The Bible and You
"I’m a reader. I’ve read many books and I’ve even read the Bible. It wasn’t that bad.”
I heard these words with surprise. She stood there talking about books and authors with such authority. The truth was I knew she was lying. No one reads the Bible and isn’t affected in some way. No one reads the Bible only to compare it to other books. If she had read the Bible she would have known that the Author was like no other.
The Bible is more than a book to be read, a document to be preserved or classical literature to be cherished. It is the voice of God to His people and a unique revelation of His character and how He deals with His most precious people. It is intended for intimate instruction and public reading. It is precise communication to the hearer.
People, for centuries, have tried to manipulate it for their own purposes and goals. In the dark ages they hid it away from the common people. Blood was spilt because of it. The message is revolutionary.
I have seen Scripture used to stifle spiritual growth. It’s been twisted and perverted to establish a powerful position or controlled to justify someone’s idea. They take pieces of it leaving what they don’t like. They do this to their own destruction. Even the evil one tried manipulating the Scriptures to make a move on Jesus.
Published research* reveals that the average Bible Consumer owns nine Bibles and is looking for more. Why? I believe it is because there is a deep sense of lack - lack of finding what they're looking for. They’re trying to grasp the message but don’t know how.
There are millions of people claiming the Bible is their guide to life but never opening the pages. They are emaciated souls holding the bread of life in their hands yet never eating of its rich supply. So they buy one more Bible. “Maybe the next one will speak to me.”
It is not how many Bibles we have, but how we handle the one in our hand that makes the difference.
It’s not read for information and knowledge alone. We don’t look for it only to meet all our pressing needs. I agree, it brings comfort, instruction and direction, but that's not all. It is a written revelation. It is life changing. It is not a “how to” book - it is a “know Him” book.
We do not control the Bible to make it come out right. The message controls us to make us come out right.
It is a privilege to all who memorize, study and meditate on Scripture. They come away knowing God. It is the loving heart of God made visible and plain in His Word.
“How? How do I get past myself to find the message?”
An intelligent, humble, careful and honest reading of the Bible will transform you. Read it as if the Author is whispering words of wisdom into ear alone. He is with you even now as you're reading these words. Read the Bible with purpose – prayerfully and out loud. Read it humbly and in a constant attitude of yieldedness. Deference to the Author is paramount. An unteachable spirit gains nothing.
The Bible is rich so don’t try taking it in with one big bite. Read it raw and bare with no commentaries. Start off with ten verses, only ten verses. Read them three times. Read it once for the eyes, second for the mind and finally for the soul. Read it prayerfully. Talking to Him as you read. Ask Him questions and let Him know the places you do not understand. Laugh, cry and sigh at what you find there.
You’ve ushered in the Living God and He has transformed you – given you a new heart. In intimacy your heart beats to the rhythm of His love. You abide in Him and His Word abides in you. Your heart burns within you.
Watch what happens. He speaks – you listen. You speak – He listens. This is the key to our communion with God. We walk away filled to over flowing grasping the abundant life. We’re ready to meet whatever happens in our world because we know, just know, we’re not alone. We have received manna for today.
I don’t know how this works. I only know it does.
Try it and see what happens. Go to the secret place, come with open hands and a yielded heart and you will find your God.
She said, “I’m a reader. I’ve read many books and I’ve even read the Bible. It wasn’t that bad.” I knew she was lying. Would you?
You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord…(Jeremiah 2:31a)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
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