“Lean Christians own Bibles but feed on newspapers.” Read your Bible. Those who read the Bible sincerely still find it quick and powerful. Spurgeon said, “I should like to see a huge pile of all the books, good and bad, that were ever written—prayer books, sermons, hymn books, and all—smoking like Sodom if reading these books keeps you away from reading the Bible; for a ton of human literature is not worth an ounce of Scripture.”
A Book for All Occasions
In all life’s trials, the Bible meets every need of the human heart. In heathen lands or in civilized countries, in poverty or in prosperity, the Bible speaks to the mind. For all circumstances, the Book of God has just the message the heart needs.
Bible study inspires courage and determination to press on. The men and women in its pages are so human! They did not always succeed; sometimes they failed. The Bible records how patiently and sympathetically God deals with His erring children, and it reminds us that “He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14. How comforting it is to know that the Father understands us!
A Book with Secret Power
A thorough study of the Bible will make Jesus more real to you than any earthly friend. There is nothing you cannot talk over with Him; and He always understands, sympathizes, and gives the counsel needed. You may have Him walk so closely beside you that He hears your thoughts and feels your heartaches. R. F. Horton, in Victory in Christ, says, “The one sure and never-failing method of living the victorious life is daily study of the Bible. Study, not hasty reading; daily, not at fitful intervals. That study must be with prayer, faith, and a single-eyed desire to know the will of God and do it. Such a devotional and habitual use of the Bible, beyond all dispute, leads to a full experience of God’s love, of Christ’s saving power, of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.”
A missionary addressed a group of young ministers who were planning to go to China. In closing, he said: “You may learn to speak Chinese glibly, you may adopt Chinese customs, eat with chopsticks, and even wear Chinese clothing; but unless you are faithful in secret prayer and personal Bible study, you will fail as missionaries in China.” Prayer is the breath of the spiritual life, and personal Bible study is its food.
Every Christian intending on sharing the gospel must know his Guidebook. What would you think of a man posing as a guide, who did not know where to find the places of most interest to tourists?
And, wherever the Bible goes, it helps to bring about a feeling of brotherly love. An English trader was reminded of this when he landed on a once-cannibal island. Seeing a native studying his Bible, the trader said to him, “Oh, that Book is out of date in our country.”
“It is?” asked the native. “Well, if it were out of date here, you would have been eaten long ago.”
Have you been drinking deeply enough of the Bible’s living water to wash the dust of common things out of your throat? Drink deeply, and you will long for it as the “hart panteth after the water brooks.” Psalm 42:1. Drink deeply, and you will seek it as the desert traveler seeks the cooling spring. You will find it the panacea for all human needs.
Adapted from Alone With God’s Word, by Matilda Erickson.