“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
I know people who love to read, and I know people who don’t like to read at all. I know people who have a book with them at all times, and I know people who never think about carrying a book around with them. And that’s OK. We can all agree to disagree about books.
Except for one book. The Bible stands alone and is in a category all its own. It’s the only book in all of history that is alive. The word of God is, “living and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed…” It is a living book and it brings life to those who read it.
The word of God penetrates deeply, through the thick, hard layers we build up in our hearts, and assesses whether what is in our hearts is good or bad. The word of God reveals the truth to us. God’s word is a “…discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Did you know you can deceive yourself? And I can deceive myself. We can make ourselves believe our attitudes, actions, or words are OK with God when we’re actually very much out of line. We are not very good at discerning our own hearts, and completely unable to change them.
We may have areas of our hearts we haven’t yielded to God. We may have pain from the past lingering in our hearts. Regardless of what we have in our heart, as we read and meditate on the Word, the truth it contains brings life, healing, and needed change to our hearts.
What keeps us from reading the Bible? Are we too busy? Is it too hard to understand? Does it just not seem to be that important? Don’t be fooled. The Bible is absolutely essential to our spiritual development. It gives us direction and keeps us on the right path. It encourages us and builds our faith. Choosing to consistently read the Bible is one of the best decisions we can make.
God cared enough about us to give us a book that tells us his story. Through reading the Bible, we learn about God’s character—his love, power, mercy, holiness, and grace. We learn about God’s plan to save mankind and bring us to live with him forever in heaven. We learn about how he wants us to live and why. They call it the greatest story ever told, and they are absolutely right.
When the God of the universe writes a book to encourage and guide us, the best choice is to actually read it. Regularly. Intently. As though our lives depend on it…because they do.
Father God, thank you for your Word. Rather than hiding yourself from me, you gave me a book that shows me your character. It gives me direction and strength. I have so much to learn from your Word. Help me understand what I read and give me the wisdom to apply what I read to my life. In those times when I may become lax in reading your word, help me not to give up, but to start again. Thank you for your love, your mercy, and your word. In Jesus’s name, amen.