The Bible; November 16, 2019

Jeremiah 3:18 “In those days the house of Judah will join the house of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your forefathers as an inheritance.”

The Bible contains almost countless prophecies that have already been fulfilled, which is a strong witness to the veracity of the whole thing. Jeremiah certainly has quite a few of those, and some of them seemed so preposterous at the time that even Jeremiah complained! (Jeremiah 32, for example) People who discount the Bible really haven’t read it with any understanding. Part of that comes from an active desire for the Bible not to be true, because they know they stand condemned by the precepts laid down in it. However, our excuses and twisted justifications don’t change the truth of the Bible. Doing that is rather like trying to deny the truth of gravity, and then walking off a cliff. Just like he did with Eve, the devil loves to say, “Did God really say…?” Or, “God said this, but….” That’s why it’s so important to get the Word into our minds and hearts. Memorization is fine, but it doesn’t do the job by itself. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day had huge chunks of the Bible memorized, but they had no grasp of the character of the God who caused it to be written. That’s why Paul said, “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6) We need to get the Spirit’s explanation and interpretation of the words on the page, but conversely, we need to get the words off of the page and into our minds and hearts to give Him something to work with. Setting Scripture to music is an excellent way to do that, but nothing is a substitute for reading the Bible daily with a hunger to hear from God. If we do that, we find that God is amazingly faithful to speak to us. So many people lament that they never hear from God, or they don’t know how to hear from God. I would bet anything they don’t read the Bible daily in humble expectation.

I have learned from experience that a vital part of all of this is the commitment to obedience. It does no good to read the Bible and know what God has said and is saying, but then go off and do your own thing anyway. Having first read through the Bible by the time I was 10, and having done so many times since then, there’s hardly any situation I encounter that I don’t know what God has said about it. However, I don’t always do what I know God has said! I sometimes think James 1:22 was written just for me! (Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.) As a pastor I am constantly telling others what’s in the Bible, but if I’m not living it out myself, it does me very little good. One of the believers here once said that I was addicted to the Bible. I was so happy to hear him say that, I cried! He said he knew what he was talking about, because he was a recovering alcoholic himself. Alcoholics get to the place they can’t really function if they haven’t had at least one drink. I want to be that way about the Bible! I want it to inform me every moment, so that I live it out so as to fulfill that for which my Lord sent it, (Isaiah 55:10-11) for His glory.

Father, thank You indeed for Your Word. Thank You that I was born and raised in a family that was steeped in the Bible and sought to live it out. May I do no less, and introduce many to the incredible riches You have provided for us, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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