Light to Live By

"The unfolding of your words gives light ..." (Psalm 119:130a)

Category: Bible (page 1 of 2)

Return

“Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:7)

I Long for Your Commandments

“I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.” (Psalm 119:131)

Booker_T_Washington

“The great ambition of the older people was to try to learn to read the Bible before they died.” (Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery, p.11)

Eh? What’s that You Say?

“… you did not incline your ear or listen to me.” (Jeremiah 35:15b)

listening-ear

We come upon this imagery frequently in Jeremiah—eight times, more than any other writer in Scripture. The words indicate there are two levels of receiving communication. First, “incline … ear” and, second, “listen.”

The former (“incline … ear”) implies a readiness and willingness and desire to hear from the one speaking. The root of “incline” means to “extend” or “stretch out.” It seems to describe the turning of the ear or the head so the ear can catch the sound of another’s voice. Perhaps we could even picture the cupping of the hand behind the ear in order to gather more of the sound-waves into the ear canal.

The latter (“listen”) implies not simply hearing the sounds, but taking them in intelligently and with understanding and perception … and then responding positively with obedience and submission to what has been heard.

One cannot pull off the latter (“listen”) until he has first performed that former (“incline … ear”). There is a logical order implied: first, the willingness and readiness and anticipation and desire to hear. Second, the intelligent understanding of what is heard issuing in a positive response to that which is heard.

Unless I anticipate that God will speak to me, I will be unlikely to listen for Him or to Him. I must, therefore, believe that God will speak to me when I come to the Bible. He will do so by His Holy Spirit though what He has already spoken in His written Word, taking the definitive Word and making it a personal word as He applies it to my life. I must move myself and my attention to God through the Scripture by reading and studying it with a willingly and desirous heart. Then I must obey what I hear God say there.

Only then will true, full communication have taken place.

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening! Amen.

Bible Diet

bible.21

I encourage you to purpose, by Christ’s strength, to make God’s Word a part of every day this year. A Gallup poll revealed that while sixty percent of all Americans attend Church at least once a month, only about twelve percent read their Bibles outside of church. The International Bible Readers Association reports that eight-five percent of professing Christians have never read through the entire Bible. It has been said that there are 500,000 Bibles are in circulation, but that forty percent of Protestants say they read it “never or hardly ever.”

If you are a child of God, He has formed within you a hunger that can only be satisfied by consumption of His Word. Are you hungry? Are you at least hungry to be hungry?

  • God has handed you Instruction . . . turn off the TV.
  • God has handed you Revelation . . . log off the Internet.
  • God has handed you His Guarantee . . . stop groping for hope.
  • God has handed you His Absolutes . . . stop scratching your head and shrugging your shoulders.
  • God has handed you His Counsel . . . stop wondering where to turn.
  • God has handed you His Direction . . . no need to look so puzzled.
  • God has handed you a Mandate . . . its time to snap to attention!
  • God has handed you a Decree . . . it is time to heed His Voice!

Why are we filling our bellies with the Styrofoam fillers offered up on the shiny platters of the word’s media when our spirits cry out for the nourishment of the Word of the Living God? An unknown writer penned this description of the Bible . . .

“This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.”

Michael Billester was a Bible distributor who visited a small village in Poland shortly before WWII broke out. There he gave a Bible to a resident, who later trusted Christ through reading it. The new believer then passed it on to others. Many of them too came to faith in Christ. They in turn kept passing on that single volume of the Bible until some two-hundred people in that village became believers when they read that single copy of the Bible. When Billester returned in 1940, this group was gathering together regularly for worship. He joined them during his visit where he had been asked to preach the Word. He normally asked people for testimonies, but on that day he asked if some would stand and quote Scripture verses. One man stood, “Perhaps we have misunderstood. Did you mean verses or chapters?” These villagers, with their one Bible, had memorized not a few select verses, but whole chapters and books. Thirteen of them had memorized Matthew, Luke and half of Genesis! Another had memorized all 150 psalms. A single copy of the Bible had transformed an entire village as it became their daily spiritual nourishment!

The fact is we do pretty much what we want to do. We find time for the things we most want to do. We muster strength for the things we truly believe important.

If you are not certain just where to begin reading in the Bible or how to set up a Bible reading schedule, I encourage you to consider using the Bible reading guide we provide at our church: 2015 Bible Reading Guide.

In the year that is before us, may God make you hungry in a way that can’t be satisfied by anything but the Word that proceeds out of His mouth! May He satisfy you again and again as you turn to Him through His written Word!

An Illuminated Bible

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18)

“Now, have any of you an illuminated Bible at home?

‘No,’ says one, ‘I have a morocco Bible; I have a marginal reference Bible.’

Ah! That is all very well, but have you an illuminated Bible?

‘Yes; I have a large family Bible with pictures in it.’ There is a picture of John the Baptist baptizing Christ by pouring water on His head and many other nonsensical things, but that is not what I mean; have you an illuminated Bible?

‘Yes; I have a Bible with splendid engravings in it.’

Yes; I know you may have, but have you and illuminated Bible?

‘I don’t understand what you mean by an illuminated Bible.’

Well, it is the Christian man who has an illuminated Bible. He does not buy it illuminated originally, but when he reads it

A glory guilds the sacred page,

Magestic like the sun;

Which gives a light to every age —

It gives, but borrows none.

There is nothing like reading an illuminated Bible, beloved. You may read to all eternity, and never learn anything by it, unless it is illuminated by the Spirit; and then the words shine forth like stars. The book seems made of gold leaf; every single letter glitters like a diamond. Oh! It is a blessed thing to read an illuminated Bible lit up by the radiance of the Holy Ghost. Hast you read the Bible and studied it, my brother, and yet have thine eyes been unenlightened? Go and say, ‘O Lord, gild the Bible for me. I want an expounded Bible. Illuminate it; shine upon it; for I cannot read it to profit, unless you enlightenest me.’”  — Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Older posts

© 2017 Light to Live By

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