Dusty Bibles

“Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble” (Psalm 119:165, NIV).

The Bible promises great peace to the lover of the Word of God. The Psalmist exclaimed, “Oh how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (Psalm 119:97). When we appreciate, spend time in, and apply the Word to our lives it releases God’s ability to keep us from stumbling, falling, or getting off track (and what a true blessing that is in the day we live). The “peace” refers to wholeness, soundness or “nothing missing and nothing broken.” This means that the Word is not only a force for helping us stand, it is also God’s power to bring restoration in to our lives. Romans 1:16, one of my favorite verses, says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation (soundness, wholeness) to them that believe…” Think about that for a minute. The Bible that so many people ignore, the Bible that has months of dust on it or has been sitting in the back of our car since last Sunday’s church service, is the key to the release of the power of God in our lives. While we cry out for deliverance, understanding, and power to live a victorious life, our Bible sits quietly on the nightstand unopened and neglected.

Howard Hendricks, the co-author of Living by the Book, said that shortly after he became a Christian, someone wrote in the flyleaf of his Bible the words, “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.” Hendricks stated, “Dusty Bibles always lead to dirty lives” (p. 13). Obviously there is no way to live in peace with God and ourselves if we are constantly being defeated by the influence of the world and the constant struggle to live clean in a dirty world. It’s also important to remember that when we cut ourselves off from the daily entrance of the Word of God into our eyes, ears, and subsequently our hearts, we cut ourselves off from a very, very powerful sanctifying force (a godly influence that conforms us to God’s character rather than being squeezed into the world’s mold). Jesus said it like this, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

Let me encourage you today to dust off that Bible and begin again. Don’t be afraid to study, really study that Bible. Read it. Turn the pages. Mark passages that speak to your heart. Write in the margins. Your Bible should not look pristine on the outside or the inside if you have been saved any length of time. You can tell a lot about the spiritual condition of a believer by looking at the condition of his or her personal Bible (and I’m not talking about the guy who leaves his Bible on top of his car as he speeds away from church or the Bible stained with coffee or the Bible left in the sun to bake for months). I’m talking about a Bible that looks worn because it has seen countless hours of binding bursting study and reflection.

I want to give you a few principles for becoming that Word person that deep in your heart you want to become. Take some time today to look up the Scriptures and apply them to your life:

  1. Fill your heart with the Word of God (Hebrews 5:13-14; 2 Timothy 2:15; Romans 10:17; Mark 4:24; Proverbs 4:20-22).
  2. Store the Word through memorization (Proverbs 2:1; 7:3; Psalm 119:11; Matthew 12:35).
  3. Meditate the Word (Psalm 1:1-3; Hebrews 4:12; Proverbs 119:14-15).
  4. Speak the Word (Joshua 1:6-8; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Proverbs 18:21).
  5. Do what the Word says (James 1:22-25; Deuteronomy 30:11-20; Luke 6:46-49).
  6. Stand on the Word (1 Peter 1:25; Ephesians 6:13, 17; 2 Chronicles 20:20).