“But the Word of God increased and multiplied.” Acts 12:24 (ESV)
I continue to be amazed at the power of words. Genesis recounts that it was with words that God created light from the darkness (Genesis 1). It was words from Jesus that silenced the storms. Words have been life giving in my own life. It seems that at just the right moments, someone has spoken an encouraging word into difficult and discouraging situations. Quite likely, we have all been recipients of harmful words as well. It reminds me daily of the power of a word.
We often refer to the Bible as the Word of God. Jesus is referred to in John 1:1 as “The Word.” These words have come to be life giving to me.
No doubt we have all had a preacher or teacher encourage us to read the Bible. Every Christian would affirm that as important. However, I have begun to change the way I read the Bible.
There have been times I have searched the pages of Scriptures to pass an exam in Bible College or Seminary. At times, I have studied to be ready to give answers to people I get to shepherd. Other times, my Bible reading has consisted of a search for divine knowledge or sermon preparation. All these are good things, but those practices have at times left me spiritually dry. My realization has been that I have spent time in front of an open Bible to “put my time in.”
A growing desire that wells up within me is to read the Bible spiritually and intellectually. It becomes more than comprehension at that point. It is spiritually forming! Have you ever been alone with your Bible and just allowed the Holy Spirit to minister to you through His Word? The Bible is life changing. I admit that I do not always understand everything I read, but God always seems to give me exactly what I need in those moments.
The richness of the Word of God comes from the reality that its spiritual depth never runs dry. It is a well that springs forth. There are often contemporary issues or questions born out of my curiosity that the Word does not always answer, but it meets the deep need of my spirit every time I come ready to encounter Jesus.
Take time with the Bible today—not to get in a certain amount of time or to cover a certain amount of material—just expecting that the word of God might change you.
Jared Henry is lead pastor of Mackey Church of the Nazarene in Mackey, Indiana, USA.
Written for Coffee Break.