Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Bible Is God Speaking to You

The Bible Is God Speaking to You

'...The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.' John 6:63 KJV

Did you know that the longest telegraphic message ever dispatched was in May, 1881? It carried 118,000 words. It was printed in full that day in the Chicago Times. One of the nation's leading newspapers gave space for four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans. 'A triumph of publicity' was the verdict of the nation's press. All this was done because the Revised Version of the New Testament in English was on sale that day. In New York City, 33,000 copies were sold within 24 hours, setting a new sales record for any book.

Why does the Bible remain the world's most widely read book?
For one simple reason: you read every other book - the Bible reads you!
You say, 'But I don't get a lot out of the Bible when I read it.' You are not alone; many people say the same thing.
 But it doesn't have to be that way. FB Meyer, one of history's great Bible teachers, writes, 'Read the Bible not as a newspaper, but as a love letter. If a cluster of heavenly fruit hangs within your reach, gather it. If a promise lies upon the page as a blank cheque, cash it. If a prayer is recorded, launch it as a feathered arrow from the bow of your desire.'

Why do we keep going back to the Bible?
Because in a world where trust is in short supply, '...Not one word has failed of all the good promises He gave...' (1 Kings 8:56 NIV)

'...I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.' Job 23:12 NIV

Psychologists are agreed on this point: people only keep doing what rewards them! So when Bible reading becomes unrewarding, we quit. As a result we feel guilty, and become spiritually weak and discouraged. Your soul can no more thrive without God's Word than your body can thrive without a daily intake of food.
The Bible says, 'He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.' (Deut8:3 NIV)
One of the dangers of our always-connected technological age is that you begin to live on 'hits' of information and short messages limited to 160 characters or less. This creates spiritual ADD (attention deficit disorder).
God cannot be reduced to a limited word count or a few hurried moments in your day. To prosper, you must meditate day and night on the Scriptures (Psalm 1:1-3).
You say, 'But I don't have time to read the Bible.' How much time do you spend each day watching television? Hours? If you find television to be rewarding, but not God's Word, your soul is in need of intensive care!

If you want to change your life, change your habits and start reading the Bible. Job, who had more trouble than any of us will ever see, said, 'I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.'Job 23:12 NIV
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so may grow...' 1 Peter 2:2 NIV

Henry J. Heinz, founder of the Heinz food company, introduced the marketing slogan '57 Varieties' in 1896, depicting the range of their products. Well, most of us have at least that many excuses for not reading our Bible every day.
You say, 'But I have a very busy life.' Edgar G. Watts of California, aged 84, read the Bible from cover to cover 161 times. And here's something you probably don't know: he had the use of only one eye for 55 years. Can you imagine telling a physical trainer you'd really like to be fit, but you don't have the time to come to the gym? He'd say that you're not serious!

Jeremiah said, 'When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight...' (Jeremiah 15:16 NIV)
Developing a love for the Scriptures requires three things:
(1) Decision. You must establish Bible reading as one of your daily priorities or it'll never happen.
(2) Duty.You may not feel like going to work each day or caring for your family, but you know it's your duty so you do it. What about your soul? Don't you have a duty to feed yourself spiritually and stay strong?
(3) Delight. When you reach this phase, the battle over Bible reading is won. When business leaders are about to make an important decision, they say, 'It's time to pull the trigger.' Stop 'dabbling'! It's time to pull the trigger and give God's Word its rightful place in your life. 'Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up.'

'...You received His message... And this word continues to work in you who believe.' 1 Thess 2:13 NLT

In the Bible you will find a solution for just about every problem you face in life. How often have you gone for help to a pastor or counsellor or friend, only to have them direct you back to the Scriptures? When you get sick enough, you won't argue with the doctor, you'll just take the medicine! Paul writes, 'When you received His message from us, you didn't think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very Word of God - which, of course, it is. And this Word continues to work in you who believe.'

God's Word works - when you work it! But it only 'continues to work in you who believe.' So don't read it and then go out and say something different; get into agreement with God. Let His Word on the issue be word on it too!

The Amplified Bible says, '...The Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].' (1 Thessalonians 2:13 AMP)
One day an atheist said to a believer that it was quite impossible to believe in any book whose author was unknown. The believer asked him if the compiler of the multiplication table was known. 'No,' he answered. 'Then, of course, you don't accept it?' the believer asked. The skeptic replied, 'Oh, yes, I believe in it because it works well.' The believer replied, 'So does the Bible.'

The greatest investment you can make in yourself is reading your Bible.
'Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and Your servant loves them.' Psalm 119:140 NIV

Can you imagine how honoured you'd feel to have a personal audience with a president or prime minister? What are the chances you'd say, 'Sorry, I'm too busy. I can't come'? No, you'd approach them with profound respect, observe every protocol and hang on every word. Well, you can have a personal audience each day with the King of Kings and He will speak to you personally through His Word.
When you're in love with someone, you want to spend every possible moment with them, delighting in what they have to say and responding to them from your heart. David said, 'The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.' (Psalm 119:72 NIV) Again he said, 'Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and Your servant loves them.' (Psalm 119:140 NIV)

An unknown poet wrote:
'Though the cover is worn and the pages are torn, and though places bear traces of tears, yet more precious than gold is this book worn and old, that can shatter and scatter my fears. When I prayerfully look in this precious old book, as my eyes scan the pages I see; many tokens of love from the Father above, Who is nearest and dearest to me. This old book is my guide, 'tis a friend by my side, it will lighten and brighten my way. And each promise I find soothes and gladdens my mind, as I read it and heed it today.'
Whatever you have to sacrifice, whatever priorities you have to rearrange, Please read your Bible every day.
Source with permission: UCB: The Word for Today 12 -16 March 2014 Authored by Bob and Debby Gass