As a little girl, I marveled at my mother’s bible. Its cover was worn and the corners were scuffed. Every time she picked it up a floury of pages would drop out unless she squeezed it hard with her fingers. This often happened as she was trying to get into the car juggling her handbag and keys in one hand and her decapitated bible in the other. The thin page margins were covered in her writing and the printed words were underscored and highlighted. But what I remember most was her face when people offered to buy her another bible. I could see the struggle in her eyes.
Yes, it would be nice to have a new shiny bible but this old one that was falling apart was her old faithful friend. Holding years of her relationship with God.
As I have reflected on this I started to think about the time I spend reading God’s word. I considered the quality and the quantity of time I had spent. Not as a matter of being a ‘good Christian’ but as a way of knowing my Saviour.
I have an ongoing goal to read at least 10 books during the year. I read the word every day but it’s more like little snippets than big chucks as you would do with a novel. I was really challenged to put a hold on my goal of 10 books and use that time to spend more time in God’s word.
Do you spend regular time in God’s word?
I think the reality for some of us is that we see reading the bible as an obligation as part of our faith rather than a joy. We are daunted by its size and its content.
I went through a season where I read more books ‘about’ God than His actual word! Because it was easier!
We see parts of the bible as totally irrelevant to our lives. There are so many things that are more attractive and steal our attention.
Some of us rely on the Pastor to feed us for the week? We look to the Pastor to read and study the scriptures and present to us entertaining and palatable teaching that will sustain us.
Imagine that if we only ate one meal per week? On an ongoing basis it would not be advisable for healthy growth and development, would it? So why do we have a different standard for the word of God? Isn’t His word powerful? Isn’t His word life-giving? Doesn’t His word contribute to our health?
Reading scripture is not an optional extra but a life-giving necessity!
Hebrews 4:12 talks about scripture being alive and powerful. Have you ever read a portion of scripture that has spoken directly into your circumstance? How can something written thousands of years ago speak to us today?
When we read the bible it is not just like any other book? The bible has the Spirit of God upon it! Holy Spirit will illuminate truth in it that will guide or encourage us in our lives. We are not just reading a historical account we are learning about God and His character.
I saw the struggle in my mother’s eyes when others offered to buy her a new bible. You see my mother’s bible was not just a collection of writings. Her bible was not just a book that she occasionally read. Her bible was not just a one-way conversation with God.
It contained dates and notes, revelation and significant verses. Memories of tears and triumph were within its pages. The bible was part of her and her relationship with God.
Her bible was her lifeline. Her bible was the story of her journey with God. Her bible spoke of a person desperate to know God and understand His ways.
Will you take up the challenge today, to include the bible in your everyday life?
Will you allow its pages to become your story of a life spent in a relationship with God?
Thank you for Your word. Thank You for the gift it is to me in my life. Holy Spirit help me to value and depend on it as I journey with You.