I just want to ask, when you read the bible, are you just reading it, or are you “searching the scriptures”? Jesus said several times “to him who has ears to hear, let him hear”…I think he was trying to tell us that understanding the Word of God isn’t going to just happen without setting your heart to it. I know someone who reads her bible everyday, quite faithfully it would seem, and yet never encounters Jesus within the pages. Does that describe you? When you read the bible, are you getting out of it only the surface of the things we’re suppose to be doing? Are you coming away from your private study full of insight on how to live, what to do, what not to do, yet totally missing the revealing of the love and life of Jesus in those passages? 1 Corinthians 13:2 says “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” The bible clearly tells us that Jesus and Father God are one, and God is love. So even if you read the bible and get all this knowledge about it, if you aren’t seeing Jesus in what you read, it really isn’t benefiting you at all.
God doesn’t just want us to read His Word, He wants us to encounter Jesus on every page! (yes, even books like Numbers can reveal the heart of God’s love if you are really looking for it!) The Word of God is the essence of Jesus. If all you are looking for within it’s pages is the method on how to live, the do’s and don’ts, the how to and how not to’s, then be certain, that is what you are going to find. And if you can follow through with everything you read, you will surely reap the rewards of those teachings. But you still may totally miss Jesus, the love of God, and knowing him according to is love, not just his commands.
Every time we open our bible we should be encountering Jesus and the love of God. Every time. If your understanding of the purpose of the Word of God is just that it is to teach us how to live, you have a very narrow, works oriented view of the Bible, and God wants so much more for you than that. It’s more than telling us how to live, it’s about revealing to us our Father’s heart, the essence of love itself, the reality of Jesus Christ and the person of the Holy Spirit. If you only see the do’s and don’ts, you’ll never even see the heart of the Father when you read verse after verse of who begot who, and how many were in each tribe and family and clan. You’ll either blaze by those verses or read them just to check off your “through the bible in a year” chapter finished box, totally missing the heart of God as He is trying to show you how no one is forgotten, each one, from lowest to highest is important, valued, remembered. You’ll totally miss the Father whispering how great his love is if you don’t read his word expecting to find it.
The next time you open up the scriptures, ask Holy Spirit to reveal more than just how to live. Ask Him to reveal Jesus in the words you read, ask him to reveal the love of God and the heart of our Father. Ask yourself, did what I just read only make me a better Christian, or did it cause me to fall more in love with Jesus? Don’t stop reading until what you read draws you closer to his heart. And don’t feel like that means hours upon hours of endless reading. It’s not about how much you get into the Word inasmuch as it is how much the Word gets into you! Sometimes it may take 2 chapters, sometimes it only takes 2 verses. But when the Holy Spirit pricks your heart, don’t just blaze by it, stop, meditate, inquire of the Holy Spirit to reveal the deeper truth, the hidden treasure of what he’s speaking. Stop worrying about checking of your daily reading box, and get to know Jesus. Don’t just read about what Jesus did, learn about who Jesus is, because when you seek him, you will find him.