It’s only a few weeks ago when I decided to search for something that’s not typically hard and expensive to buy: A NEW AND SMALL ESV (English Standard Version) BIBLE for my own. At first it’s not that hard to do that since all bookstores nationwide have different versions of Bible to sell. But it’s not so easy as I thought it would be. It took me a week to finally convinced myself to buy what is available and convenient for me to buy. I went to different places, from St. Francis Square to All Christian Bookstores, just to have my own Bible. But as I wandered inside a cheap Christian bookstore for a quick search, there’s a small voice inside of me, trying to question my actions. That voice gave me two words that quickly stumbled me: “WHAT FOR?”. I immediately stopped and prayed, asking what’s the meaning of this question and why did the voice ask.
For some of you, you’re probably thinking some silly thoughts about what I did. But during those times, I committed myself to a deeper level of devotion in knowing God and leveling up my relationship with Him.
Before, I used to have a big and bulky softbound NIV (New International Version) as my starting tool in my Christian walk. I read every chapter of the New Testament books, and I felt at ease being dependent on that book for devotions. Few weeks later, excuses started to arise that puts me to the point of not reading my NIV Bible anymore and gave the book to my sister. For a change, I went to the “techie” version of it which is easier to read, few clicks away. Months of having my “Mobile Bible” makes me realized one thing: you’re starting making a lot of excuses once again (like I did) by rushing open your social media apps after quiet time.
As you go to the flow of my situation, it gets so frustrating and sad at the same time. Because we tend to see our Bible as a “literal book” than a “God’s Love Story” letters for His sons and daughters. And it will take some time for our generation to see the Bible in a different way. Here in the Philippines, there’s tons of copy of Bibles around every bookstore that you can buy from different versions, colors, and sizes. Some were expensive, others are cheap, to the point of giving it for free. But where do we put our copies and when do we read it? And HOW do we read it “LIKE WE MEAN IT?”
For most of us, we allow ourselves to make a lot of excuses why we shouldn’t keep our Bibles everywhere we go:
– Too heavy to carry
– Too bulky to put in my bag
– The details are too tedious to catch up
– There’s a “Bible App” in my phone anyway, so what’s the use?
– And so many excuses that we can invent (since we’re the masters of it).
In the Book of Psalms, you’ll notice how King David and the rest of the people of God LOVE THE WORD SO MUCH! You’ll encounter most verses talking about their RADICAL, PASSIONATE, AND DEEP love for the Word of God. Personally, I found it boring and flat at first because it tends to repeat over and over as I go reading it. But as I encountered God’s love, power and grace in every walk I’d been with Him, I learned to go deep in His words in a very loving way. Last month, our College Youth Service talked about the importance of the Word for all of us especially the youth. The verse that they gave totally struck me from the deeper core of my heart:
As we go deeper to this verse, I reminded of some points that hit my heart and correct me in some areas in life. Because as Christians, we tend to neglect this that leads us away from God. And I pray that these points that our youth pastor gave might help you be on fire with the word of God again!
1) GOD’S WORD BRINGS LIFE
If you feel drained and discouraged about your day at work, school or daily routines in life, reading the Word of God is the best way to beat the blues away. Unlike any self-help and psychological books out there, the Word of God can restore someone’s broken heart, can mend any wounds in the past, and can redeem all the joy that was lost. Having a life verse every day can revive your soul and empowers you to cast out every fear, doubt, loneliness, even the most dullness of situation.
2) GOD’S WORD BRINGS WISDOM
All of us can be smart and knowledgeable in many things, but not necessarily wiser than we think we are. I learned from Pastor Joseph Bonifacio at Ignite 2015 that knowledge is different from wisdom. Wisdom is called “Applied Knowledge” and it determines how we behave and live our lives the way God desires. In this world, we can easily be enticed by the worldly ways that lead us to compromise, hasty actions and sin. But the Word of God is not just about the bunch of rights and wrongs. Ultimately, it’s all about the wills, desires and the commands of the Lord for us. It’s more about who He is and what He wants us to do as His children. So there’s no way for us to do what the world tells us to do because we have a “solid foundation” that we can only found in the Bible. To know what is the will of the Lord for us, His desires for us, even the ways how to make decisions for our daily lives, the Bible has all the answers you need.
3) GOD’S WORD BRINGS FULFILMENT
No matter what we do to satisfy every craving, there’s nothing we can do to fulfill it. We do have desires and longings in our hearts that no science nor self-help can ever answer. We might go from places to different enjoyments in life, there’s always a void inside of us that needs to be filled. But like Israel Houghton’s song says, only Jesus is the “cup that won’t run dry” whatever our situations may be. It’s might be hard sometimes, but if we embrace the truth about who Jesus is in our lives, it’s easy for us to let go of our guards and let ourselves be filled with His love and grace. And if we satisfied our lives with the Word of God, all the voids and emptiness inside will be gone, only the love of God will prevail and remains forever.
God’s word is truly our cornerstone that we need and nothing else in this world can underestimate the power it brings for all of us. Whatever excuses you have not to read or bring your Bible, please take some consideration and give it a try. Take that Bible out of your bookshelves or buy a copy and see how it can change your life for the glory of your Heavenly Father.