I’ve heard it’s a very good place to start.

We shall, but you’ll have to wait until next time.

Until then, remember:

God created man so that we may glorify Him by knowing and enjoying Him forever. This was only made possible through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit.

I hope this truth encourages you. And I hope that you’ve embraced it, for there’s literally no other way to God than through Jesus Christ.

It’s only after we accept the salvation Jesus bought for us on the cross that we can know and enjoy Him forever.

We can know about Him, but we can’t know Him apart from a relationship with Him, which we only receive by God’s grace through our faith in Christ.

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Welcome to The Bible: See the Big Picture to Increase Understanding and Reverse Confusion

Welcome to The Bible: So Much to Confuse and So Little to Understand -- Wait a Minute. Strike That. Reverse It. -- See the Big Picture to Increase Understanding and Reverse Confusion (via www.JeanWilund.com)

Welcome to the Bible Tour — And Willy Wonka

I’m starting the New Year with a Bible Tour blog series: The Welcome to the Bible series. And naturally, I’m introducing the series with Willy Wonka. 

Ok, maybe not so naturally. In fact, this may be the first article you’ve ever read about the Bible and Willy Wonka. 

In case you’re not familiar with Willy Wonka, he’s a crazy character in a book and two movies, which tell about his bizarre search for a new owner of his chocolate factory. He gives out golden tickets to lucky winners to tour his factory where they meet Oompa Loompas, geese that lay golden eggs, and other oddities. 

Fans of the original Willy Wonka movie may recognize this Wonka line that inspired today’s title:

Willy Wonka: We have so much time and so little to see. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.

The Bible can often make us feel like we’re on a Willy Wonka tour — overwhelmed and confused.

A burning bush? A talking donkey? A crucified Savior? (How can a dead Savior save?)

The book of Revelation alone will leave you wide-eyed and scratching your head. 

It can be confusing and surreal. Until we see the Big Picture. 

The Big Picture reverses our confusion, turns it into clarity, and leaves us amazed at God and His unfathomable ways.

What’s the Big Picture?

The Big Picture is both a Who and a what. 

God reveals the Big Picture throughout the Bible, but most famously in John 3:16: 

For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish, but have eternal life.

The Big Picture is that God created man so we may come to know and enjoy Him forever, which was only made possible through the death and life of His Son Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In short, the Big Picture is Jesus Christ, who is our salvation. 

From first to last, it’s all about Christ.

The Red Thread

I often refer to the Big Picture as The Red Thread

The Red Thread of Jesus runs through the entire Bible from the first book — Genesis — to the last — Revelation. 

It reveals God’s mysterious plan to restore man to Himself through Jesus.

How we’re able to know Jesus personally and receive His salvation is the heart of the Bible and will be an important part of our tour. 

Join the Tour

We’ll get started on our tour in the next post by looking at some Bible basics and how the Big Picture drives these basics.

By the end of our tour, my hope is that you’ll feel confident in being able to approach the Bible with more understanding. And I pray you’ll know Jesus Christ. 

You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.
St. Augustine 

From our first cry to our final breath, Jesus is our greatest longing. He’s everything we’ve always wanted.

Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.

Charlie: What happened?

Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.

 

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Enoch Walked With God & Had a Methuselah Moment — You Can, Too! (Part 2)

Enoch walked with God & had a Methuselah Moment (You Can, Too) Part 2 via www.JeanWilund.com

My Methuselah Moment

Ever had a Magic Moment, the kind that the Drifters sing about?

I have. But even better than a Magic Moment is a Methuselah Moment a moment in time when your walk with God changes forever. 

By that I mean, you walk with God. If you walk away from God, that moment would more likely be considered a Gomer Moment. I’ll have to write about that another time.

My first Methuselah Moment came when I first heard the Gospel message. I’d grown up hearing about Jesus. I celebrated His birthday every December and His resurrection every spring. I loved Him because every time we celebrated something for Him, I was the one who got presents.

Finally, in 1973, God drew me to Himself and led me to a summer youth camp where I heard the Gospel for the first time. I embraced it and began walking with God.

My next Methuselah Moment came when I saw The Red Thread — the presence of Jesus and/or His Work woven from eternity past into eternity future. 

The moment I saw a timeline showing Jesus woven through God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation, I was stunned. It was like I’d found the missing piece of Christianity that made Christianity stop seeming so hard. It changed my walk with God. Forever.

I saw God in a new light. Actually, in more light — as if a veil had lifted. I saw His heartbeat — Jesus.

I saw that Christianity isn’t about living a certain way and then going to heaven. It’s about Jesus. Everything from eternity past into eternity future is about Jesus Christ and His amazing love for the Father and the world. It all starts and ends with Jesus.

When I say it’s all about Jesus, don’t think I’m leaving out God or the Holy Spirit. They’re the inseparable three-in-one.

