By Sharayah Colter
The richness of the living and active Word of God leaves me continually awestruck and endlessly grateful. It truly has no rival, this God-breathed book which Christians have died to defend. Recall how Scripture describes itself:
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” - Hebrews 4:12
No other piece of writing in all the world can say that about itself. The Bible is not just a collection of ancient writings but a trustworthy tutor, a most-needed medicine, and a connection to the Creator of the entire universe.
It is our “daily bread” (Mt. 4:4). Have you come to a place where you cling so tightly to meeting the Lord through reading His Word and depending on it more than physical food that you can say with the Psalmist:
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” -Psalm 42:1-2
and again later in the Psalms —
“My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word.” -Psalm 119:81
If you have sought the Lord like the Psalmist, you know what it is to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8).
Scripture is so absolutely interesting — packed with blockbuster-level action, peppered with precision and beauty, and constructed with more literary prowess than any other book. Woven together like an intricate tapestry, it is endlessly philosophical, gloriously mysterious and at the same time, practical and plain, able to instruct both the new believer and the mature. We marvel that, beyond any earthly understanding, the Bible is a living book and a tool of the Most High God which He uses in indescribable ways beyond our finite comprehension to speak to us, to teach us, to convict us, to train us, to prove us, to reprove us and to revive us.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” -2 Tim. 3:16
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.” -Ps. 19:7-11
“This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” -Psalm 119:50
And yet, in reality, a devastating number of people do not read the Bible. And if they do not read it, how then can they live it or live by it?
Recent data from Barna Research indicates that only 16 percent of U.S. adults read the Bible most days of the week. That means 84 percent of people are spiritually starving, as Scripture is the daily bread men and women need for sustenance (Mt. 4:4).
The effects of a spiritually-starved human race are clearly seen in the discouragement, depression, and division currently plaguing people around the globe. Many desperate to feed their spiritual hunger do not even recognize for what their soul deeply longs. They simply perceive an emptiness that desperately needs to be filled, and they seek that fulfillment in anything the world advertises—things such as achievement, validation, hobbies, therapy, medication, and all things self-centered — self-care, self-esteem, self-help, and so on.
But none of these things brings the lasting peace and fulfillment that comes only from a relationship with Jesus through the reading, understanding and obedience of His Word. The world will mock those who love the Word, scoff at the instruction of the Word, and, led by the devilish thief who aims only to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10), will present absolutely anything other than God’s Word as an appropriate answer to the pain in every life and the longing in every soul.
As Christians, we have the solution to sin and separation from God. His name is Jesus Christ—the Word made flesh (John 1:14; John 1:1-5), and we know Him through the written Word of God. As people who have been given such an invaluable gift, both in the salvation of our souls and the precious Word of God of which we can have as much every day as we are willing to read, we ought to be outright ecstatic to share these treasures far and wide.
“I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.” -Psalm 119:62
“Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life.” -Psalm 119:92-93
“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” -Acts 4:20
Who do you know in your life who needs to “taste and see that the Lord is good?” (Psalm 34:8)
Do you know someone whose soul—
Clings to the dust? (Psalm 119:25)
Melts from heaviness? (Psalm 119:28)
Faints for salvation? (Psalm 119:81)
If you are one of the 16 percent of Americans who reads the Bible most days of the week, then you know firsthand how a commitment to read God’s Word daily is completely life-changing. God’s Word “does not return void” (Isaiah 55:11), so if you are faithfully searching the scriptures, you cannot help but be transformed and transfixed by the living and active Word. Be encouraged today to share your love for the Word of God with anyone who will listen. Magnify the Lord (Psalm 34:3), point to Him with your life and your words (Mt. 5:16), and testify in every way possible about the hope, life, peace and fulfillment found in the Word of God. There is no joy like the joy of the Lord!
“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.” -Psalm 119:97
“How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” -Psalm 119:103
“Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul keeps them. The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments. Look upon me and be merciful to me, As Your custom is toward those who love Your name. Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts. Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes.” -Psalm 119:129-135