A young man who was graduating from college wanted a new car for his graduation gift. Finally, graduation day arrived, and his dad handed him a box. He opened it with anticipation, only to find a Bible inside. He was so angry and disappointed that he handed the box to his dad, walked away, and never spoke to him again.
Years later, his father died, and it was the young man's responsibility to go to his father's home to put his affairs in order. As he was looking through papers on his desk, he spotted the box. He opened it up, and sure enough, there was the Bible his father had given him.
For the first time, he opened the Bible. There inside the Bible was an envelope. He opened it and found a cashier's check dated the same day as his graduation and made out for the exact amount of the car he wanted.
If he had taken time to open the Bible, he would have discovered that what he really wanted was there all along. Instead, he missed out on all that his father had done for him.
But there was something far more valuable in that Bible than a cashier's check for a new car, because the Bible contains the words of eternal life. It is the user's manual for living. Our Heavenly Father has so much that He wants to show us, if only we will read the Word of God. Yet so few people really take the time to find out what it has to say.
In fact, have you ever noticed how people react when you pull out a Bible? When I'm on a plane, I will sometimes reach into my briefcase, and pull out my Bible so I can read it. By the reaction of those seated around me, you would think that I had just pulled out a skunk.
I have seen people visibly recoil from the mere sight of the Bible. The Bible is a powerful book, not just because of what it says, but because people know that something of significance is inside.
Reflecting on this significance, David wrote: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple" (Psalm 19:7).
Let's consider a few things from this verse. The phrase, "the law of the Lord," in Psalm 19 is a Hebrew term used to describe Scripture. You could just as easily insert the phrase, "the Bible."
First, we read that the Word of God is perfect. There is nothing that you need to add to the Bible and nothing that you need to take away from it. What's more, as society changes, you don't have to flow with the winds of change. You can stand on the firm foundation of God's Word. By that, you can know right from wrong. The Bible is the roadmap to knowing God.
Second, we're told that the Word of God transforms us. If you read the Word of God and really believe it, then it will change your life. As Hebrews 4:12 says, "The word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are" (NLT).
Third, we see that the Word of God gives incredible wisdom. The Hebrew word translated as simple in verse 7 comes from a root word that speaks of an open door. It was the idea of someone having a mind like an open door, through which everything comes in and goes out. This person doesn't know what to keep in, what to throw out, or what is right and what is wrong. Such a person is simple-minded. But even the simple-minded can become wise by reading God's Word.
Ultimately, success or failure in the Christian life depends upon how much of the Bible you get into your heart and life on a regular basis and how obedient you are to it. If you are not reading the Word of God, then it only will be a matter of time until you will fall apart spiritually.
Jesus said, "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples." If you are going to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, then you need to get into the Word of God, and the Word of God needs to get into you.
What does Esther have in common with Rahab? Or Ruth with Tamar? They seem like diametrically opposed personalities. Shannon Bream gives insightful answers to those questions in her new book. We will mail you a copy when you make a donation of any amount to Harvest Ministries today!