Do you love the Bible? If you are a Christian, I am sure that your quick answer would be, “of course, I do.” But, do you really love it? Do you look forward to the time you get to spend studying God’s Word? Do you miss it if you do not read the pages for even one day? Do you consult it for all of your questions about life? Do you seek it, read it and meditate upon it at every opportunity you have? Do you truly love it?
I was saved when I was seven years old. At the time, I understood that the Bible was the Word of God and that I should read it and I should obey it. I understood that everything in there was true and that the answers to my questions were in there as well. But honestly, I don’t know that I loved it.
I had many pastors and other Christian leaders over the years that challenged me to get into the Word of God. They quoted verses like Second Timothy 3:16-17; “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Or other verses like Hebrews 4:12; “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Or this one, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105) or James 1:22; “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” All of those verses I committed to my memory at a young age and I understood them and tried to live by them.
However, once I graduated from high school and went to Practical Bible Training School for a year, my understanding and appreciation for the Bible changed. There were two people at the school who were responsible for that. The President of the college was Dr. Woodrow Kroll. He spoke at several chapels during my year there and I also had the honor of being in his “campus family.” One of my professors was Dr. Lloyd Benson. I am not taking anything away from my pastors and other teachers when I was growing up but Dr. Kroll and Dr. Benson showed me that the Word of God was alive, exciting and the more I studied it, the more alive and exciting it became!
In looking back in my notes from those days, I see that Dr. Kroll spoke in chapel my very first day and mentioned this verse. “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” That verse is found in Proverbs 30:5. I loved that wording! He Word is flawless and He is our shield IF we take refuge in Him. Suddenly, I no longer saw the Bible as a “rule book” or a list of things that God expected or wanted from me, I saw God’s Word as a shield and as being flawless! I realized that there were numerous truths in this Book and numerous promises that could, should and would encourage me in my walk with Christ.
Dr. Benson was a one-of-kind professor. He was funny, incredibly intelligent and one of the best Bible Teachers I have ever come across. He taught with excitement and instigated great discussion in class and aroused our curiosity and our own excitement. He taught us to study the Word of God and to ask God what He wanted us to learn from it that day. He taught us that God spoke to each person differently and that His messages were very personal. He taught us to love the Word of God and to depend on it each and every day of our lives.
I have come to learn that hope is found in God’s Word, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5) and “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.” (Psalm 119:114). Most importantly, we learn in Isaiah 40:8 that God’s Word will endure forever where the Bible says; “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
If you have not really studied your Bible lately, I encourage you to do so! Join a Bible Study at your church or study it on your own. God speaks to you through His Word and the answers to the problems and the questions of life are truly found in the pages of the Holy Bible. I love to read the Word of God. I love to study the Word of God. I love the Bible but more than that, I love the Author! The Bible is God’s message to His Children so if we love God we should equally love His Word.