Weekly Sabbath Survey
Reading the Bible — 9-5-2015
I have hidden Your Word in my heart, so I might not sin against You. Open my eyes, that I may behold the wonderful things of Your Law. Psalm 119:11 and 119:18
We touch on the importance of reading our Bible from time to time, but maybe we don’t emphasize enough the “why” of doing it. Growing up, I saw my grandmother reading her Bible all the time. She watched TV only a little— Lawrence Welk, Liberace, and Dinah Shore. Then, she was back to her Bible. She was still reading it using a very large magnifying glass at 101 years of age when she died.
The verses quoted above are loaded with need-to-know information. David is saying God’s written word (His ‘law’) has ‘wonderful things.’ In it are promises to His people, stories showing how He interacted with them, and with those who were not His people. It showcases His mercy, His love, His power, His anger. Did you ever think it might be very beneficial to know what we do that makes God happy or angry? Reading His Word reveals Him to us. Especially the words printed in RED. Psalm 119 reveals so much to us, like ‘hiding’ God’s word in our heart might keep us from sinning. Isn’t that interesting? But how does it do that?
As we read, our mind and spirit is absorbing and recording what we read. Verses we can not quote from memory are in us and able to send subliminal messages to us. We might call it our conscience or an unnamed something that makes us do what we do and don’t what we don’t. The transforming power of God’s word is indisputable. We hide it in us, even from ourselves, meaning that we have not actually memorized it, and yet its power is there to protect and guide. It’s not just memorizing like the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, or being able to quote the whole 23rd Psalm at funerals. At times, actually remembering something you read that pops into your mind at just the right time. If we don’t hide it in our memory bank, it’s tough to make withdrawals when we need them.
Another aspect of the power of God’s word this is: The Bible is alive. It is the only book that can boast this claim—with the possible exception of satanic writings that may have demonic spiritual power. This power of life in God’s truths is referred to as “revelation.” It is the spiritual power for God’s Holy Spirit illuminating (revealing) the written words in such a way that they are ALIVE in the reader’s understanding. The reader has a clarity of what is read that he/she did not have before. Because we are always growing and changing, the Bible is always changing with us, transforming us as we go along, making the difficult parts easier for us to “get”. Reading it is a search for hidden treasures. After many years, I still come across verses that speak to me like I had never seen them before. They jump out at me. This is the part about the Bible being alive. The actual words don’t change but the meaning of them can. We can read it like my grandmother did and still learn new things as the years go by. This revelation happens as we grow in understanding and obedience. That obedience is a critical part of understanding. If we won’t do what He shows us once, He isn’t likely to show us much else until we obey what we already know. It’s our faith in action. [James 1:22]
While we are supposed to have teachers and preachers to help us, we also are supposed to learn on our own with the Holy Spirit teaching us. Call it “homework” just like in school. We are taught in meetings, but we still need to do our homework. It is a large part of our training and having continual strength in the Holy Spirit. Call it spiritual food. To be strong in the power of His might we must make sure we are doing everything we can to be spiritually well-nourished and ready to serve the Lord when it is convenient and when it is not. What preachers and teachers give us is mostly a “snack” — what God serves in our private study is a FULL COURSE MEAL.
This book, The Bible, has been cherished by millions of people over thousands of years. It remains the No.1 best selling book of ALL time. We must not limit it to a dusting off on Sunday so we can carry it to church. It is useless if it is NOT READ.
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please) Copyright November 2014
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