“I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.” Proverbs 8:17
When I was first born-again, I became hungry for the Word of God. I wanted to know who this ‘God’ who saves is and who I am as well’. ‘What did I have to do now that Jesus had become my Savior? What was there to this new “Christian life” I’ve just signed up for?’
I started, as many do, reading the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Then I progressed to some of the writings of Paul. I was hungry! I would spend almost a whole day off from work sitting at the dining room table with my, at the time fiancée – now my beloved wife, pouring over God’s Word. I was underlining and highlighting and making notes in my bible like crazy!
As I started to listen more and more to the sermons at church, I realized that the bible I had was not really giving me what I felt I needed. So I decided to get another one. That led me to getting yet another, and another, and another. Pretty soon, before I knew it I had like 4-5 different bibles. (At one time my wife and I took a count of our bibles and came up with 26!) Some were study bibles, some not. (I think the first one was an NIV (New International Version) Study Bible) My first bible was such a small print that as I grew older it became harder to read. So I got another. So many different bibles to choose from it was easy to get lost in the midst of the Christian book store.
But no matter what bible I was reading from I was always asking questions about what I was reading, and taking notes. Weather it was about something that Jesus had said or questioning the meaning of what James or someone was saying. I was full of questions. And the beauty of it is I still am. But one thing I truly remember is the feeling that I just couldn’t memorize Scriptures.
It seemed that no matter what I did, or how much I read or repeated it, it just wouldn’t stick. How could I ever share the gospel with someone else if I couldn’t remember any of His word? How can I be a Christian if I don’t know His Word? Studying just wasn’t my cup of tea. Reading yes, but studying? Still I was, and still am, hungry, driven to know Him and to find out who I am. Who I am supposed to be! I needed His Word, to have it written upon my heart. Burned into my mind and soul!
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”
I would now, years later, love to say that I have the bible memorized. I would love to say that I at least have a book or two of the bible committed to memory. But in both cases, I can’t. But what I can say, beyond a doubt, is that I know that I am my Fathers Child. Jesus is my Lord. The Holy Spirit dwells within me and I have a relationship with God. And now I can say that I do know many Scripture passages, some are even committed to memory in more than one translation. And I am learning more and more all the time.
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
How does this happen? Christ alone. It comes by reading His word, listening to His word, and even watching His word in movies. But really it is not about memorizing Scripture. Memorizing Scripture is a good thing, but without God leading you it’s just about you learning word on a page. Not learning about the One who wrote the message in the words. It is about letting His Holy Spirit be your guide while you read His word. Asking God, “Father, show me what it is that You want me to know and understand. Build my faith Lord as You write Your Word upon my heart”. Let God be your guide as you read, and He who is faithful will give you deeper insight and wisdom into His Word.
In the book of Ephesians Paul writes,
‘that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. Ephesians 1:17-21
It is this prayer that I’ve learned to ask for myself as I read. “Father I ask that You O’Lord would grant me a new revelation in the knowledge of who You are. I ask Jesus that You would open the eyes of my understanding so that I can be enlightened to the truth of who You are and who I am within You.”
When we read our bibles it should be about learning yes, but learning about the One who wrote it. The ‘Triune God’, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. About How He has given us a new life and hope in Jesus, and what that is to look like.
‘But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light,’
In every question that you might have about the bible, God has an answer. Some answers are easier to find than others. And some we might only get the answer to when we come into His holy presence in the next life. (At what time we shall experience Him in a way that we can never imagine.) But many answers are right there within His Word. And at times, many times, the answers we receive to our questions will only spark more questions. Oh what a joy that is! (I’m so smiling right now as I write this.)
“But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause— Job 5:8
There is a huge benefit to reading our bibles. Huge! For we can go to church every Sunday, listen to countless sermons, and even read great books about God and even the bible. But if we never read His Word that He alone inspired 40 men to write about who He is and who we are and are to become in Christ Jesus, then we are truly missing out. For who better to lead you through such an amazing, incredible, life changing gift, than the Author who wrote it. Who by the way is “the author and finisher of our faith” Hebrews 12:2
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, (in His Word) and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33