The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
As Christians, we are to view God’s Word as medicine, not poison. Imagine that you are suffering from a fever of 103 degrees and you have a sore throat that will not stop. Finally, you are so miserable you go to the doctor for some relief. He says, “I have just the thing you need. I will give you some purple pills, and if you will take one of those purple pills every day, you will feel better.” You take one of those purple pills, and almost instantly you begin to feel better. Then the next morning you get up, and you forget to take your purple pill. It is not a part of your regular routine. That is understandable. As the day progresses, you begin to feel worse and worse. The fever and sore throat return. The next morning, you get up, and you know you need that purple pill, but you are running late to work or school, and you cannot be late. So you do not take time to take the pill. Again, the fever and the sore throat rage on. How many days would you go until you decided, “This is a priority for me to take this purple pill”?
I know that is a simple analogy, but it is the same way with God’s Word. God gave us His Word to bring healing into our lives, to remove the discomfort in our lives that comes from disobeying Him. Yet many of us have the same attitude toward the Bible that we do toward broccoli: “I know it is good for me, but it makes me gag.” And we continue to suffer the results of not having that regular intake from the Word of God.
Can I give you a practical solution? I used to have a practice of reading from my only Bible, the one that I preach from, the one I have had for 35-plus years. But here is what I found: When I would read various passages, I had so many words underlined already, I had read it so often, that the words almost came by rote to me. I would look at the notes I had made in my margins. I would begin thinking about people I had shared these verses with, sermons I had preached in the past, and then I would start taking a stroll down memory lane instead of allowing the Bible to speak to me. So what I have started doing is this: Once every year, I get a fresh copy of God’s Word. I use a different translation or a paraphrase so that I can sit down without any markings, without any familiarity, and let the Bible speak anew to me.
If you have gotten away from reading the Bible, I suggest you do the same thing. If you use the New American Standard Bible, why not get a copy of the New Living Translation? There is something great about reading the Bible in today’s language. Maybe you use the New International Version and you want to switch to the New American Standard Bible. The point is there ought to be a time every day when you read the Bible. You do not analyze it; you do not study the Greek words; you just allow it to speak to you so that you can hear the voice of God. Treat the Bible like medicine, not poison.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Truth That Transforms” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.