“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” - John 1:1
What would you do if your Dad hugged you, gave you a letter, and left on a big trip with a TBA return date?
Crazy thought, right? It’s hard to say goodbye, let alone to say goodbye not knowing when you’ll say hello again. In this scenario, what would you do first? Would you read the letter once and set it aside? Would you hide it away for safe-keeping and read it when you missed him? Would you set it on your nightstand and read it every night?
I’m sure you know where we’re headed here. Jesus did that exact thing when he ascended into heaven after performing the happiest miracle of all time: resurrecting and claiming victory over death–OUR death. After that big moment, Jesus’ followers had the tiniest bit of time to celebrate with him before he suddenly disappeared into the sky. It’s not recorded in the Bible but they must have been yelling something like, “Hey Jesus, don’t leave us alone! Take us with you!”
But this was always his plan. And he didn’t leave us alone–he left us with his two greatest gifts: his own Spirit and his Word, the Bible. But these gifts won’t be helpful if we set them on a shelf and ignore them, just like your Dad’s letter wouldn’t be helpful if you hid it and forgot about him.
The way we read or how often we read the Bible is determined by our expectations. So what do you expect from the Bible? History? Stories? Rules? Instructions? Forgiveness? If you view it only like a rule book, well, that’s not very motivating to read, is it? An instructional manual? You’ll probably read it when you have questions, but you might just try to live your life on your own terms, especially if it differs from what you want to do.
The truth is that the Bible is all of the above, but it’s so much more: it’s God’s power. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
In Hebrew, the word for spirit is “ruach” which means breath or wind. This means the Bible pulsates with God’s breath and power.
More than any other time in history, we have easy access to the Bible. It’s literally at our fingertips in our phones. We can sign up for the verse of the day, follow Instagram and TikTok feeds about faith, read devotions online and listen to sermons by hip pastors around the world who are followed by celebrities. And yet the number of American Christians who read their Bibles is concerningly low, according to recent studies If our lives feel empty, this could be why.
God is able to transform you with new power every day! What’s in his Word is not just a collection of advice or rules. It’s urgent. It’s relevant. It’s what you need to live each day. “‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Instead of reminding yourself to read the Bible, remind yourself to open God’s Word and breathe with your Creator. Access his power so you can be energized in your mission while you wait for the return of God’s Word, Jesus! himself.
Abba Father, I confess that sometimes I believe I’m too busy to read the Bible. Sometimes I get distracted, I’d rather scroll through my phone, or I know what you’ll say and I don’t want to hear it. Light a fire in me so I hunger for your presence and your Word. Open my ears and heart to your voice and resurrection power. Amen!