Sometimes we are lulled into thinking that it’s really not that important to read God’s Word, as if it simply contains historical information that doesn’t apply to us today. Let me ask you this: If your husband or boyfriend wrote you a love letter and handed it to you, how eager would you be to open it? How long would it take your eyes to devour every word of it? Would it seem urgent? Would you make it an immediate priority? The Bible is God’s love letter to you, written straight from His heart in order to touch yours.
We tend to forget this, if we ever understood it at all. We lose sight of the immense value of the Scriptures. We grab them if we need them, but otherwise they just sit there. If we leave our Bibles buried in the bookshelves or collecting dust on our bedside table, God’s words will never come alive to us or remain a vital, active part of our lives.
When I was a little girl, I couldn’t grasp this truth. I assumed that I was a good Christian because I went to church, put my quarters in the offering plate, and allowed my Sunday school teachers to spoon-feed me a Bible story and a memory verse or two. The contents of Scripture were little more than tissue paper pages filled with stories of flannel graph characters that didn’t seem to have anything to do with real life, at least not my life anyway. So even after the car accident, my Bible initially went unread and my life went unchanged. I was alive, but I wasn’t really living. I continued looking for love in all the wrong places,rather than seeking to understand God’s lavish love for me.
I experienced a turning point in a small church singles group when we lost our regular teacher. Rather than disband the class, we agreed that we’d take turns teaching the lessons. Back then, I was too ignorant to know just how ignorant I was about God’s Word. I felt like I could probably wing it, so I volunteered along with everyone else. As my Sunday to teach approached, I began fumbling through pages of my Bible, wondering what topic I could possibly present. Sure, I knew many of the biblical characters, but did I really know why those stories were in the Bible or what they were trying to teach? I realized that in most cases I didn’t. I was in over my head, but rather than go down without a fight, I decided to ask God to help me mine the riches that are deep inside the Bible. I asked Him to reveal Himself to me in a way that I had never known before.
God can’t resist such a prayer. He lit a fire in my bones, not just to read His words or study them, but to truly live them out and recognize how precious and applicable they are to my life. I was inspired to reach in and grab hold of His timeless truths like never before, so that they would bring a greater sense of life to my soul. I began seeing His Word as the most eloquently-written love letter I could ever imagine, and I got giddy over the idea that God knew me intimately and loved me so extravagantly.
Excerpted from Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.