Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"Reading, By Faith"

"Reading, By Faith"

    Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ encourage one another to read the Bible on a regular, daily basis.  Indeed, the writer of Hebrews' command to "exhort one another daily" surely includes our mutual encouragement to avail ourselves of the written Word of God that provides "a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Hebrews 3:13; Psalm 119:105).

    We also do well as we promote the reading of Scripture to remind each other that "we walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).  Much of the benefit we receive from the Bible happens in ways of which we may not be aware.  Not every reading results in a spectacular display of light, as it were.  Certainly we sometimes feel as if God has written the most personal of letters to us as the words of His Word directly apply to our hearts and circumstances.  We will also at times catch a glimpse of the Lord Jesus Christ's goodness and greatness that overwhelms us with wonder and and the determination to more love, trust, and obey Him.  Specifically applied illuminations, encouragements, and challenges also greet us many times as we read the Scriptures.  However, it is also the case that many readings seem like simply readings.  We may sense no spectacular display of lights as we look into God's Book of light.  We open the sacred Volume, asking God to administer His Person and truth to our hearts.  He answers our request, but we have no sense or awareness of the illumination.  Again, this is precisely as we would expect in a lifetime that involves far more faith than sight.  Just as we presently do not see the living Word, the Lord Jesus, so the written Word frequently enlightens without dazzling.  "Unto the upright there ariseth a light in the darkness" (Psalm 112:4).

    If the Holy Spirit thrilled us with obvious light every time we read the Bible, we would quickly begin to worship the experience rather than the Lord Himself.  Our Heavenly Father therefore administers His illuminations in rays of glory both obvious and obscure.  We devote ourselves to reading in the confidence that the Scriptures are not simply a book.  They are also a voice, the Voice our hearts cannot live without hearing.  The sound of such utterance, however, often graces our hearts unbeknownst to our conscious awareness.  Let us therefore consistently read the Bible, and let us read by the faith that rejoices when the Light brightly shines, and rejoices no less when it quietly illuminates without obvious display.

"I rejoice at Thy Word, as one that findeth great spoil."
(Psalm 119:162)
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
(Hebrews 11:1)

Weekly Memory Verse
     For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

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