Anyone who is genuinely committed to knowing God, experiencing His power at work in practical ways, and being fruitful for His pleasure and glory must ultimately consider what he or she will do in the area of reading His Word, the Bible.
Reading God’s Word allows us, of course, a chance to learn a great deal ABOUT things like the history of Creation (especially Abraham’s descendents), the earliest days of the Church, heroes of the faith, and even future events through its prophetic view forward.
But you cannot find fulfillment or fruitfulness merely in knowing ABOUT these things. The Bible has been disclosed to us to do far more than tell us ABOUT God. It is a divinely inspired and divinely compiled love letter from the heart of God to you and me to catalyze our relationship with Himself. This love letter from God is signed with His Son’s blood on a cold, hard cross. This love letter from our Father in heaven is sealed with the coming of the Holy Spirit into our hearts so that we may be pulled out of the drudgery of what constitutes only a physical and temporary existence and instead spurs us onwards to a “happily ever after” with Him. This love letter opens our minds and our hearts to the fact that the one and only God of Creation works still today in the real world around us in the lives of ordinary people.
“My soul faints with longing for Your salvation, but I have put my hope in Your Word…. Your Word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; You established the earth, and it endures…. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your Word” (Psalm 119: 81, 89-90, 114 NIV).
If you really want to know God, then commit yourself to the daily reading of His Word. More than that, drink it in by pondering it, considering it, and discussing it. Inasmuch as you make it a part of your daily “diet”, and do so with an openness in your heart to the working of the Holy Spirit, you will find yourself increasingly enamored with its divine Author.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NIV).
Who is this God Who set into motion all of Creation and placed within its bounds humanity as its master (see Genesis 1:27-30)? Who is this Holy One Who gives His Law to mortal men and beckons them to step out of the ordinary into the infinite expanse of the eternal (see Exodus 20:1-20)? Who is this Savior Who forgives sin and binds up the broken hearted, giving them hope and a faithful promise of a perfect tomorrow beyond the grim grip of the grave (see Luke 4:17-19)?
If you really want to know God… then you really must seek Him through this amazing revelation of Himself. If you really want to begin to live in freedom, then you really must learn the thoughts of God and tap into a perspective that transcends the limits of human eyesight and even human imagination. If you really want to live a meaningful life that will count for more than a few dozen years of vainly trying to find fulfillment in temporal things, then you really need to come face to face with God through His Word and see what He has to say about you, your life, and your destiny in Christ Jesus.
And as He feeds you spiritual manna from His Scriptures, share this “bread” with others in your church and small groups. Find other believers in Jesus who are also committed to growth and service in God’s kingdom and then let what the Lord is giving you challenge and transform them as He, in turn, reaches out to you through them. It is an amazing fact for God’s people that when God’s Word is being shared generously in their midst, it can build movements that radically transform cultures and societies. For one to keep a pearl from God’s promises for himself, he’ll have only one pearl. But if he shares it with others and they share what they are seeing in God’s Word with him, he’s not only lost nothing, but has also gained an incalculable treasure that nourishes his spirit, feeds his soul, challenges his mind, and spills over into his work, play, and family life with a wealth of joy, peace, hope, confidence, and thanksgiving that will point others to the only real source of hope the world has: Jesus Christ.
Seek then to meet the Lord in the Bible. Look for Him to speak in a “still, small voice” to your hungry spirit and know that you are precious in His sight (see 1 Kings 19:11-12 & Isaiah 30:20-21). As such, trust Him to show you Himself in His holy Word and let His holy Word show His love through you.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NIV).
powerful writing, Thom. My meditation this morning was "The first and greatest commandment ... love God with all your heart, strength, soul...." It is not possible to love God enough but I pray for the grace to love him daily more and more. Thank you.