(01-05-22)– Starting Out Right! –James 4:8)
My friend, may I ask you a question? In the New Year is there an application here for how you and I ought to be reading our . . . Bibles?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I'm M. Clifford Brunner.
Over the past few holiday weeks my desk has been covered with lots of things that needed to be read. First there are the dozens 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 people 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 its 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 calendars 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, In this New Year help us to put away Bible reading calendars and marathon schedules that advertise reading through God's Word in a year while helping us to aspire to be "doers" of the Word and not just “hearers." We need to start by fulfilling our spiritual appetite for Your Word by taking the time to chew it and not just gulp it down to feel full. The importance of reading the Word is not the reading but the fellowship we have with You, the author. You gave Your Word to be consumed, becoming fuel for growth and action. Let us read it like its written, delectable and tasty, not just ink on paper. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.