Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Digging Deep: The Gift

Before we go any further with how to study the Bible, I want to pause for a second and talk about why we should study it.

The answer seems obvious enough... because the Lord commands us to. Throughout Scripture, God tells us to read the Word {Deuteronomy 17:19}, study the Word {Ezra 7:10}, share the Word {Romans 10:14-15}, obey the Word {Ezekiel 36:27}, and meditate on the Word {Psalm 1:1-2}. Not only Jesus himself, but also the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament, memorized significant portions of Scripture and were able to recite it publicly in order to share the Gospel or defend their faith. The reality is if you are not in the Bible, you are sinning.

But sometimes that perspective, although true, doesn't feel encouraging. Perhaps you desire to read your Bible, and you already feel discouraged that you don't do it often enough. When you contemplate your lack of willingness to read Scripture, you mentally add it to a long list of your sins and you feel completely deflated.

But I think there is another perspective to take when we think about reading God's Word...

{via HGTV}

It's a gift.

It's truly a gift. We don't deserve the Bible. God wrote it and gave it to us, so we could know Him and His love for us more clearly. He preserved the words for centuries and protected His story, so it could sit in our laps each day, wispy and bound in leather. Some people in the world have never heard the story. Some people only a have access to bits and pieces of the Bible. Some people don't have Scripture written in their native language. Some people whisper verses to each other because the Bible is outlawed in their country and they constantly face the threat of persecution for their belief.

To have a Bible, perhaps multiple copies, sitting in our homes is a privilege, an honor, and gift from the Lord. Don't neglect the gift. Consider it the best one you've ever received. If you received a car for your sixteenth birthday, did you leave it parked in the driveway? If someone delivered a new iPhone to your door today, would you continue to use your old phone with the cracked screen? If your spouse bought you a sweater or shoes you had been eyeing for weeks, would you wear it or would you let it sit dusty in the closet?

I speak of these worldly images only to paint a picture of a more heavenly scene. The Father loves us. One of the main expressions of that love is through the words that He ordained, preserved, and passed down to His children, generation after generation. Through His words, He wants us to know we are cherished, we are protected, and we have a lasting hope. He put these truths in ink, so we could return to them again and again. He knew we would often feel confused, unloved, or downcast, so He gave us a book to remind us we are loved. And the gift is not some old artifact. The Words are alive and active, and they can change your heart and your life every time you read them.

Accept the gift. Open the gift. Enjoy the gift.

Read the rest of the Digging Deep series here...

1 comment:

Christy said...

Loved this!! My husband and I lead a small group for church and we're currently doing a study on the importance of the Bible and how to read it. This is a "curriculum" set up by our church, so it was totally out of our control. Just a crazy coincidence that I happen to also be following these posts of yours this month! We actually read this post to our small group last night as we introduced this series. It was such a great way to introduce the importance of reading the Bible. Thank you!!! :)