Many of us revere the Bible as God's Holy Book. We cherish it as God's revelation to humanity. We recognize that God spoke through its writers in order to reveal Himself to us. We value its role in our Sunday worship services. Yet few of us truly live out the Word of God on a daily basis. Very few of us take to heart the lessons of the Bible through the daily study and meditation of God's Word.
The Bible is so much more than a Holy Book to be read from the pulpit. God gave us His Word to nourish our souls and to give us strength to live godly lives on earth. The Bible shows us our faults with the ability to cleanse and restore us. Our Bibles aren't meant to sit on our shelves in pristine condition but are meant to be worn down with daily use.
How can we witness to others about God when we remain ignorant of His very words in the Scriptures? How can we share the plan of salvation without understanding how the Bible reveals the Messiah from beginning to end? When we begin to understand the magnitude of God's Word in our own lives, we can become a living testimony to the world. What better way to proclaim the Gospel than to live it?
The Bible is food for our souls. The Bible tells us that "man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 8:3). Job said, "I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread" (Job 23:12). We work hard to stay physically fit, to eat nutritiously, to challenge our intellect. Yet when it comes to feeding of our souls, we allow ourselves to be satisfied with the crumbs from the Word of God. We are spiritually malnourished and weakened because we neglect the study of Scripture.
The Bible empowers us for life here on earth. In its words is the power of God. It gives us power over sin, power over Satan, power over temptation, power over our circumstances, power over our illnesses, and the power to change people's lives. The Word of God contains His message of salvation. Paul proclaimed, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).
The Bible serves as a mirror. Although it is difficult to confront our shortcomings, we must face them in order to mature spiritually. There is no better standard to which to compare ourselves than God's precepts. "I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path" (Psalms 119:104). The Bible will show us our complacencies, our compromises, our hypocrisies, and our double standards. The mirror points out these faults and compels us to repent.
The Word of God is also a shower that cleanses us. It does not simply point out our flaws, but provides the solutions to our problems. The Truth of God has the power to purify and cleanse. "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart" (1 Peter 1:22). When the Bible shows us our anger and hatred, the shower will give us love for the unlovable. When the Bible reveals our envy and discontentment, the shower will give us joy unspeakable. When the mirror reflects our immorality, the shower will cleanse us and lead us to purity.
Are you spiritually malnourished? Begin spending focused time in God's Word every day. Pray for God's power to work in your life as you begin to immerse yourself in His Word.
"Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens."
Excerpted from My Journal, a monthly devotional magazine from Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef.
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