It was a week before the end of the year, and I was behind on my morning Bible readings again. My goal for the year was to completely finish my reading plan, but I was about to fail. So I woke up a little earlier on that last Sunday to catch up on 14 chapters of reading, 11 of which were in the Gospel of John. By the time church rolled around I had finished.
In that morning, God's word resonated with me in a way that it hadn't for a while. Everything I heard in church filtered through the lens of the Gospel in my thoughts. The life of Jesus and His holiness was in the forefront of my mind throughout the day. Conversations with others reminded me of conversations Jesus had. I had just saturated myself in the Gospel and it was good for my soul.
Washed in the word
As a mom, I do a lot of washing. I wash clothes, dishes, counters, more dishes, and more clothes. I have found that some of the best ways to clean include soaking things. Muddy boys and dirty dishes are easier to clean when immersed in a tub of water. This should be how we approach Scripture. We should be completely immersing ourselves in God's word every day.
The Bible speaks of how Jesus has cleansed us (John 15:3) and washed us (Hebrews 10:22). Our thoughts should be filtered through the lens of Scripture. When we stand at the edge of a lake, we should be reminded of God's power to part the Red Sea and free his people. As we see children running to their parents we should remember how in Matthew, Jesus instructed his disciples that, “the kingdom of God belongs the children such as these.” When non-Christians approach us about our faith we should think of Colossians and remember to let our speech be gracious.
Scripture should always be at the forefront of our minds, reminding us of who Christ is and what he has done. In Ephesians 5:25-27 it says, "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." Christ has loved us by washing us in His words. What a beautiful gift!
As you open Scripture and read here are a few things to keep in mind:
Read to learn
The Bible is God’s sovereign word (2 Peter 1:20). It is the very words of the one and only God. It is God's story of His Son. All words in Scripture point to Jesus. They tell of who He is, why He came, how He came, how He died, how He rose, and how He will come again. God does not hide His face from us so that we might guess who He is and what He is like. God reveals Himself to us in His Word. We must read it.
The pages of Scripture are not to be intimidating, but life-giving (John 1:1-4). Learning the stories of the Bible helps us to fully see who God is. Learning of Old Testament prophets builds the anticipation of a lost people needing a Savior. The Gospels reveal the life of the needed Savior. And the last books tell of how beautiful a gift the Holy Spirit is, as it changes the hearts of men and opens them to God’s transforming grace. "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4).
Read to Love
“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” I often sing this phrase to my children at night. I sing this because it is true (John 3:16). His love is perfect and complete. It is all satisfying. As we read the pages of Scripture there will be no choice but to be captivated by the truth of God’s deep affection for His people. The Gospels are filled with the compassion of Christ on sinful man.
When we are captivated by the word of God, our sins come to light. We will start to feel the weight of them and how we are imprisoned by them (Ephesians 2:1). Then we see that we are no longer trapped by them because the only One that can save us has (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our only proper response to that is to bow in worship and awe seeded from a love that is almost incomprehensible. Jesus has come that his joy may be in us and our joy may be full (John 15:11). We have been saved! But we will know none of this without His word dwelling in us.
We are sponges. We intake obscene amounts of information every day. I have to come to realize that whatever I take in at the beginning of my day is reflected throughout the rest of it. I create a filter or a lens through which I see the world by the first few hours of my day. If I sleep in, my day will feel behind and rushed. If I read my Bible, I am more likely to be reminded of God in all things.
We do not need more distractions in our days or to add another thing on our to-do list. We need Jesus. We need the Word of God. When God is our priority, everything else falls into its right place. When we are saturated in His Word, our schedule will reflect His priorities. So sit down, open your Bible. Read God’s word. Read it for an hour. Read it for 10 minutes. Read an entire Gospel in a day. Don't do it to check off your good deed for the day. Do it to spend time with the Lord. Do it to know Him better. Do it to filter everything you do and see through Gods precious Words. "Taste and see that The Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8)