I have lots of books.
Ask anyone who knows me, I love books, I love to read, I have shelves and shelves full of books.
It’s quite hard for me to turn away a book. In fact my brother just called telling me about a friend that was getting rid of several and asking if I wanted some. After listing the titles my response was, “just bring them all!”
My Dad built me a great big bookshelf last year, I’m already running out of space.
I LOVE BOOKS!
But this Book?
This Book? His Book?
I Love This Book.
And when I say I love this Book I don’t mean the same way as when I say I love any other book.
After all, I am a book person, I love many books.
But This Book holds my HEART!
It Fills My Heart!
It is LIFE!
I’ve known people who attack this Book, they voice their issues and I even understand them to a point, but tears start to run down my face as if they are attacking my very heart. Because in a sense they are.
Did you know that Christ is called the Word? (John 1:1-5) Now I’m not saying Christ is a book I can hold in my hands, but He is, in a sense, God’s spoken Word, and it is God’s words that are inscribed in this Book.
I have a few files on my computer that I’ve saved for years. My husband and I met online and most of our early relationship is chronicled in so many web conversations, I saved many of them. Some of those words I wouldn’t want others to see, they are very personal, but they are also very precious.
I would spend hours pouring over those files in the time before he moved down to be closer to me. Hours spending time with his words when I could not spend time with his person.
We built a marriage on the foundation of relationship those words laid down. If someone took those words and started to tell me they were full of lies? A marriage just might crumble, and my heart would break.
It would be like my husband himself would crumble in front of me.
We are all, in many ways, defined by our words. It’s why scripture is so strong about talking about the importance of what you speak. In some ways, our words are a part of us.
This is why scripture is so important, and why I crave it so much. Scripture itself is a part of God in a very real way, its the part of Himself that He left to us in a tangible form, and that tangible form is often the catalyst He uses to introduce us to the intangible.
Do I think God is limited to speaking only through scripture? No. But how do we, who are so fallible, recognize His intangible voice without first getting to know His tangible one?
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16
I love that verse, it is somehow intimate, this idea of eating the words of God. In the same way it is intimate to spend time in Scripture.
A form of worship.
This, friend, is why spending intimate time in Scripture is so integral to our lives. It’s not about a discipline and religious duty, its not even so much about serious study, though that is a part of it. It’s about getting to know, intimately, the One who formed our hearts, by knowing His words.
Like spending time with the words of a lover.
I encourage you today, if you find your study time to be dry, to try to change your perspective about scripture, from so much religious manuscript to the Essential Word of God who Loves YOU.