Treasure in Your Hand
Knowledge is power. Knowledge of truth transforms. You need to know just how amazing—and miraculous—your Bible is. It’s not just the book of the month—it’s the book of the ages.
We must know the Word’s miraculous origin and contents if we ever hope to have spiritual power.
Yet for many the Bible remains a closed, mysterious book. They just don’t understand it. I want you to learn how to study it—so it will burst aflame in your hand. If you don’t understand and obey it, you cannot be a victorious Christian.
First—just so you’ll know—there’s no cheap, lazy, magical way to understand the Bible. But it’s not impossible. It’s joyful and thrilling.
For your Bible to truly come alive, you must know what sets it apart from all other books. For starters…
The Bible is Timeless and Unchanging
Here’s what God says about His Word:
For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89
Concerning Thy testimonies, I have known of old that Thou hast founded them for ever. Psalm 119:152
Thy Word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalm 119:160
But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever…. 1 Peter 1:25
Forever! God says the Word—the Bible you hold in your hand or have on your shelf—is done, settled in heaven. Other books may come and go. The Bible is here to stay. Thousands of years have passed since the Bible was written. Empires have risen and fallen. Civilizations have changed and changed again. Science has pushed back the frontiers of knowledge. Yet the Bible stand— timeless, ultimate, indestructible.
Emperors like Diocletian have decreed its extermination, atheists like Voltaire have railed against it, agnostics through the years have sneered at it, and liberals strive to remove the miracles from the Bible. Materialists have simply ignored it. How is it that the Bible still stands after centuries of attempts to destroy it? Because the Bible is eternal, settled in heaven.
If it’s on the shelf, dust if off and get it into your heart.
The Bible is TRUTH
“Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is the truth…Thou art near, O Lord; and all Thy commandments are truth…Thy Word is true from the beginning … ” Psalm 119:142, 151, 160.
Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Jesus had already answered that in John 17:17 when, speaking to the Father, He said, “Thy Word is truth.” In a world with little appreciation for truth, you can say without apology: the Bible is truth.
Today’s attacks on the Bible are many:
But if you’re looking for truth, you can find it in the Bible, because “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).
That word inspiration is used only once in the Bible—here in this verse. What a magnificent word it is. In Greek it literally means “God-breathed.” Jesus said,“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Every word comes from God. He did not simply “breathe upon” the writings of men like Isaiah or Matthew, making their words His own. They were His instruments, holding the pen of God as He spoke, breathing the Scriptures out. Therefore, the Bible is true, because the God of truth cannot speak error.
The Word of God pulsates with Life. It has stood the test of time and the assaults of cynics and skeptics, “God-breathed” from a God who cannot lie.
These two qualities—
set the Word of God apart from all other books.
The Bible uses phrases like “the Word of the Lord,” “the Word of God,” or “the Lord said” 3,808 times. If it’s not the Word of God, it’s the biggest bundle of lies ever unleashed on planet Earth. The Bible is absolute truth.
Look at other virtues of the Bible which set it apart. If you don’t appreciate its virtues, you won’t have any desire to understand it.
The Bible is Treasured
“The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver” (Psalm 119:72).
“How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
“Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” (Psalm 119:127)
Saints and heroes of the faith have pillowed their heads on the Word of God as they walked through the chilly waters of death. Martyrs died for the witness of Jesus Christ, holding the Word of God as flames crept around their feet.
The early Church loved the Word of God. They never questioned it; they argued very little about it. They preached and proclaimed it. They loved, lived, practiced, trusted, and obeyed it. They claimed it constantly.
Is that true of you? You’ll never live a victorious Christian life if you do not love this book.
The Bible is Living
Unlike great works of poetry, prose, or history, the Bible is a living book.
“For the Word of God is quick [alive], and powerful.” Hebrews 4:12
Jesus said, “… The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63
The Bible pulsates with life, for its Author is the Creator of life and the universe. He is the one…
For the Bible to become a living, breathing, life-giving reality for you, you must assimilate it. You don't just read a cookbook, you eat the meal. If you don't assimilate it, no matter how much you appreciate it, what good is it?
Take it into your mind and use it as nourishment for your mind and heart. How do you do that?
PRAY—ASK GOD TO BE YOUR TEACHER
“Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me Thy statutes” (Psalm 119:12).
Have you ever asked, “Lord God, be my Teacher”? When you do, several things will happen:
¨ EYES OPENED
“Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law” (v. 18). You may have 20/20 vision, but God has to open your eyes to understand the wondrous things in His Word.
¨ MIND ENLIGHTENED
“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments” (v.73). When your eyes are opened, your mind will be enlightened.
¨ UNDERSTANDING INCREASED
“Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45). After His Resurrection, Jesus walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, talking to them about the Old Testament, the Law, and the Prophets. When you ask Him, God will do that for you.
¨ HEART STIRRED
“Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness” (Psalm 119:36). When you pray over the Word, your heart will be stirred. If you don’t have a desire for the Word of God, ask, “Oh God, please open my eyes and stir my heart.”
Often in sermon preparation, I’ve put my pencil down, bowed my head, and asked, “Oh God, help me understand this. Give me understanding.”
“I will meditate in Thy precepts ….” (v.15). “Mine eyes are awake through the night watches, that I might meditate in Thy Word” (v.148).
The Psalmist had a quiet time.
If you have to rise an hour early or stay up an hour late, do whatever it takes to meditate.
Keep pen and paper handy. I always read the Bible with something to write on, because I’m expecting to receive something from God. If you’re expecting to hear from God, be ready to write it down. Don’t just say “I’ll remember it.” The weakest ink is better than the best memory. Be ready for God to speak to you.
Use sanctified common sense. Don’t jump into the middle of a chapter or a book with no rhyme or reason. Follow a plan.
Remember, the Bible contains different literature forms. Read poetry as poetry, prophecy as prophecy, precept as precept, promise as promise, proverb as proverb. Ask, “Is this precept? Prophecy? Poetry? Prose? Promise?”
For example, a proverb is a general principle that when generally applied brings a general result. In Proverbs there are ways to be healthy, wealthy, and wise. But you could do all those things and be hit by a truck! Proverbs are wonderful guidelines, principles for living, but they’re principles, not promises.
God gave you a mind. He doesn’t zap you with knowledge. He expects you to do your part by studying and meditating upon His Word.
“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”(Psalm v. 11)
Hide the Word in your heart. Don’t say, “I just can’t memorize!” Memory comes with concentration, motivation, and use. Your mind is a marvel. You can remember far more than you think. Fill your mind with the Word so what’s inside flows forth blessing and honor to God.
Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes! (vv. 4-5)
It’s no good to recite promises without obeying commandments. Obey what you already know. The more you obey, the more you’ll learn. If you begin keeping the things you do understand, the Word of God will become real.
“…so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works.” “I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings…” “My tongue shall speak of Thy Word…” (vv. 27, 46, 172)
The more of the Word you give away, the more will be woven into the fabric of your soul and spirit.
Your Bible, a living treasure, can burst aflame in your heart. Begin to meditate, memorize, obey and proclaim. Stow it in your heart, show it in your life, sow it in the world.
What are your thoughts on new age thinking? Is there a choice in pro-choice? Is evolution fact or fiction? Does character matter to you? How has tolerance been affected by society? Pastor Adrian Rogers deals with difficult questions head on in this collection on current issues.