God's Word. Ought we to be just reading the words or is it a better idea to consume them, in an effort to discover why God gave them to us in the first place? My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Over the past few holiday weeks my desk has been covered with lots of things that needed to be read. First there are thedozens of Christmas cards and letters that arrive every December here at Beech Springs. Often Holly after opening the mail will put the day's arrivals on my desk with the expectation that I will read them. I suppose her inner expectation is that I will read them as she does. She reads the verses and examines the artwork and then reflects on the person who sent it. I confess my sincerity does not match hers. However, yesterday she gave me a book that she had just finished reading and asked me to read the author's four-page letter at the end of the book. As she handed the book to me she smiled and simply stated, "See if you get the same message I got." She had such a sincere smile on her face that I just had to read that letter in an effort to see what lay beneath the smile. It challenged me to look beyond just pages of words. I read with an intensity that was anything but surface. I dug through the words, overturning the paragraphs in an effort to discover just what made her smile like that. I guess you can say that I consumed those four pages rather than just read them.
In the New Year is there an application here for how you and I ought to be reading our . . . Bibles?
Here's a thought from Bobby Richardson, New York Yankee baseball great, about the Bible: "Put a man in a baseball suit, give him a glove and a hat–but all that doesn't make him a star. Nor will all the practice in the world get some peo- ple into the major leagues. Something more is needed. It's also true if you put a man in church and give him a hymnbook or a Bible, it doesn't make him a Christian. Not singing all the hymns in the world will do that–or even reading the Bible from cover to cover. That's why something more is needed; call it the Spirit. Read the Bible and let is message live in you, for 'not the readers of the law are just before God, but the doer shall be justified.'" (Source unknown)
God's Word is a divine roadmap. But, ought we to be just reading the words or is it a better idea to consume them, in an effort to discover why God gave them to us in the first place? In this New Year we should put away Bible reading calen- dars and marathon schedules that advertise reading through God's Word in a year; admirable but of little, real, spiritual nourishment. If you and I really aspire to be "doers" of the Word and not just "hearers," we need to start by fulfilling our spiritual appetite for God's Word by taking the time to chew it and not just gulping it down to feel full. The importance of reading the Word is not the reading but the fellowship we have with the author. God gave His Word to be consumed, becoming fuel for growth and action. Read it like its written, delectable and tasty, not just ink on paper.
We pray. Heavenly Father, Christmas is here and we are filled with joy. Our lives are filled with family, gifts, food and laughter. It seems in many ways that Christmas identifies us; we are Christians because we celebrate the birth of Jesus, right? We know Lord that it takes more than a holiday of faith to make us faithful or mark us a Christians. We need to dig into your Christmas Word every day and then put it to use in our lives and others. That’s what makes a Christian a Christian on Christmas or any day of the year. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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