From first to last, it’s all about Christ, who lives to glorify God and is revealed by the Spirit.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
~ Revelation 22:13

Enoch’s Methuselah Moment

We don’t know what God said to Enoch, but I wonder if his Methuselah Moment came when he saw The Red Thread. There’s no written record that he “saw Jesus threaded through God’s plan for the world,” but we know from Jude 14-15 that he prophesized about Jesus’ Second Coming. And we know Enoch’s ancestors and descendants saw The Red Thread, even though the full reality of Jesus’ first coming remained a mystery.

Adam and Eve received the promise that Jesus would come to save the world from sin (Genesis 3:15).

Abel discovered the importance of the right sacrifice, which points to Jesus, the perfect and final sacrifice (Genesis 4:3-7; Hebrews 11:4).

After Enoch, his grandson Noah experienced the joy of being saved due to being counted as righteous through faith (Genesis 7:1; Hebrews 11:7).

Surely, as Enoch walked with God for 300 years, he came to know God’s heartbeat — that God would bring everything into unity under Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10) and give Him first place in everything (Colossians 1:18).

Walk Like Enoch

Enoch had a unique relationship with God in those days, but we have something he didn’t. We have God’s Word in written form — God’s Word, the Bible.

If we dig into God’s Word — and let it dig into us — it will change us.

To walk with God like Enoch, we must walk with the Word.

One of the best ways I’ve found to walk with the Word is The Red Thread Way.

I’ll post about that next, so please check back. 


Share this post and check back for our next look at Enoch’s Walk with God & Methuselah Moment. If you missed Part 1, Click Here.

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Enoch walked with God & had a Methuselah Moment (You Can, Too) Part 2 via www.JeanWilund.com




The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, You Don’t Have To – Christ Holds Us Together

Watch & Read: The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, We Don't Have to. Christ Holds Us Together. (www.JeanWilund.com) Colossians 1:17

Life Unravels

Life unravels. And when it does, so do we. 

Sometimes we get hit in the heart by the loss of a loved one or a broken relationship.

Other times fear smacks us straight between the eyes, like when the doctor uses the “C” word.

Still, other times life blind-sides us from behind. Or maybe a car does. A literal car. That was my story, and I tell it in the short video below.

I hope my story will encourage you — or at least make you laugh. And laughter is good medicine when life unravels.

Transcript:

Good evening, ladies. Y’all look so sharp. I’m used to looking out and seeing hair bows and dirty faces. I’m a preschool teacher, so if I wipe your cheek, I’m sorry. I hope you’ll forgive me.

Now in my class, I have one main rule. Before I tell them a Bible story, they have to find The Red Thread.

So why am I hiding a red thread?

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comI got the idea years ago when I was studying the Old Testament. I started to notice that from the beginning of time, God had orchestrated the smallest details to the biggest blunders and even outright atrocities of man and nations to fit His divine purposes.

And through every single bit of it, He wove — like a thread — stunning reflections of His Son Jesus Christ.

If we see everything as wrapped in a red thread — our loved ones, our going a little crazy The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comworld, ourselves — wrapped in a red thread of Christ’s presence, and power, and sovereignty, that’s a game changer.

I wanted my preschool kids to learn that early. So I taught them.

One day, after they found the red thread, I made a mistake.

I said, “Would one of you please go get that thread and bring it to me?”

Now, if you’ve been in a group of preschoolers, you know what I just unleashed.

Preschool anarchy.

Hands are waving everywhere. “Mrs. Jean! Look at me! Me! Pick me!”

the-red-thread-ill-get-itLittle Michael and Joey? They’re gone, and they’re fighting it out. “I’ll get it! I’ll get it! I’ll get it!”

Little Suzy and Mary Beth? They’re laid out all over the floor wailing. “I wanted to get it! I wanted to get it!”

Y’all, my class had just unraveled over a six-inch piece of thread.

But seriously. Aren’t we just a little bit like that when our life unravels? Usually — hopefully — not over a six-inch piece of thread, although sometimes I must confess to that at times.

But usually, it’s the big things.

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comLike when my mom called and said she had terminal cancer.  My hands went straight up to God.

God, do you see me? Do you see my mom?

And then when my dad was diagnosed with dementia the year my mom died, I was laid out on the floor, wailing.

I don’t want this! I didn’t want this for my dad!

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comAnd then, one day, that one thing too many happened.

I’d been white-knuckle driving down I-20 in blinding rain for 2 hours, and I needed a break.

So I’m pulling off Exit 113, when I remember the restaurants are on Exit 114So I whip it back onto the highway just to face a sea of red brake lights.

Seriously, God? Cause I was just getting off, and You let me get back on?

And then BLAM!

