…and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15 ESV)
The Bible is the inspired word of God. It came from his mind and breath and was transcribed in print to teach and encourage all believers in him. I wonder how many of us treat our Bibles as sacred writings? I was told that our brethren in Africa wrap their theirs in doily cloth and hold them close to their heart because that is how precious God’s word is to them. They most likely do not have the luxury of having several Bibles in their homes (I have at least 5). So whatever has been gifted to them is treated with care and preserved as a valuable treasure.
Do we have the same love for his letters, decrees, and instructions? There was a time in my faith when I hungered for more Bible instruction. Half of my days on the weekends would be spent immersed in Scripture, studying and extracting meaning from them so that I can grow. Today, that hunger comes and goes, but it is still there.
God continuously speaks through the Bible and yet some people just treat it like an ordinary book. I don’t fault them for that because it is possible that no one has taught them how to mine for gold in those texts. It is also probable that they have not fully surrendered to Jesus and his Holy Spirit. There is just something in their lives that created a barrier between them and God. If that is the case, then we are never to cast judgment on them. If anything, our compassion must grow for them in prayer, asking the Lord to give them a breakthrough experience that captures their heart. Eventually, it will all make sense to them if they persevere and actively seek God out.
For those who are seasoned Christians, I pray that the Word continues to instruct and inspire, and that their hearts do not become dull. Every reading of Scripture, when done in a prayerful and receptive manner, is an encounter with God. That is why some pastors suggest reading passages slowly so that we have time to think over the content. Writing short reflections about what we have read is a great way to reinforce our learning and understanding. It’s kind of like writing the meaning of God’s word on to your heart because you tend to remember it better. To take it a step further, you can even share your reflection with a small group of fellow believers. You just never know what words may bless another person because the Holy Spirit is constantly working to bring forth enlightenment.
So the next time we pick up our Bibles, may we always remember to treat them as a collection of sacred writings and that we will continuously hold them close to our hearts. They are God’s words, his love letter to us.