I read my Bible every day. I miss a day about as seldom as a teenager goes a day without texting. Not often.

I read my Bible because I am a Grace-Focused Optimist and it’s the Operating Manual for Grace-Focused Optimism.

Living as a Grace-Focused Optimist is living with The Christian Attitude toward life. It’s living with the optimism created by the understanding that grace means God’s way of getting glory from us (believers) is by being good to us (the meaning of grace)—all the time.[1] Grace is the habitat for this optimism about God.

Living as a Grace-Focused Optimist is living the way God wants us to live.[2] It’s what Jesus means when he says, “Have faith in God.”[3] Faith in God is optimism about God because of his grace.[4] You live by faith when you live as a Grace-Focused Optimist.

The world, the flesh, and the devil are no friendlier to optimism about God than the Sahara is to lilies. By broadcasting pessimism’s false news day in and day out, these three optimism-saboteurs do everything they can to make optimism about God seem as foolish as belief that the earth is flat. So, living by faith means fighting to keep the bush of optimism from being consumed by pessimism’s flames.

How do you do this? There’s only one way. You must focus on grace if you’re going to stay optimistic about God in a world full of pains, problems, and perils.

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The Manual for Grace-Focused Optimism

God gives us the Bible so we can stay focused on grace and maintain The Christian Attitude toward life of Grace-Focused Optimism. That’s what I mean by calling it the Manual for Grace-Focused Optimism. It focuses us on grace truths that feed, fuel, foster, freshen, and fortify our optimism that God’s way of getting glory from me is by being good to me. So, I read my Bible because it keeps my Grace-Focused Optimism alive and well.

More precisely, six grace enticements draw me to my Bible as irresistibly as roots are drawn to water:

Grace Enticement One: I read my Bible because it focuses me on the fact that I am a Grace Person.

It reminds me that my identity is a grace identity, my existence is a grace existence, my habitat is a grace habitat.[5] It assures me that God has brought me into existence, out of love and solely for the purpose of getting glory from me by being good to me simply because he chooses to do so.[6]

I need to focus on this daily. My Bible focuses me on it. So I read my Bible every day.

Grace Enticement Two: I read my Bible because it focuses me on the truth that God is always the One dealing with me.

Whether by story (as with Joseph’s story in Genesis 37-50), song (as in Psalms such as Psalm 23), or statement (as in Paul’s assertion in Romans 11:36), my Bible reminds me that God is behind everything that happens to me just as a novelist is behind the characters, conflicts, and challenges his novel’s hero faces.

I need to focus on this daily. My Bible focuses me on it. So I read my Bible every day.

Grace Enticement Three: I read my Bible because it focuses me on the truth that the God Who is always dealing with me is my heavenly Father. Calvary is the adoption agency where he made me his child through Jesus.[7] It’s as my Father (my Abba!)—not my Creator, not my Judge, not even merely as my Friend—that he deals with me all the time.[8]

I need to focus on this daily. My Bible focuses me on it. So I read my Bible every day.

Grace Enticement Four: I read my Bible because it focuses me on the truth that my heavenly Father follows his Grace Policy in all of his dealings with me.

His Grace Policy is his determination to be good to me in time and eternity by making me more and more like Jesus.[9] All of his dealings with me focus on this glorious goal as relentlessly, continuously, emphatically, and determinedly as pro golfers focus on the goal of winning as many Majors as they can. My privileges are grace privileges. My problems are grace problems. My pains are grace pains. My pleasures are grace pleasures.[10]

I need to focus on this daily. My Bible focuses me on it. So I read my Bible every day.

Grace Enticement Five: I read my Bible because it focuses me on the truth that my heavenly Father’s Grace Policy includes his Grace Provision of all the help I need to live in a way that glorifies him and brings good into my life.

He is always ready to help me.[11] To cite just a few of the helps he gives me, He helps me through the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and promises that speak to any and every situation in which I find myself.[12]

I need to focus on this daily. My Bible focuses me on it. So I read my Bible every day.

Grace Enticement Six: I read my Bible because it focuses me on the truth that my heavenly Father is eager for me to stay in fellowship with him every day, all day long.

He sent Jesus so that he could give me the abundant life of joy, peace, poise, and strength that comes from having him involved in my life from the time I wake until the time I sleep.[13] He assures me nothing can separate me from his love, not even my failure, foolishness, fickleness and faithlessness.[14] He is always ready to forgive me when I sin[15] and help me when I’m in a self-made mess.[16]

Being the weak man that I am, I need to focus on this daily. My Bible focuses me on it. So I read my Bible every day.

The Grace Book

In sum, I read my Bible every day because it is the Grace Book assuring me that the Grace God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has included me in his Grace Purpose, follows his Grace Policy with me, assists me with his Grace Power, accompanies me throughout my life with his Grace Presence, clings to me with Grace Persistence, and will complete me with Grace Perfection.

Reading my Bible this way fills me with Grace Praise and motivates me to Grace Purity. In other words, it’s God’s way of getting glory from me by being gracious to me.

I read my Bible every day because I am a Grace-Focused Optimist and it is the Operating Manual for Grace-Focused Optimism.

 

[1] Genesis 50:20; Psalm 23:6; Matthew 7:11; Romans 8:28.

[2] Romans 8:17-39; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 2:20.

[3] Mark 11:22.

[4] Matthew 8:5-13.

[5] Romans 6:14.

[6] Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:3-14; 1 Thessalonians 1:3-10.

[7] Galatians 4:4-7.

[8] Hebrews 12:5-11.

[9] Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:3; Philippians 3:20-21; Revelation 20:4.

[10] Psalm 23:6; Jeremiah 32:40-41.

[11] Psalm 46:1; Matthew 7:7-11.

[12] Galatians 4:6; Hebrews 4:15-16; 2 Peter 1:4.

[13] John 10:10; 1 John 1:1-4.

[14] Romans 8:38-39.

[15] 1 John 1:9.

[16] Genesis 12:10-4; Jonah 1, 2; John 21:15-19.

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