The Word – It is Your Life!
Have you ever noticed how children go through times where you can read them a book, and suddenly, THAT book is the one which you have to read to them EVERY single time? I have never cared for the book Green Eggs and Ham. Back when my nephew loved it, we would try to skip a few pages, here and there, only to have him tell us that we missed a page. Well, would you like to take a guess which book Rachel seems to love? Yes, you got it –
Green Eggs and Ham. What is it with that book? As I pondered on that question, it dawned on me that the first clincher was that it had a character named Sam, (our cat’s name). Then, it was just the humor that children find in such a silly story line. Then it seemed that she liked the repetition because she could remember parts of it and say it along with me. Eventually the thrill of it was that she could read the whole book all by herself. It seemed that there was always something new about this book that thrilled her and gave her such joy, no matter how many times we would read that book.
Oh, that we would have that kind thrill and joy whenever we read the Word!
Oh, that we would forever see new things in the Word, each time we pick it up and read it! So often, we get caught in the trap of reading it just out of “Christian duty.” We seem to fall into this rut of reading the Word, just so we will feel like we are being a better Christian, but yet, we aren’t really getting into the life-giving spirit of which the Word was written. When is the last time that you saw the words of scripture “leap off the page” at you?
The Word of God is His love letter to us. Do you remember when you were dating your spouse? Do you remember how you would pour over the love letters or romantic cards which he bought for you? You could read them a hundred times, and each time they got better. I would bet that there were times that you read them so much that you actually memorized what he had written! This should be the same way in which we approach the Word. Jesus, precious Lover of my soul, gave His very life for me. What love! Now He’s given me a book filled with His love letters to me, and the words in this book aren’t just idle words, they are my very life! Deut. 32:47
In Phil. 2:16, Paul calls the scriptures the Word of life. Heb. 4:12 says that the Word of God is living and active. It is sharper than a two-edged sword, even penetrating to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It can judge the thoughts and attitudes of our heart. — That could very well be why many of us refuse to look at the Word when we know there is something in our heart that isn’t quite right. We don’t want this living Word pricking our hearts, convicting us of what may need to be removed from our lives, our attitudes, or our thoughts.
One thing which I have been doing for many years is “praying the scriptures.” It has caused my devotional times to be richer. When you come to a scripture where you can turn it into a prayer for yourself, do it! I have found that there is nothing as powerful in my prayer life as actually praying the Word over myself or someone else. Here is an example, taken from Proverbs 2:1-5. “Father, help me to accept Your words and to store up Your commands in my heart. Help me to turn my ear to wisdom and to apply my heart to understanding. Help me to search for insight and understanding like I am searching for hidden treasures. Fill me with the fear of the Lord and help me to find the knowledge of God.”
As I have been writing devotions, I find myself doing a lot of typing of the scriptures. This has caused those scriptures to really stick with me because when I type them, I am having to concentrate on each little word. If you find yourself struggling in this area, you might try typing some of Psalms or Proverbs and see if it helps to enrich your devotional time.
Through writing devotions and doing an in-depth Bible study, I have recently experienced a passion for the Word like I have NEVER had before. Instead of grabbing the remote in the evenings so that I can “veg” in front of the television, it’s becoming an automatic thing to pick up my Bible and some paper because I know God has something incredible to show me. When I have spare time, I am running to the Word. There have been many times in recent weeks where I have actually spent over two hours reading the Word. My heart is just overflowing with what I am learning, and the intimacy that I feel with Father is incredible! I don’t share this with you to brag about how “spiritual” I am. God knows how I still fail daily, and sometimes I fail several times. I share this because I want you to sense the passion which His precious Word has stirred up in me, and I want that passion to overflow and spark a flame in YOU!
Ps. 119 has several benefits which we can receive from knowing God’s Word.
1. We are blessed. v. 1
2. It keeps our way pure. v. 9
3. It helps us not to sin. v. 11
4. Our life is renewed. v. 25
5. We are strengthened by it. v. 28
6. We are set free. v. 32
7. It takes away our disgrace. v. 39
8. We’ll have answers for those who taunt us. v. 42
9. It gives us hope. v. 43
10. We won’t be put to shame. v. 46
11. We’ll find comfort in the Word. v. 52
12. We’ll be taught knowledge and good judgment. v. 66
13. We’ll learn to obey. v. 67
14. His Word will become precious to us. v. 72
15. His love will be a comfort. v. 76
16. We’ll learn of His faithfulness. v. 90
17. We’ll be wiser than our enemies. v. 98
18. We’ll have more insight than our teachers. v. 99
19. More understanding than the elders. v. 100
20. Wisdom is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. v. 105
21. God is our refuge and our shield. v. 114
22. We will be delivered. v. 117
23. We won’t be left to our oppressors. v. 121
24. The arrogant won’t oppress us. v. 122
25. We will have discernment. v. 125
26. Sin won’t rule over us. v. 133
27. We will be redeemed. v. 154
28. We will have peace. v. 165 — This verse is a great one. “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (NIV) We definitely live in a time where peace is a wonderful thing to have.
Do you realize that many times we may face trials because we fail to learn of God through His Word? When a sheep strays from the shepherd instead of staying nearby, the shepherd will break the sheep’s leg, training it to stay close to him. God will uses trials to “break” us, getting us to a place where we stay close to Him. By staying in the Word, we allow the Word to reprove and correct us. When we neglect the Word, God will use other methods to teach us and get our attention. Trials are one way He will teach us if we fail to get into the Word.
Precious Father, the lover of my soul, help each one of us to truly see that Your Word is more precious than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. (Ps. 119:72) Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller