“Read your Bible, pray everyday ….and you’ll grow,” was a little action chorus I memorized as a child. As a mother, I taught it to my children, who have taught it to theirs. Reading the Bible with my husband for our morning devotions or alone in my personal quiet time has become a holy habit, a delightful discipline, a time of daily refreshing.
The older I get the greater is my desire to read, be taught, learn, understand and talk about the Scriptures. That was not always the case. While I’ve held the Word of God in high esteem since I was saved as a young girl, there were many times when I did not make reading it faithfully a priority. I allowed other time pressures to encroach; especially during the years of raising the little ones, having foster children, holding down a job and all kinds of church involvement. Discussions at home or at church about the Bible were enough, I reasoned. Over time my casual attitude left me parched however, and I asked the Lord to restore my thirst for His Word. Thankfully He answered!
My deepest desire and fervent prayer is that the Word of God, illuminated through the power of His Holy Spirit, would bring about firstly, a revival and renewal among all of us who are new creations in Christ, starting with me. Then secondly, as we go and tell others, that there would come a great awakening among those not yet saved, especially in our nation of Canada. In Nehemiah 8:1-3 it says, “All the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”
Imagine, from daybreak until noon! What an appreciation of the Word the people must have had after many years of neglect. No one forced their attendance; they wanted to hear! I’d love to have an evening service focused just on reading the Word of God aloud, in its various translations and paraphrases; simply having it proclaimed by various members and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us one verse or one chapter after another. Intersperse that with the singing of Scripture and you’ve got a spiritual banquet feast for the soul!
As the Body of Christ we need to make the Word of God, the message of the good news of Jesus Christ, central in our lives. It talks to us about what ails us personally and as a society! We find that we're not alone in the deepest traumas of life! None of the other books, however helpful, fascinating, entertaining and encouraging they may be, can or should ever take the place of God’s Word in our lives. A passionate desire to understand His Word will bring about revival and renewal in our own hearts, and make us a refreshing river to others. Let us be forever grateful that we have His Word! Let’s respond with a willing heart to what we have read, and let us obediently do what it says! Then we will certainly become more effective in our service for HIM. Keep digging deeper and growing stronger!