Posted: 3/29/19 at 2:20pm. Column by Ed Jordan.
How would you describe your relationship with the Bible?
What do I mean by that question?
How do you relate to the Bible? Do you encounter the Bible annually, monthly, weekly, or daily? How frequently do you interact with its contents? If someone interviewed you and asked these questions, what would be your response?
At what level do you interact with the Bible? Do you listen to it, read in church, or on television, or on some electronic version? Do you take time to read the verses in your weekly church ministries?
When you read the Bible, do you ask God to speak to you personally through it—to give you guidance for your daily living? Do you read a portion of the Bible each day, as a source of food for your spirit or soul?
Are there some scripture verses that you have committed to memory? Quote one of your favorites out loud and listen to it in your own voice. Read a portion of scripture out loud and listen to God speaking through your own voice to you, personally.
While we Americans are becoming more and more physically obese, few of us would test out as being “spiritually obese.” How many meals do you eat each day? And how many snacks a day?
Test yourself on this one: How many times a day do you read, hear, or think about Bible verses or passages? How many spiritual snacks do you partake in each day? While I am not promoting spiritual obesity, I am promoting that all of us need to increase our daily intake of the Bible, which fills our lives with God’s truth, values, wisdom, advice, and joy.
In Psalm 119:103-105 (The Message) we read: “Your words are so choice, so tasty; I prefer them to the best home cooking. With your instruction, I understand life; that’s why I hate false propaganda. By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.”
This passage of the Bible gives us reasons to daily and regularly partake of God’s word. The psalmist affirms that the Bible gives us high quality spiritual food—not just sugar highs from pithy posters or memes. In the Bible, God gives us healthy spiritual nourishment to feed our soul and spirit.
Taking it into our lives is as satisfying as a homemade meal—full of flavor and filling us up. Does this describe your reaction to a good time of Bible study or a meaty sermon? Or is your intake just emotional energy snacks that only leave you empty and thirsty?
Next the psalmist says that reading the Bible gives us understanding about life and the decisions we face. It helps us spot erroneous propositions and to choose spiritually healthy alternatives. Through the Bible, God shows us what to avoid and what to invest our lives in.
The last metaphor in this passage is that of walking the path of life. Have you ever ended up in a dark in an unfamiliar place, wishing that you had brought your flashlight with you?
What good is a flashlight if it is not where you are when the lights go out? Having a great flashlight at home on your dresser does you little good when you have broken down at night on a country road.
When you are walking a path in the dark, you trip and stumble over lots of things that you cannot see. You stub your toe, or sprain your ankle, or fall down and break a bone. What a difference it makes when a flashlight illuminates your path.
This is one reason why it is helpful to memorize scripture; when you find yourself unexpectedly in the dark, you have light to guide you out of trouble and safely bring you home.
I encourage you to evaluate your spiritual intake for frequency, quality, and nutritional content. Discover ways to get the truth of God’s word into your life, learn how to interpret it, and make its truths and principles a part of your daily life. Once you have the light in your possession, shine it on the decisions you need to make so God can show you the way to go.
The Bible is more than just a book; it is our God-given source of spiritual food, strength, truth, light, and guidance. So don’t just read it; live it! While you are at it, why not carry an extra copy of the New Testament/Psalms to give to someone who doesn’t have the light?