Friday, October 15, 2010

Open the Book

The adage "familiarity breeds contempt" is perfectly illustrated through the privileges we take for granted. One generation suffers decades of struggle and abuse to win its people the right to vote; its great-grandchildren can't be bothered to go to the polls on election day. A young man from a poor rural country puts years of determination and sweat into getting a decent education; his wealthy North American counterpart lets Dad foot the bill for the best schools and then grumbles about being expected to study.

And in the United States, where freedom of religion is standard and Bibles are sold in every town, fewer than half of Christians read Scripture with any regularity, and over ninety percent admit there are passages they never have read at all.

It makes no sense to have a medical prescription filled and then leave the bottle on the shelf unopened. The wisdom in the Scriptures is God's prescription for defeating worry, healing emotional pain, and finding meaning. A daily dose will vastly improve the life of anyone who approaches it prayerfully and humbly.

May all of us learn to say with the Psalmist, "I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.... Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.... The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold"  (Ps. 119:16, 18, 72).

God’s Word holds the greatest of treasures
For those who take time just to look;
It breathes reassurance and wisdom—
But first we must open the Book!

The Bible holds purest refreshment
To fill up each soul’s inner cup,
A fountain of nourishing knowledge—
But first we must open it up!

If you leave the Scriptures unopened,
Its riches no more can abound
Than if you could read not a letter,
Or never a Bible had found.

So many of us, though called Christians,
Are keeping one foot in the night,
Too lazy to look into Scripture—
Our Bibles and hearts closed up tight!

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