Testimony of Blessings Found in God’s Word (Part 2)
In the early 1970s, Billy Graham offered a new paraphrase of the Bible. It was called the Living Bible. When I received one I was thrilled as I read through the entire Bible. I can still remember some of the stories that I read for the first time, and how interesting it all became. Prior to that, I really thought I knew the Bible. Of course, I later learned to enjoy and appreciate other translations of the Bible and how they all provide greater understanding.
As life became more complicated to me and many situations in my life required strength that could only come from God’s Word, I found that the Bible had so many words of wisdom and comfort and guidance that I was unable to start a day without seeking God’s thoughts for the day. I developed a way of reading God’s Word each day, and feeling hungry for God’s Word if I missed a meal of scripture.
Through the years I have underlined or starred or marked in some way so many of God’s words of wisdom. Sometimes, even so, I will suddenly be struck anew by the truth or appropriateness of a certain scripture. Maybe it is one convicting me of an attitude or an action that I need to repent of. Sometimes it reminds me of things I need to do or things I have failed to do. Many times it reminds me of the love of God or of the great sacrifice Christ made for us. One scripture I learned in Vacation Bible School has become more meaningful to me through the years: “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against God.”
At one time I learned the following hymn which describes God’s Word to me.
Thy Word is like a garden, Lord, with flowers bright and fair;
And everyone who seeks may pluck a lovely cluster there.
Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine; and jewels rich and rare
Are hidden in its mighty depths for every searcher there.
Thy Word is like a starry host: a thousand rays of light
Are seen to guide the traveler and make his pathway bright.
Thy Word is like an armory, where soldiers may repair;
And find, for life’s long battle day, all needful weapons there.
O may I love Thy precious Word, may I explore the mine,
May I its fragrant flowers glean, may light upon me shine!
O may I find my armor there! Thy Word my trusty sword,
I’ll learn to fight with every foe the battle of the Lord.
by Edwin Hodder
Recently, I accepted a challenge of reading the Bible through in 90 days. I had been reading the Bible through for a number of years, and I enjoyed it and know I have benefited. However, I learned something new in reading the Bible in 90 days. One thing I learned was that I had to read for an hour to be able to accomplish my goal. Prior to that I had managed to read about 15 minutes and I was done for the day. Now that I have reached my goal, I find that my appetite for God’s Word is much greater. In the past I was happy for a 1200 calorie diet of God’s Word. Now I want a Christmas Day feast, and I feel that I have missed something if I don’t get it. I also learned that if I want to really enjoy God’s Word it must be savoring every bite and tasting the different spices and flavors and concentrating on what I am eating. My prayer is that I will continue to hunger for God’s Word and stay filled up daily recognizing all that the Holy Spirit wants me to know and learn and live.
Last week, I was asked to write about some of my experiences through life which might be meaningful to a group of young people. I wrote basically what I have written here. I added some challenges for them.
While you are young use your mind to memorize God’s Word and fill it with the good things that can guide your life. Also, I want you to realize the depth of God’s Word. I know that we can look only on the surface and think we know God’s Word but there is so much more there, and I know that if we have eternity just to explore the Bible we will still be finding riches there for ever and ever.
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
Do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, O LORD;
Teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount
All the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes
As one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts
And consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.