Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover

Our handsome Aiden!
     During the Thanksgiving celebration at our home, I offered to read a classic book I had purchased for our grandchildren.  Four year old Aiden told me he didn't care to read that book because it looked boring and so did the illustrations.  His mother Bonnie overheard our conversation and gave him wise advice:  "You can't judge a book by its cover, Aiden."  Needless to say, this did not change the status of things so we never did open the book.  What a shame!  It is such a good story too.  However Aiden's response is not unlike others I hear from believers who feel the same way about the Bible.
     This past Sunday during worship service, our associate pastor asked how many of the congregation were taking the challenge to read the Bible through in a year.  The show of hands (at least in our service) revealed only a fourth of the gathered believers were committed to doing this.  It made me sad to see this response.  If only they would open the cover to see the treasures that lie within.  There is drama, intrigue, betrayal, action, tragedy, and ultimate victory in life all within the pages of this God-breathed book.  While our world is filled with lies, political correctness and half-truth, this book contains pure truth.  It is all we need for life and godliness, and it serves as a sword of protection against the deceit so rampant today.  There are many benefits to looking into God's Word which we will consider.
     First, the Bible describes itself as a sword.  Hebrews 4:12 reads:  "For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."  What the Bible does is to reveal our sins to us.  As we look into its pages, it shows us where we are falling short.  Furthermore, it is a powerful weapon in cutting down the lies and arguments that are raised up against God.  This book cannot only be used to keep us on the narrow path but it is also able to defeat the lies of our world system which come from the Enemy of our soul.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 reads:  "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ;"  In this passage, Paul refers to the weapons of our warfare which include prayer and the power of the preached Word of God.  This is how the enemy is every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God which is found in the Bible.  The description of scripture, then, is more than accurate when it likens itself to a sword.  Do we want to be effective ambassadors for Christ to a world that is lost?  Do we want to be able to keep our lives filled with the righteousness of Christ?  Then, we need to open the book and look into its pages.
     Secondly, within the pages of God's Word, we see His character.  If we want to behold the face of God, we need to read His Word and let it dwell richly within us.  When Moses stood upon Mount Sinai and met with the Lord, he would return to the people with a face that was transformed from being in the presence of God.  The Bible describes his face as radiant.  Spending time with God does change us.  If we will take the time to read and study His Word, I guarantee it will change us.   As we delve into the Word and make it a part of our lives routinely (not just once in a while), we will begin to "think God's thoughts after Him".  This is the goal of our Christian walk that we be conformed to the image of Christ so that others might be drawn to Him.
     Finally the Word brings us spiritual food and drink.  Just as our body needs regular meals each day to fuel us with the energy we need to do our work, so our spiritual life needs regular food and drink.  Today, we have many congregations across our land filled with malnourished believers.  No wonder they cannot fight off the enemy of their souls!  They have no strength to do so.  Dr. R.C. Sproul said in a recent poll done on new believers, only 20% read the Bible.  While this study applied to new believers, I wonder how many seasoned believers ever read and re-read the Bible each day.  Jesus said,
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4b).  Our food is found in the Bible, and so is our drink.
     When Jesus encountered the woman at the well, He asked her for a drink.  During their discussion, He compared the temporary satisfaction of physical water with the eternal satisfaction of spiritual water:
The Word is like a sword.  These swords
were in "The Residence" in Munich, Germany
"Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:13-14).  Each time we open the Holy Bible to read it is like a refreshing drink on a hot, dusty day.  Our souls are washed and our minds are renewed.  Oh to drink the water and eat the bread of the Word daily!
     In our entertainment, electronic game playing, instant satisfaction society, the Bible might look like a boring book, and maybe, that is why so many Christians avoid reading it daily.  Yet, little do we realize that we neglect this book to our own peril.  This world with all its glittery distractions is passing away, but God's Word will never pass away.  Therefore, we owe it to ourselves and to our family to be a student of this book daily.  With prayer and faithful reading, we will grow into the likeness of our Lord whom we serve.  Don't judge this book by the cover because inside awaits the truth for which we hunger and thirst.  Selah!

I welcome your thoughts today.  How has God's Word changed your life?  What helps you get into the Bible each day?


Christina said...

Martin Luther said, "The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid." Or, at least I think he said that! LOL!

Anyway, wonderful post! I got a little chuckle out of that sweet grandson of yours! What a face!!! Lord bless Him!!!

Barbara Thayer said...

Yes, isn't it amazing how we are reminded of things like "don't judge a book by its cover?" My mother always said that to me and she was so right. My prayer this Christmas is that people will pick up the Bible....the only book that can change their lives forever and meet their deepest needs! Blessings my fellow blogger. I always love what you share at your blog too!