A white cargo van plowed into the back of me and shattered my windshield.

And, Ladies, I pole vaulted past unraveled and went straight into crazy.

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.com“WHY? WHY, GOD? You knew this was gonna happen, and You could have stopped me. You could have made me take that exit, and YOU DIDN’T! YOU DIDN’T!”

And then God broke through my crazy into my heart, and He said, “Yes, Jean, I could have stopped you, but I didn’t. Do you trust me?”

“Ugh. I’m trying.”

“Look for The Red Thread.”

So I thought about Daniel. Man, his life unraveled. God let him be thrown into a lion’s den. But He trusted God, and Jesus was with him.

I thought about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their lives unraveled. God let them be thrown into a fiery furnace. But they trusted Him, and Jesus was with them.

I’m just in a busted-up van on I-20. I can trust Him.

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comAnd that’s when I saw the Red Thread.

I was wrapped up in it.

I was wrapped up in the presence, and the power, and the peace of Christ, and I knew I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

Ladies, Colossians 1:17 tells us, Jesus is before all things, and in Him — in Him — all things hold together.

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comYes, life may unravel, but we don’t have to because Christ holds us together.


 “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
~ Colossians 1:17


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What are you facing today?

Wrap it in the Red Thread of Christ and know that Jesus is with you. He’s holding you. 

Watch & Read: The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, We Don't Have to. Christ Holds Us Together. (www.JeanWilund.com) Colossians 1:17If you enjoyed this, I hope you’ll share it with others who need to feel Christ’s presence today, too.

Thanks!

Jean




The Tower of Babel, Pentecost, & The Red Thread (Part 4) ~ Jesus in the Old Testament

The Tower of Babel, Pentecost, & The Red Thread ~ Finding Jesus in the Old Testament

The Tower of Babel, Pentecost, & The Red Thread ~ Finding Jesus in the Old Testament

 

When God came down to stop the people from building the Tower of Babel, He wasn’t being a fun-sucker. (Genesis 11:1-9)

He was protecting them from the danger of exalting their own name.

(In my series What Was So Wrong With The Tower of Babel? we looked at those dangers. If you don’t know what was so wrong with the Tower of Babel, and why we should even care, check it out.)

Now we’re going to look at how God, in the midst of all the drama, masterfully wove into these events several Red Thread Clues.[†]

Quick Review of The Tower of Babel:

After the flood, God had given Noah and his sons the command to spread out and fill the earth. (Genesis 9:1)

Many basically responded, “We choose ‘No to that.” (Genesis 11:1-9)

Instead, they settled in Shinar and began to build a tower to their own “great name and praise.”

Therefore, God came down and confused their language so that no one could understand each other.

Having lost the power to communicate, they lost the ability to build the tower to their own greatness — and they got the message that God — and His name — was greater.

God then scattered them out across the earth as He’d originally told them to do.

Now, let’s fast forward from Genesis to the book of Acts to see some Red Thread Clues.

Red Thread Clues: Babel & Pentecost

(If you’d like to open up to the scene in Acts in a new tab, click here: Acts 1:1-11 & Acts 2.)

Pentecost was originally solely a Jewish holiday, also known as Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. Think of it as kind of a Thanksgiving Day celebration.

In Leviticus 23:9-22, God commanded the Jews to count fifty days from the Feast of First Fruits, hence the origin of the name Pentecost.

Eventually Pentecost also commemorated the day God gave the Law at Mt. Sinai in the days of Moses.

At the time of Christ, Jewish law required the men to come to Jerusalem from wherever they lived for Pentecost.

Jesus rose from the grave on the day of the Feast of First Fruits, and fifty days later on Pentecost, the believers were gathered together in Jerusalem and received the Holy Spirit, which Christ had promised to them.

Pentecost is now a Jewish Holiday & a Christian Holiday.

 

It doesn’t take long before the events in Acts 1-2 begin to reflect the Tower of Babel — only opposite.

On the day of Pentecost, all the believers (those who believed in Jesus Christ for their salvation from sin) were meeting together. Suddenly the sound of a rushing wind filled the place and what looked like “tongues” of fire rested on each of them.

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)

At the Tower of Babel, God came down and removed their “power.”

At Pentecost, God’s Spirit came down and filled them with His power. 

 

Each one of them, now filled with God’s Spirit, began to speak in other languages by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)At the Tower of Babel, the people all spoke one language until God confused their language, leaving them unable to communicate with each other.

At Pentecost, God’s Spirit gave the believers the ability to speak and understand other languages.

 

(How much would you have loved for God to have done that for you when you were in your foreign language class? After three years of a language some have still only mastered counting to ten. Did you know I speak German?)

At Pentecost, devout Jews from every nation were living in Jerusalem. (These weren’t believers, but rather Jews dedicated to the Law of Moses, but who refused to believe the things Moses wrote about Jesus.)

