I had something happen this week that occurs more often than you'd expect. A friend and I were walking up to the side gate of our church, lunch in hand, when someone stopped us and asked if we would be able to answer some questions about the Bible. If this happened on a Sunday, that’d be one thing. But it happened in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day. He was in a serious relationship, and his future in-laws wanted him to strongly consider becoming a Christian. The conversation is ongoing, so I can’t give the ending away, but I found it fascinating. When challenged to consider the Christian faith, the first place he turned his attention to was Scripture.
Scripture plays a central role in our faith. This ancient library of 66 books has been the source of many a Christian’s faith journey. I thought it would be worth spending this month exploring the different ways we can be impacted by these unchanging words in an ever-changing world.
Here are five ways Scripture has impacted me:
Its words have hurt and offended me, delivering painful truths. There have been times when the words I read felt like disturbances or dissonant vibrations in my otherwise calm inner world. They have stirred me out of my acceptance of things I should not be comfortable with. This occurs when the searching light of this ancient document exposes my attitudes, motives, or thoughts.
Scripture has also brought me peace when anxiety or fear lurk under my emotions. Our words have the power to create life or to produce death. However, the words of Scripture have oftentimes provided shelter. They have pointed me toward the One who is bigger than my inward messes or outward circumstances. These words call me to seek after the One who is more aware of my situation than anyone else.
Ray of Light:
The way forward may be foggy, appear unachievable, or even impossible, but the whisper of His Word sheds light ahead that allows me to see there is always another step I can take. After I connect each step with the next, I discover that His Word has been guiding me all along, one step at a time.
His word has given me comfort. Like a soothing ointment on an open wound, His Word speaks healing and love over my soul. The remarkable reality of Scripture is that it is infused with Spirit and life. What activates it is a heart that is not only open to what Scripture says, but is also sincerely desiring to receive its life-giving power.
Lastly, Scripture has increased my wisdom because it instructs me in God's counsel. Committing Scripture to memory and reading it daily has increased my ability to navigate difficult situations with a sense of what wisdom sounds like. Left to my own intuition, I can easily be fooled into rationalizing that my way is best. But when I foster familiarity with the voice of wisdom through Scripture, I gain discernment between my own personal—oftentimes selfish—desires, and what is best from God.
We have three months left in the year. What if we finished this year by integrating, recommitting, or launching ourselves into a regimen that deepens our sense of Wisdom’s voice in our lives? A daily intake of Scripture radically transforms our lives. It will inspire us, speak to us, educate us, lead us, comfort us, and guide us along the way. I’m certain that if we commit to this, we will end the year stronger than we could have ever expected.