Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why I Read My Bible

Last month I set out on a thousand mile road trip to the east coast. That was a lot of driving, but I wasn't worried about getting lost. Before I left my driveway I carefully plotted my route on GPS, and as I drove east, I watched my progress on the screen. I kept that little LED road map right in front of my face, and methodically followed the route guidance, step-by-step.

The August 21 reading makes me think of that little car adventure. IF as a believer it is my passion to follow the Way, then I'll be as careful to stay on track in my daily walk as I was on the road to South Carolina. I'll read and store God's word in my heart and in my mind so that I can use it to orient myself about where I am and which way to go. I'll trust it to keep me from wandering off track in the decisions I make.

With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you. - Psalm 119:10-11

The New Testament portion of the reading complements the road map analogy, and reinforces the importance of Bible truth with additional word pictures:

A FOOD PICTURE (What are you having? A baby bottle or a big, juicy steak?)

I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it.
And even now you are not yet ready, for you
are still of the flesh - 1 Cor. 3:2

A BUILDER'S PICTURE (If we're like architecture,
we want to try to be a well-built house, right?)

. . . like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation [of teaching],
and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care
how he builds upon it. - from 1 Cor. 3:10-13

Back to the road map, here's another good mental image: a COMPASS. Picture yourself at the center of the compass, and say you want to head due north. If you're off by a single degree, you won't notice right away, but as you moved out toward infinity, you would find yourself very lost. For me reading the Bible is like checking, correcting, and staying true to my heading.

The more I read the Bible, the more I see its importance, and the better I know Jesus. Without time in his Word, I can't live right, nor can I convince anyone else of the truth. I pray for more passion to keep my nose in the Book, for me and for you. I pray that in this busy world, the barriers that keep us from nitty-gritty, focused, contextual Bible reading will be removed.

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