|Butterflies offer us a symbol of change that is beautiful!|
In his letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:16), the Apostle Paul tells this young pastor how valuable the Bible is to us: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,...." If we yearn to mature in our faith, then we have the perfect tool for that. The Bible will teach us and correct us in our thinking as well as in our actions.
According to the New York Times of June 30, 2016, the average person watches about five hours of T.V. a day. Certainly that is a good deal of time when we could be doing something more constructive. Yet, the greatest danger from spending all that time watching programs is that they all have a worldview. The shows all expound a philosophy even if it is not clearly stated. What we watch affects how we think about life and those around us. Recently, we have been hearing stories about "fake news" being put out to confuse people and increase their unhappiness with individuals or groups. We also know that some news outlets are very one-sided in their presentation of news. With this in mind, we need a foundation of truth that will keep our thinking Christ-minded not worldly minded. The Bible will do that for us if we will open its pages prayerfully and diligently day after day. Romans 12:2 tells us: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." When we spend countless hours on social media and television, we are absorbing ideas from many different sources. Some may be true, but we will never be able to recognize that unless we are students of God's Word.
Psalms rightly tells us: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105). We are less likely to stumble and fall in darkness if we have the light of truth to show us the way. In addition, Jesus, Himself, in His high priestly prayer, asked the Father this: "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). We could go on and on showing the value of God's Word, but the key is to read it daily with the intention of heart to learn from it. So, how do we go about this?
There are a number of sites such as www.ligonier.org that offer free Bible study reading plans for the coming year. Likewise www.banneroftruth.org has numerous devotional books which will help you read through the Bible. The key is to find what suits your schedule and set a time each day to spend with the Lord both in prayer and reading His Word. If we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us, He will do that as we read.
If we are serious about making some good changes in the coming New Year, we need to make this a top priority. Whether we study alone, with our spouse or friends, or as a family, we will reap the rewards that come from time before our Heavenly Father in His Word. May you enjoy a blessed and happy New Year sitting at the feet of our Lord. Selah!