I have found that my time spent with my Bible is my best investment. I need to balance with other areas of my life. But my Bible study time is invaluable. It’s not just that I’m a preacher. The Bible promises prosperity and success if you will invest time in your Bible.
The promise given to Joshua can apply to us. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
So what is it about the Bible that makes it so great. The writer of Hebrews gives four reasons why you should spend time with your Bible.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
1- The Bible is A Living Word (v. 12a)
“For the word of God is living…”
The Bible is unlike any other book you have in your home or in the library. The Library of Congress lays claims to being the largest library in the world, with more than 130 million items on approximately 530 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 29 million books and other printed materials, 2.7 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps, and 58 million manuscripts. Yet among all these volumes the only ones that can lay claims to being alive and powerful are copies of the Bible. This places the Bible in a unique category all to itself.
God’s Word gives new life to sinners. “….for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23). If you want to see sinners converted, get them to read and listen to God’s Word.
God’s Word gives new life to His saints. “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul” (Ps. 19:7). Every Christian should enjoy the Bible as a source of strength, encouragement, and direction.
2- The Bible is a Powerful Word (v 12b)
“For the word of God is living and powerful.”
The word translated “powerful” (energes) is the word from which we get energy and energetic. The word literally means “at work.” Charles Swindoll comments, “News articles may inform us. Novels may inspire us. Poetry may enrapture us. But only the living, active Word of God can transform us.”
The movie, ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ depicts the historical account of a rebellion against the notorious Captain Bligh. The movie ended with as nine mutineers, along with Tahatian men and women, found their way to Pitcairn Island. Ten years later, drink and fighting had left only one man alive—John Adams, along with eleven women and 23. This is where the movie and book ends. But the rest of the story is even more remarkable. Adams came across the “Bounty’s” Bible in the bottom of an old chest. He began to read it, and the power of God’s Word reached into the heart and changed his life forever. The peace and love that Adams found in the Bible entirely replaced the old life of quarreling, brawling, and liquor. He began to teach the children from the Bible until every person on the island had experienced the same amazing change that he had found. Just before World War 2, with a population of about 200, nearly every person on Pitcairn Island is a Christian.
3- The Bible is a Penetrating Word (v 12c)
“… sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow…”
Like a sharp sword which can lay open the human body with one slashing blow, so the sword of the Scripture can open our inner life and expose it to ourselves and to others.
God’s Word can reach into the innermost recesses of our being! No heart is too tough and no soul is too dark. God’s Word can pierce anyone as a certain Mr. Thorpe in the 18th century Bristol found out. Thorpe was a part of a band of men who called themselves, the ‘Hell Fire Club.’ Their reason for existence was to mock and ridicule the work of evangelist, George Whitefield. On one occasion, the ‘Hell-Fire Club’ gathered at a pub for such mockery. Mr. Thorpe offered his imitation of Whitefield, whom he and his friends called, ‘Mr Squintum’ because of Whitefield eyes. He delivered his sermon with accuracy, perfectly imitating his tone and facial expressions as he quoted Scripture and exposition. Suddenly amidst the laughter he had to sit down for he was pierced through and was converted on the spot.
4- The Bible is a Discerning Word (vv. 12d )
“…and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
God sees everything and we can’t escape. We want God to see us when we are hurting and when we are going through difficult times. The word “discerner” (kritikos) is the word from which we get critic. As the word of God penetrates into the innermost recesses of man’s being it does so as his critic or judge to tell us when we are wrong.
God sees everything and there is no hiding. Only the Word of God is capable of exposing the thoughts and attitudes of a single human heart. There really is no use in hiding. Why is it when we fear that something is not quite right physically we tend to put off going to the doctor because we fear we will hear bad news. The same is true spiritually. When God reveals our heart, confess it, and go on. Don’t try to hide.
I discovered with five practical action steps:
- Treasure God’s Word above all worldly counsel!
- Read, study, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word.
- Apply, trust, and obey God’s Word.
- Live with your heart exposed to God’s Word.
- Drink in all of the biblical preaching and teaching you can absorb.