Friday, June 5, 2015

The Value of The "Good Book"

     I love to read books.  It is something I have enjoyed since childhood.  Whenever our library had a reading contest, I signed up.  They always had a special edition of a book to give as the first place prize.  One year I won a beautiful copy of Louisa Mae Alcott's "Little Women".  What a treasure!  I felt so happy, and it made me want to read even more.
     Of all the books which I have read over the years, though, none comes close to God's Word.  The Bible has been a best seller year after year.  Now that is saying something!  So why should we read it?  King David gives us some good reasons in Psalm 19:7-11:  "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple;  the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.  Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward."
     Where do we find wisdom to meet the demands of our life day by day?  According to Psalm 19, we find that the testimony of the Lord which is written in the Bible makes the simple wise.  We aren't just speaking of knowledge here, but the application of common sense which the Lord freely gives to those who ask.  He is the source of all wisdom since He created the world and each one of us.  Therefore, He is the One to whom we should turn.  The beauty of the Bible is that God reveals Himself to us through the pages we read.
       As we read the Bible, we come to know God's perfect Law and His precepts for living.  When we have a solid foundation on which to build our lives, our hearts rejoice.  God's established Law (the Ten Commandments) teach us how to relate both to a holy God and to our fellow man.  If we walk in the light of His Word, we find a full satisfaction and joy.  Even more, though, the Law also shows us our sinfulness and our need to turn to God in sincere repentance.  We need reminders, daily, of how to live and walk.
      Perhaps the greatest blessing of reading the Bible comes from realizing that it is the history of man and his relationship to God.  It tells us how mankind fell in sin and became alienated from the Lord.  Even more, it tells us how we can once again come into relationship with God through the sacrifice of His only Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  David said, clearly, in Psalm 19 that God's Laws, rules, precepts and His Word  are "pure, enlightening the eyes, are to be desired more than gold and sweeter than honey."  Why would we want to miss this kind of joy?
     Each time I sit down to read His Word, I find peace in times of trouble and encouragement in times of sorrow.  There is no other book I can pick up that can instruct like the Bible.  Sadly, however, our current culture is woefully ignorant of God's Word.  Most homes contain at least one Bible and often several, but many are left on the shelf.  If we want to know the mind and heart of God, we have only to pick up the Bible and read it each day, praying over the passages we read and thinking about it throughout the day.  Our minds and hearts become conformed to that which we spend the most time with....whether it is T.V., social media or our culture.  If we spend time in the Bible, we will start to think God's thoughts after Him, and we will begin to change.  I encourage you to take the time to sit and read the Bible each day.  It is the best way to start each morning and it pays dividends as we invest ourselves to love the Lord with our heart, mind and soul.  Selah!

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