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)At the Tower of Babel, God scattered the people across the world, creating different nations.

At Pentecost, God brought the Jews together into Jerusalem from every nation.

When the Jews heard the sound of the rushing wind, they ran to see what was happening. (That had to have been quite a sound for it to travel around that crowded city.)

When the Jews heard their own native languages being spoken by Galileans, who shouldn’t have been able to speak their tongues, they stood in shock.

(It makes me wonder how they knew they were Galilean. Was it like hearing a Southerner speaking French? No matter how well a Southerner knows the foreign vocabulary, they’re probably still going to sound like they’re from Paris, Tennessee — not Paris, France.) 

What were the believers saying in these many languages?

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)At the Tower of Babel, everyone spoke one language and talked about the wonderful things they were doing and would do. They exalted their own name.

At Pentecost, the believers spoke languages from every nation, all exalting God’s great name and the things He’s done.

Of course, those who perhaps didn’t want to deal with the truth that they crucified the Son of God, grasped for an excuse.

“They’re just drunk, that’s all!” they said.

How ridiculous is that?

Alcohol impairs the ability of someone who’s drunk to speak even their own language well. No one is suddenly fluent in Swahili after one too many beers.

This large group of believers had not come together at 9:00 am to drink Mimosas and then instantly became fluent in the languages of every nation.

Despite some detractors, many listened to the message with humble hearts. They asked, “Brothers, what should we do?” (Acts 2:37)

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)The people in Babel had heard God’s message and rejected it, refusing to “scatter and fill the earth.” Their hearts were full of pride.

The people in Jerusalem heard the message and accepted it. They trusted in Christ, repented of their sins, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Their hearts were humble.

About 3,000 were saved that day.

Fast forward to Acts 8.

God once again scattered the people, but this time for a different reason.

“. . . And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”
~ Acts 8:1

God didn’t create the persecution; He just used it. (He’s good at using man’s own evil choices to fulfill His purposes.)

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)In Babel, God sent the people off in shame and confusion, babbling as they went.

In Jerusalem, God sent the believers off in unity and in the power of His Spirit – no babbling – to proclaim the singular message of God’s incredible grace in offering salvation to every nation through His Son Jesus Christ.

The Lesson For Us Today:

♦ When we humble ourselves before the Lord, we’ll be blessed.

♦ When we choose not to humble ourselves and exalt ourselves instead, God is able to humble us for our good, and His glory.

♦ We must rest in the sovereignty of God. His ways don’t always make sense to us, but He always knows what’s the absolute best in every situation.

♦ God is exceedingly patient. He’s willing to wait thousands of years between giving a promise and its fulfillment. Don’t let doubt steal you of your joy as you wait for God to move in a situation. 

All of the Old Testament prophets eagerly awaited the first coming of Christ into the world, and all were blessed, but none lived to see it. We must not lose our eternal perspective. God’s timing is best. 

♦ When we learn to rest in Him and listen to Him, we’ll follow Him wherever He leads without regret.

May the Name that is above all names be exalted!

And what a difference it makes when the right name is exalted: 

“They worshiped together at the Temple each day,
met in homes for the Lord’s Supper,
and shared their meals with great joy and generosity —

all the while praising God and
enjoying the goodwill of all the people.
And each day the Lord added to their fellowship
those who were being saved.”
~ Acts 2:46-47

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If you’ve enjoyed this post and series, I hope that you’ll share it with others via FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, and good old fashioned email. (Ha! Email is now actually old fashioned!)

QUESTION: How has God taken you from a Tower of Babel mentality to a Day of Pentecost heart? (Let me hear from you in the comment section.)

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[†] (BACK TO POST) A Red Thread Clue is a term I came up with to lump together any picture of Jesus Christ revealed in the Old Testament.

They can range from official prophecies given by the great prophets of God to mere reflections of Christ in the works or character of those we see in the Old Testament.

God left prophecies, types, and symbols of Christ throughout the lives and history of the Old Testament so that those living in the time when Christ came into the world in the form of man would have no excuse not to recognize Him as the Promised One — the Messiah.

This was important because many individuals, who came before and after Jesus came, claimed to be the Messiah, but only Jesus Christ fulfilled every single prophecy, type, and symbol.

Over two thousands years later, we can open the Bible and see how God worked every detail of every life to fulfill His purposes, including the purpose of pointing those living in the days of the Old Testament forward to His Son Jesus Christ, and those who’ve lived in the New Testament days back to Jesus and the Red Thread Clues of His Coming.

There are still many Red Thread Clues in the Old Testament that have yet to be fulfilled. Their fulfillment will come when Christ returns for the church, brings judgment upon those who have rejected His salvation, and sets up His Heavenly Kingdom.