I think the only reasonable explanation is that I simply have not been paying attention. Since I was a teenager, I have tried to consistently read my Bible, and since I was a teenager, I have failed after a few short weeks of relative success. My husband has opened my eyes to the innumerable advantages of knowing one’s Bible; he knows the Bible so well, it tends to annoy me more than anything else. My husband seems to have a verse in his arsenal for every complaint I have, which results in a much less satisfying venting session.
Don’t get me wrong: there have been plenty of times in my life where I have relied upon the Bible as it is supposed to be used, a weapon against the enemy and a teaching tool for every situation I could possibly encounter. However, probably even more frequently than loving the Bible, I have simply been indifferent to it, either picking it up out of obligation or leaving it to collect dust on my nightstand. As if a Bible’s purpose is to only catch one’s eye as they roll over to switch off the lamp for the evening, like it was nothing more than an inanimate knick-knack.
Inanimate? The Bible? That’s the biggest piece of nonsense any of us are going to face today. The Bible, according to (yep you guessed it) the Bible, is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). Hear that with me one more time: The Bible is GOD-BREATHED. Period. Need I say more? It is more alive than me or you, because it has always been and it will always be. In the 2000 years since we heard God’s word come out of the mouth of the Savior, much has changed. Heck, everything has changed, but the word has not; God’s promises have not; the life within God’s words has not.
I have diligently sought a personal relationship with Jesus Christ all my life. I have been on a mountaintop following a valley and I have been in the valley following a mountaintop. Jesus has been so close I could almost touch Him, and so far that I was fairly certain He never existed in the first place. Paul says in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” In order to have faith in Jesus Christ, I must hear and apply His word to my life. I must treat it like it is more important than my lunch, because it is. And anyone who knows me will testify without hesitation, my lunch is of pivotal importance to my sanity and my humanness.
In John 4, Jesus tells His disciples, when they are concerned He has not eaten, that his food comes from doing His Father’s will. He goes on to urge His followers (that’s us!) not to hesitate to harvest more believers, to evangelize the world. Where do we find the strength, as well as the ammunition, to bring more people to Christ? The Bible! We are to devour God’s words because they are life. We cannot walk a Christian life without them.
In recent weeks, I have finally begun to treat the Bible like my very life depends upon it, and something amazing has happened: my very life has started to depend upon it. I read each word carefully, always aware that God is love and God cannot break promises. Therefore, everything He promises me through His word is a guarantee. I just need to accept it without hesitation.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 God tells me that “I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.” This is an irrefutable truth, and I will approach each day with a fresh and powerful mind.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” This is an irrefutable truth, and I will not only accept my weaknesses, but delight in them.
In John 1:5 God says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” This is an irrefutable truth, and I will never fear the night.
In Philippians 4:8 it is said, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” This is an irrefutable truth, and I will reject all thoughts that are not from God, every thought that is not worthy of praise.
You see, Christians, if we approach each day as if all His words are true, we will have no choice but to feast on them—through memorization and meditation—each and every day. This will be required for us to sustain any sort of purpose, any sort of direction.
The Bible will become an essential appendage, and we will begin to wonder how we ever treated it like it was optional. So, let’s open the Bible, and let God’s truths wash over us and fill us up, so we will never again be thirsty.
His words are life. Without them, there is no life at all.