It is staggering and stunning. Delightful and daze-inducing. It should boggle my mind and baffle my senses.
I have God’s word.
God spoke and stars burst into existence. Birds and beetles and Beatles owe their existence to the creating, mighty, life-giving word of God. Dead men emerge from their tombs and hurricanes dissolve when they hear the voice of God.
It is God’s word that keeps the Earth from drifting too close to the Sun and at God’s command the world will dissolve like snow and a new heaven and Earth will be spoken into existence.
Angels delight in hearing God speak. The people of Israel longed to hear God’s guiding voice, and prophets were revered as God’s mouthpieces.
And I am, quite literally, surrounded by God’s word.
I have at least six different Bibles, including one with a calfskin cover so soft you could use it as a pillow. I have two Bible apps on my phone, a Bible audiobook read by Max McLean (the James Earl Jones of the Christian world), Bible software on my Mac, and two comic book Bibles my kids read.
And yet, there are few things I take for granted more than having God’s word. After all, I’ve always been surrounded by Bibles. My dad was a pastor and regularly read scripture to us. When I was young, he would read stories to me and my siblings from a children’s Bible while we slurped down our cereal.
If I’m honest, having the word of God doesn’t seem all that impressive to me. I know it’s important to read and memorize, but frankly, I’ve got a lot of titles in my Netflix queue
It seems I need to be regularly reminded of a few things.
God’s Word Reveals His Glory
When scripture talks about God’s glory, it’s usually referring to the staggering sum of his breathtaking character and attributes. He is righteous, loving, kind, tenderhearted, holy, creative, faithful, steadfast, and ten thousand other things. He is the polar opposite of boring.
He is a hurricane, lion, flower, lamb, warrior, Father, artist, accountant, and entrepreneur wrapped into one wonderful, infinite being. God makes The Most Interesting Man In The World seem like a pathetic excuse for a human. Everything good and enjoyable comes from God and he is the greatest good, most enjoyable being in the universe.
How can I know this God? Through his word. As I read God’s word, the Holy Spirit opens my eyes to see God’s beauty and majesty and ferocity and love. I come face to face with the one who causes the angels to cover their eyes and cry, “Holy, holy, holy.” I encounter the same, living Jesus who walked on water and rebuked demons and died for sinners and now reigns in heaven.
The Bible is no ordinary book. When I read it, God reveals himself to me.
God’s Word Protects Me
Sin is destructive, fracturing, and ruinous. It splits families and sabotages churches and ruins pastors. And while my sin doesn’t separate me from God because I am in Christ, it does disrupt my fellowship with him. I’ve seen so many people self-destruct because of sin that it deeply scares me.
The beauty of scripture is that, through it, God protects me from sin. This is why David says in Psalm 119:9:
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
Scripture serves as guardrails for my life, keeping me from careening into ravines of self-destruction. The Spirit speaks to me through the Word, convicting me, challenging me, and keeping my conscience from growing dull. It produces a healthy, sobering fear of the Lord in me.
In a world where temptation is only a click away, the protecting power of the Bible is precious.
God’s Word Strengthens Me
Honestly, life just sucks sometimes. This shouldn’t surprise me given that Jesus explicitly said, “In the world you will have tribulation.”
We live in a sinful, broken, distorted world. Trouble and trials and tribulations should be expected. The good news is that God’s word strengthens and sustains me even when life sucks.
It reminds me that I have a Shepherd who is leading me to still waters and green pastures (Psalm 23). It comforts me with the truth that even though my body may break down, Christ is making all things new. It encourages me that nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8) and that God’s grace is sufficient for me in every circumstance.
Frankly, I don’t think I could make it through life apart from the sweet, sustaining power of scripture.
God’s Word Helps Me Navigate The World
The world is really confusing. To quote Billy Joel, there are, “Shades of gray wherever I go, the more I find out, the less I know.”
There are millions of voices spouting millions of opinions on everything from sexuality to finances to relationships to entertainment. It’s like standing in a house of foggy, cracked mirrors. It can be tough to separate fact from fiction.
Gratefully, God’s word speaks into the confusion. It helps me navigate everything from my Netflix queue to family disputes to the type of church I should attend. Without the Bible, I would be like the people of Israel in the book of Judges, always doing what was right in my own eyes.
Scripture helps me see through the shades of gray and make wise choices.
God’s Word Helps Me Become Mature In Christ
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul writes:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
The primary way I become a mature, stable, God-honoring Christian is through the hearing and application of the Scriptures. The Bible is like a chisel that slowly shapes me into the image of Christ. It’s a foundation that keeps me from being swept away by the storms of life. It’s the supply house which holds all that I need to live in a manner worthy of the gospel. It’s the stream of water that preserves me in drought and feeds my spiritual growth.
Without God’s word, I would be a stunted, shriveled Christian. With God’s word, I can become mature in Christ.
Take Up And Read
It seems to me that my apathy toward scripture is often the result of forgetfulness. I forget the comforting, sustaining, transforming, invigorating power of God’s word. When this happens, I neglect the Bible, to my great harm.
I love how Charles Spurgeon puts it:
May I constantly remember this truth and consistently immerse myself in the glorious word of God.