HEBREWS 4:12-13: “God’s word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God’s word judges a person’s thoughts and intentions. No creature can hide from God. Everything is uncovered and exposed for him to see. We must answer to him.” (Gw)
OBSERVATION: Why don’t more people read the Bible? The Bible – God’s Word demands an answer! Could this be why the Bible is both – the best selling book in the world, and the least read? I think deep down in people’s hearts they know that the Bible is not just another book. I can pick up a novel and read it through. The novel may impact my life – but it intrinsically does not have the power to change it. A novel cannot reveal the deepest needs of my heart, nor can it lead me to the true source of life. A novel is two dimensional, it deals on the level of the body and the soul (psyche – mind, will, and emotions).
However, the Bible deals with the heart (pneuma – spirit), and is in itself living and active.
This is why we many times avoid the Bible, and it is also the reason we truly need to read the Bible! When we study the Bible we learn what it has to say about itself. It is not simply a book written by a man. It is a compilation of books written by over 40 different authors, over a period that exceeded 1600 years, in different cultural settings and languages. What makes it unique is that every author wrote about the same thing – God’s plan of redemption for mankind through the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord. And not only did they write about the same thing, they also wrote in harmony – without ever knowing each other! The Bible explains it this way.
- “First, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. No prophecy ever originated from humans. Instead, it was given by the Holy Spirit as humans spoke under God’s direction.” (2 Peter 1:20-21 GW)
This is why the Bible is living and active – because God Himself is living and active. Every word was given by the Holy Spirit as humans spoke under God’s direction. As a result, the Bible reveals the most intimate nature of man. It moves past the dimension of the body and the mind – and pierces through into the very heart of man, the spirit. It reveals the difference between mere thoughts and the true intentions of our heart. Like a person undergoing surgery that will save their lives, reading the Bible is at times painful, but it always leads to healing and restoration. No one enjoys surgery. However, when it comes to the matters of the heart, to the things that pertain unto eternal life – we all need it!
The combination of temporary pain through conviction, and the demand of an answer, are the two most common reasons people do not pick up their Bible. The enemy of our souls does not want us to read it. He is not as upset with someone when they go to church, or when they pray, as he is when they read God’s Word. Prayer and corporate worship are extremely important and should not be neglected – but they become mere religious expression without power apart from the Word of God. Religion can never set us free – but Truth always will. And the enemy of our souls wants to keep us in darkness and bondage. Jesus proclaimed the pathway to our freedom when He said,
- “As Jesus was saying this, many people believed in him. So Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you live by what I say, you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:30-32 GW)
There were many years in my past when I started the year with a fresh commitment to read the Bible faithfully. I tried numerous programs, only to stall somewhere around this time of year or earlier. Perhaps that is where you find yourself this morning. Forget the schedules, forget the programs – just open your Bible and begin with one small step. Open the Gospel of John and begin by reading a chapter a day. And when you read – listen, ponder, meditate, jot down your thoughts in a journal. The Lord of all Creation wants to meet you through His Word to guide you into a new dimension of love, joy, and freedom! God’s Word, the Bible, is living and active – and it is waiting for you to discover its living wonders!
Lord, continue to give me a deeper hunger for Your Word. As I read, continue to shine Your light upon my life. Reveal the attitudes and actions that need to be changed. Grant me the Grace and Truth to make those changes through the indwelling power of Your Spirit and Grace. Help me to discover wonderful truths that enable my relationship with You to grow deeper and my relationship with others to reflect Your nature and Your love! Thank you for Your Living Love Letter to me! Thank You for the Bible!
In Jesus Name!