2 Timothy 3:14-17 - But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 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.
I have a childhood Bible, a copy of The Living Bible paraphrase, which my parents gave me for Christmas when I was about seven or eight. It is falling apart, and for good reason; this is the book where I first learned clearly about Jesus. And it happened night after night when I was supposed to be sleeping, day after day when I was supposed to be doing homework (sorry, Mom!)—because I was a complete bookworm, and I just could not resist a nice, thick, long book.
I didn't know what I was doing, of course. I started at Genesis because, well, you should start a book at the beginning, right? With the result that I nearly died going through all the genealogical bits and the picky laws about sacrifice, and it took me a year to get through Psalms, because like most children, I had no appreciation for poetry. It was three years before I finished the whole thing.
But somewhere along the line I became a believer. I know it happened before I was out of the Old Testament; and when I got to the Gospels, well, I was well prepared to welcome Jesus! The prophets had told me all about Him already. A couple years later I was baptized.
I've told this story to a few people who flat out don't believe it. "A book could never do all that," they say, scoffing. "You're making it up." Well, no. The Word of God is just that powerful. It is alive, God-breathed, even contagious, if you want to use that language. Spend much time in contact with it, and you won't come back unchanged. Go to the Bible with an open, questioning heart, and see what happens. (Though I'd recommend starting with one of the Gospels; you might not make it through Leviticus!)
This is not to say that the Bible is an easy book. It is actually a collection of books—a small library, if you want to call it that. It has all sorts of genres: history, biography, romance, suspense, poetry, advice, letters, and so forth. It even has something similar to science fiction (but real). You can dip into it anywhere you like, and if something confuses you, you can either find someone to explain it (ask at church, maybe) or you can skip that bit and just try a different book. It doesn't take long for things to start coming together. And the Holy Spirit will definitely help you. Ask Him!
In John 14:23, Jesus says, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." The word for "keep" is perhaps better translated as "cherish, treasure, hold close to your heart." God gave us His Word so that we could know Him and so that the Holy Spirit could use it to draw us close to Jesus our Savior. Let's always cherish the Bible and use it as often as we can, because it is the Word of the God we love.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for speaking to us through Your Word and bringing us to know You who love us. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Do you know anyone who keeps old love letters? Why do they keep them?
2. What letters, poetry, songs, or books do you cherish, and why?
3. How has God used the Bible to help you know Him better?
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