I haven’t always been able to say with certainty that the Bible was my favourite book. I mean, I’ve always wanted to be able to meaningfully say so in a way that didn’t just proclaim virtuous words, but in a way that my behaviour in fact revealed the authenticity of said words. I wanted it to be evident not only to others, but also to myself that I actually believed what I said I believed. Oh sure, I knew in my head this book is where God speaks to us, tells us how to live and act; a place we come to find truth and maybe even comfort and hope and peace. But did I know it in my heart?
I wonder if the disconnect I felt with Scripture had anything to do with the fact that I was approaching it in a very self-focused way? I knew I believed that the Bible was the greatest book ever written, but I needed the Holy Spirit’s help to take this belief to heart (Mark 9:24 NLT “…I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”); so I prayed that God would stir a hunger in me not only for Himself, but also for His word. I prayed believing that He would answer this prayer as it would be in accordance with His will. Well, answer He did… and still does.
I love His word because it’s where I find Him: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are revealed to me in the pages of this Good Book. Familiar passages become deeper as I study and understand Scripture (through the power of the Holy Spirit in me) – as a story woven throughout the ages, a story about my husband, my Father, my friend. The Old Testament pointing towards and foreshadowing God’s redemptive plan in and through His Son, Jesus, and the New Testament revealing this plan and mystery in the person of Jesus and then explaining how the story would continue through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling of the church – the body and bride of Christ. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 ESV)
I love the word because it is right and true (Psalm 33:4, Proverbs 30:2). In a culture saturated with multimedia and spin doctors’ embellished chicanery, it is extremely difficult to uncover truth. In a culture that denies ultimate truth and instead esteems relativism, I long for the discernment and wisdom and ultimately the omniscience that is present in the God of the universe. I love the word because in a shifting world, I can remain firm and unshaken, rooted deep in the truths of the Good Book. Often, when I feel anxious, it is because I’m coming to the word in a backwards fashion. I look inward to my feelings, or outward to my personal and cultural circumstances and only then coming to Scripture to find what God might have to say to me; rather I should look upward and come to His word in order to just find Him and to then use His words as a lens when trying to discern my feelings and circumstances and the world at large.
I love the word because it protects. “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11) We are called to put on our Spiritual armor to stand firm against our enemy and to utilize God’s word just as Jesus did during His temptation in the desert. “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17) How do we resist the devil (James 4:7)? By knowing God’s word and being able to speak it aloud.
I love the word because it is the breath of God. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful…” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV) Just sit with that and praise Him for the experience! By the Spirit’s enlightenment (Ephesians 1:18), we receive life giving words. As we meditate on and memorize these words, they become alive and active in us – breath of God – in us. Can you fathom it?!
I love the word because it is alive! The Word who was there in The Beginning, who spoke the world into being and who holds all things together became flesh (John 1:1-3)! “…and his name is the Word of God.” (Revelation 19:13 NIV) These words reveal God Himself and invite us to respond to Him through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself – Word of God – is the answer to all of our needs, and is the source of our healing, our freedom, our hope and our joy. “For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 AMP) Indeed! Don’t I love God’s word because all of that?!
I love the word because it is a light. When the way seems dark God’s word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path (Psalm 119:105).
I love the word because it sustains. Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). I encounter more God – He gives me more of Himself when I come to feast on His word, tasting and seeing that He is good (Psalm 34:8). When I come to receive Him daily, I show my dependence upon Him like the wandering Israelites, who could only gather enough manna for the day learned to daily depend upon this bread of life which appropriately nourished them (can you say foreshadowing?). “Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11 NIV)
I love the word because it doesn’t fail. Living in a fallen world means broken promises abound. Whom can we trust to keep his word when we can’t even keep our own? “The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8 ESV) “For no word from God will ever fail.” (Luke 1:37 NIV) Even when heaven and earth pass away, His words will remain. (Matthew 24:35, 1 Peter 1:25) Hallelujah! A King we can trust; not a double-talking politician. Don’t you want to take refuge in His kingdom?!
I love the word for all these reasons and many more as I continue to study and learn. It is a book that is so much more than GOOD! It is Ultimate Truth. It is Holy. It is life. It renews our minds and transforms us (Romans 12:1-2) from the inside out through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This Good Book – it’s my favourite one and by God’s grace I’m gonna keep on reading one day at a time.