I’ve been reading a book with Kara, our intern @FBC, called, “Living by the Book.” It’s a book concerned teaching people how to read the Bible. This book and my sermons from Colossians have been a great reminder of the importance of God’s Word in my daily life. Even when I’m in a really good routine of reading scripture, the disciple very easily becomes a obligatory time slot in the morning. It is amazing how often I can read the text of the Bible and take nothing away from it. I have been reminded by this book and by Colossians, that the scriptures are deep and filled with wisdom. There is a richness in the text that is infinitely mineable. So how do I…how do we…so often walk away with nothing.
I think, truth be told, this reveals the attitude of our heart. We see nothing, because we look for nothing. One of the exercises in the book, is to read Acts 1:8 and to make as many observations as possible. I think I stopped with 27. According to Hendricks (the author of the book) his classes over the years have made more than 300 unique observations about this verse. 300!!! We have to read the Bible like we would read a love letter. We have to desire God and long for our relationship with him in order to be able to open the text and take something away from it.
The truth is, scripture must be an expressed value in our lives. By “an expressed value,” I mean, it must be something that you value and that you demonstrate that value by making it an active part of your life. If your only interaction with scripture is on Sunday mornings, then scripture would seem to indicate that there is something, some priority, some love, that is misplaced in your life. Joshua 1:8 tells us that scripture, the Word of God, should be in our minds and on our tongues day and night. There are several things the Bible tells us will reveal how important our faith really is. One of them is our involvement with scripture. If you’ve found yourself frustrated in Bible study I would encourage you to pick up a copy of Howard Hendricks’ “Living by the Book.” I think it would help any believer, no matter where they are, improve their Bible study.
Joshua 1:8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”