Recently I was thinking about how long it had been since I picked up and read my favorite hard copy Bible during the week. I read and listen to my YouVersion Bible App on my phone, I read from one of my devotionals during the week, but I often forget to really READ my Bible. I once again, as I often do, got a twinge of guilt. And like a message from heaven, a vision came to my mind. (I am a visual learner, so I felt it was no accident God gave me a picture). The picture was my Bible with a big red bow wrapped around it. It is my favorite Bible that my husband got me when we were dating 22 years ago. It was my first real Bible. Now, it is marked up with notes and passages underlined in any pen, pencil or highlighter I had nearby as I read God’s wonderful Word, took a Bible class or heard The Word preached.
So, back to that picture in my head of my Bible wrapped in a bow. God put it on my heart, “My Word is a GIFT.” Then, I pictured myself with a big red bow on my head. I felt it was God reminding me that He has given us gifts to use (my time and talents) for His glory. I was so moved and knew it was time to think of God’s Word in a whole new way. It is not a CHORE to read The Word. It is a privilege. We not only were given this wonderful gift, but in this country we have the freedom to own it, to read it and as of right now, to preach it, without restriction. But, so often we take this freedom and this gift for granted.
Fast forward to this past weekend. On Friday we arrive at our annual Women’s Retreat and are excited for our first speaker, Ms. Erin. She begins to speak and says we often see The Bible, His Word as a “To Do List.” She said (and I may be paraphrasing the best I can from my notes), “The Word is not a job, it’s not a task.” She said, “It is a GIFT.” She explained the difference between a gift versus a job. The whole time I was thinking, “Thank you Lord. This is totally what You put on MY heart. But just said in a fresh, new and expanded way.” She then said she had it on her heart to give me a gift. Then, she proceeded to hand me a beautiful pink gift bag full of goodies. Now, what if I chose not to open that gift, but to just carry it around, never peeking inside to see what treasure was given to me. Yet, so often that is what I do with God’s Word. There is no condemnation here. (Romans 8:1). It is just God gently reminding me that He has so much more in store for me if I only seek Him by spending time in His Word and prayer.
I read this great article that stated:
“In the book of James in the Bible, the author writes: ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.’ (James 1:5, NIV) The Hebrew word for wisdom ‘chokmah’ means ‘skill in living,’ and the Bible is filled with practical instruction for every area of life. Whether setting sights on ultimate purpose, goodness, forgiveness, freedom and the kind of service the world needs most, the Bible packs a full dosage…”
Bookstores are full of books on finding your purpose, living life to the fullest, marriage, relationships, parenting, etc. But, we have all of those answers wrapped up into one book written thousands of years ago for us to read even today. It is full of wisdom. The wonderful thing is, it’s not a one time gift. When we open it, there is a new gift for everyday of our lives.