Magazines have always held my interest more than novels, textbooks, or even the subtitles of an award-winning foreign film. I just don’t have the attention span for more than a couple of thousand words in a row! I guess that perfectly places me in the realm of the lone blogger, hacking out short articles of inspiration (or perspiration?) well into the dead of night.
And not everyone’s rants hold my fancy for the five to twenty minute allotment I’m willing to spend. Take the Editor’s column in a popular automobile magazine that graces my husband’s setting at the kitchen table every month. This car guy’s language is so thick with adjectives, metaphors, and strained attempts to make an inanimate, mechanical object organic that I grit my teeth to get from the beginning to the end. Just say it plainly Sir Editor! He probably has a journalism degree. I suppose that gives him license to use more words, write longer sentences. Not me.
I am moved by the languid composition of words that flows like butter running off a freshly boiled ear of corn. Gotcha, didn’t I? Just couldn’t resist! Perhaps the best example of the terse and poetic, the impactful and inspired comes from God’s Holy Bible. The Word of God is an amazing work that tells of the physical and supernatural, good and evil, things infinite and small, and everything in between. Where else can reading a single verse change a person’s destiny forever?
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1)
In the wonderful mystery that is God, we find power in His Word and receive His indwelling Spirit when we come to know Him as Lord and Savior. I do not claim to understand how this works by reading and meditating on a few chapters in the Bible. Mentioning it here simply illustrates the finding that the power of a written word comes from the author’s mastery of the subject matter and his ability to communicate it to the reader. For the Bible, the God of the universe brings us Himself and everything we need for life in His handbook for living as communicated to faithful men of God who wrote it down for us to read. His Holy Spirit stirs within us as we dwell in the presence of the King’s scrolls. Moreover, we come to understand who He is, His plan for our lives, and are drawn into fellowship with Him. This fellowship can last forever if we but believe what He has written for us, summed up nicely in John 3:16:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Now these are words that draw my heart and mind in a meaningful embrace: the promise of living forever with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Such a simple message really and yet one that changes everything. Let’s see it in action in a little longer passage from the Old Testament, often called the bedtime Psalm:
Psalm 121: A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber; (italics added)
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Now I can sure wrap my mind around these timeless and comforting images written long ago. I started a Bible-reading plan through “The Bible App” on my Android phone at the end of last year. I love it! (There’s even a narration option for listening to the verses spoken aloud.) Reading 3 to 4 chapters per day beginning in the book of Genesis goes quickly in this plan for reading the entire Bible in a year. While I do not understand all of the ancient culture, I am amazed at the Lord’s attention to every detail in the lives of His people. His love and care translates to you and I as well in the present day, when we spend a little time reading His Divine Word. I am so glad to have found the best writer of all time and hope that my own words will honor Him too.
Well, there it is. Simply stated and inspired by the One who wrote this special message on my heart for me to share with you today. No words are more important than His. Will you join me in spending a little time reading the Bible each day? I promise you that it will be worth any amount of time you devote to dwell in His presence.