That Bible looks fantastic on your freshly polished coffee table. Maybe you notice the one on the shelf every now and then, smiling to yourself that you're part of a Bible-believing home. There’s one buried in your car somewhere from last Sunday…“or maybe I left that one on the pew…not sure…guess I’ll find out next time we go to worship.” Oh, but there's also the Bible app on my phone...so it's all good. It's always there just in case I need it. Never mind the fact that when I'm sliding my apps closed before I go to bed, it's rarely one that I see open...except on Sundays and maybe Wednesdays.
If you’re only cracking the cover or opening the app once or even twice a week in the presence of others, how are you going to feel prepared to be held accountable for the teachings of 66 books? No, I’m not talking about Bible memory work being on any kind of “heaven entrance exam.” I’m talking about loving the Word of God enough to HUNGER and THIRST for its wisdom…to long for its message to sink into your mind and then into your daily life. Consider some of the DESIRE language for God’s Word that we encounter in Psalm 119.
“Your Word I have treasured in my heart…” (v. 11)
“Revive me according to Your Word…” (v. 25)
“I shall run the way of Your commandments…” (v. 32)
“Incline my heart to Your testimonies…” (v. 36)
“I long for Your precepts…” (v. 40)
“The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold & silver pieces.” (v. 72)
“My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word.” (v. 81)
“How sweet are Your words to my taste! Sweeter than honey…” (v. 103)
“I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Your commandments.” (v. 131)
“My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.” (v. 148)
Is that the language of sitting on a shelf, on a pew, or somewhere in the car? God doesn’t ask us to make the Bible an idol. But it is His main form of communication to us, containing the words of life. Now if that thick leather cover with 66 books, law codes, genealogies, and big theological words intimidates you…that’s natural. And you’re not alone. So over the next few weeks I hope to provide some insights into a basic approach to reading and understanding the Bible. And the key is going to be in swallowing it one bite at a time.
More to come...
To His Glory,
Preaching & Outreach Minister