1. You read it.
Whether you read it in a modern, easy to read version or listen to it on some form of media device, or if you prefer the good old standby – the King James version, God’s word won’t do anything for you unless you open the book!
God went to a lot of trouble to inspire the authors of the various Bible books to write his words because his people needed a textbook to know how to live and to remember the things he spoke out loud through his prophets and teachers.
2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Moses was inspired to create a written record of the history of Israel from the time of creation until they stood in the wilderness on the verge of entering into the promised land. And then he read that record to them to remind them of the things their God had done. He challenged them to read it to their children as well so that future generations would know and worship God alone. When Israel failed to read and remember God and his word, they got into trouble – EVERY TIME. We have to read it!
2. You embrace it.
How many times have you read a book only to put it down afterwards and promptly forget what you read? That happens when the words don’t engage our hearts. On the other hand, when you read a book that captures your imagination and emotions, it stays with you forever.
In elementary school I read Madeleine L’Engle’s book, A Wrinkle in Time. I remembered that story because it had stirred things in my heart. I could relate to the main character; the insecure, glasses-wearing Meg with a big heart that wanted to help others but didn’t know how.
For years I wished I could read that book again, but I couldn’t remember the title no matter what I did. However, as an adult I ran across the book by accident and as soon as I began reading it, I knew it was the beloved book I’d read as a girl. Even without knowing the title, my heart remembered the story.
In the same way, when the Bible engages your heart, it becomes more than just words on a page. It becomes embedded in your heart.
Psalm 1:2-3 The Message ..“…you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.”
3. You live it.
Psalm 119:11 The Voice “Deep within me I have hidden Your word
so that I will never sin against You.”
Because of newly diagnosed heart issues, I’ve had to begin making lifestyle changes: watching my sodium intake, diet and exercise (yes I hear those collective groans!). The medication is helping to manage things, but in order for it to be most effective, I have to live differently each day, actually doing what the doctor says. It’s not enough to read about heart disease or to know I have to make changes. I just have to “DO” it in order for it to be most effective.
In the same way, as Christians, it’s not enough to read God’s word or to know we need to make changes because we feel conviction when we read the Bible. We must do what it says to get the most benefit from our faith.
The Bible might be foolishness to those who never bother to look inside it’s covers, but to all who read it, love it and live it, God’s Word brings life and health.
Joshua 1:8 The Voice Let the words from the book of the law be always on your lips. Meditate on them day and night so that you may be careful to live by all that is written in it. If you do, as you make your way through this world, you will prosper and always find success.