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Word of God

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“The grass withers and the flowers fade,

    but the word of our God stands forever”

Isaiah 40:8

My oldest daughter had an upset belly just this last weekend. She felt sick, and began to panic that she would be sick and I could not get her to calm down and think sensibly. The worst of it was over, but she was still anxious and afraid.

I tried everything I knew to do as a Mom. I sat with her and held her close. We prayed together numerous times. I told her everything would be okay, but she still was panicked.

I finally got up from the bed and got my bible from my nightstand. I’m ashamed to say it took me so long to realize that reading her the word of God would help steady her. Why was this a last resort? Yes, it was only an upset tummy, but to her it was a huge deal and she needed something bigger than her to help her. Or rather, she needed SOMEONE bigger than her.

I began reading various Psalms, beginning with Psalms 23. I kept reading until her whimpers grew quiet and her eyes became heavy. After a few minutes she was sleepy and confident enough that I could leave her bed, and she could sleep.

In life most of us usually face things bigger than upset tummies, but reading and applying the word of God will still have the same affect. Regardless of what you are battling against right now, the word of God WILL steady you, calm you, direct you and comfort you.

It will give you wisdom and understanding.

It will increase your faith.

It will cause unclear situations to become clear.

There is power in the word!

God, I’m thankful for your word today. Help me to not only read it, but apply it and live it.

“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45, English Standard Version).

My morning reading of the Bible has been somewhat different this week. I have read the same chapter every day. It’s fairly short, only twenty-nine verses, but I haven’t made it to the end of the chapter yet. Perhaps I will get there in a few more days. Why has it taken me so long to read a few verses? It is so rich with so much to absorb, and it’s easier to do it in small bites.

We each probably have our own way of reading the Word. You may follow a Bible reading chart, have a goal of so many chapters per day, or randomly select a passage. I like to do all of the above. I follow a chart, but I also enjoy reading random portions of Scripture. A chart gives me structure and insures I read the entire Bible through. When I’m “off the chart,” I discover interesting stories, passages that make me seek deeper meaning, or a verse that speaks to where I am at that exact moment.

How I study the Word isn’t anything profound but let me tell you a few of the things I do (or don’t do). You will no doubt develop your own study style.

  • I do not speed read. My goal is to understand more, not zip through so I can check off a box on a chart. If a verse seems unclear to me, I stop and read it again. And perhaps again. Sometimes reading a cross reference (printed in a center column or sometimes underneath the verse) will help.
  • I keep pen and paper nearby. I jot down insights, questions, or other verses related to what is being said. If I don’t have time to dig deeper right then, I can come back to my notes later and search it out.
  • I use a Bible app for quick research. When a passage is unclear, I often find it helpful to look at one or two other translations. A Bible app allows me to do this quickly. I can also look up the meaning of key words in the passage. Or I can do a word search to find other verses on this topic (such as: faith, patience, love, grace).

Yes, some Bible passages are difficult or (dare I say it) boring. Chapter after chapter of “begats” does not make for exciting reading, but I plunge on. Often, even in these passages I find sweet nuggets of inspiration. If nothing else, I remind myself if God knows all those names, He knows mine too. I matter to Him.

I was in a Bible class when a fellow student asked the teacher, “What translation of the Bible do you recommend?” The quick response was, “The one you will read.” We may own a stack of Bibles, but it is only when we open it and start reading that the Word goes deep into our hearts. It’s our source of instruction, hope, and encouragement.

“For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures” (Romans 15:4, Christian Standard Bible).

Prayer: Lord, give me a deep, abiding love for Your Word. When I hide it in my heart, it keeps me on the right path so I do not sin. Increase my understanding and open my eyes to the wisdom it offers for my daily life.

 

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

Recently a friend and I were talking about Heaven and discussing how the Bible does not really give us all the information we would like to have about what life will be like after death. Most of our conceptions of Heaven come from the songs we hear and sing about it. I am sure that the writers of these songs were inspired to write what they did. But the Lord in His Word has just given us a little insight into what heaven is like. There are some things that are secrets to Him.

This year I have been doing my daily Bible reading from the New Living Translation and I like the way this verse is rendered:

“The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instruction.” Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT

Moses was giving the children of Israel his last instructions before he would be taken from them. He told them that the Lord did not reveal everything to them, but that they were accountable for what he had revealed. As Moses repeated the laws and requirements that the Lord had given them, he made sure that they realized they had a responsibility to follow them fully.

The Lord has revealed so many things to us, the plan of salvation, and the way to be ready for heaven. We are accountable for the things he has revealed to us, that He has shown us in His Word. We know that if we obey His instructions, we are part of His body, and will spend eternity with Him. No matter what our concepts of Heaven are, the main thing is that we will be with Him.

Prayer: Jesus we thank you for the things you have revealed to us through your Word, and we look forward to spending eternity with you in the Heaven you have prepared.

Devotion by Anne Johnston