A number of years ago when I was a kid, a man asked me a question that took me off guard. In what appeared to me to be a completely disjointed turn in the conversation, this man looked me in the eye and asked,
“Do you love the Word?”
“I’m sorry? What…”
“Do you love the Word of God? The Bible?”
I lied. “Sure. Doesn’t everybody?”
In my defense, he put me in an impossible situation. What was a church kid supposed to say? At least I didn’t blankly answer, “Jesus.”
I can honestly say today that I do love the Word. More than that, I see one of my primary tasks as a pastor and our collective task as the church of Jesus is to grow in a genuine love for the Word of God and to pass this love on to our children. Day in and day out we look to the Bible not merely for “good moral principles” but in order to interact directly with the Word of truth that can pierce into the deepest parts of who we are. In a world where ideas and pop culture shift and flow all around us, the church finds its anchor in the revealed truth of the Bible which colors all the major questions about who we are, why we are here, and what our relationship to God is like. And, as we do this for ourselves, we teach our kids and students to do the same.
In my experience in ministry, there are two common obstacles to loving the Scriptures:
First, we often hear the complaint from our students that they can’t understand the Bible. And I can certainly relate! There are many things in Scripture that puzzle me. And yet, as much as this is true, there are many more things that just make perfect sense! I do not need a complete understanding in order for the Word of God to impact my life. If you are seeking help, find a church that preaches the Word and models study methods. Or better yet, find a church that will put you in a small group of 5-10 people that will read and study the Bible together. We can grow into believers with the confidence to “rightly divide the word of Truth”.
The second attitude that is so detrimental to loving the Word is actually the exact opposite from the first: we think we have got the Bible figured out. I remember as a kid reading the entire Bible (which really meant that my eye at least passed over every word!). How naïve I was when I thought, “Well, I have conquered the Bible!” Do we expect to completely understand the most influential and studied book in history on a first reading? The truth is that gaining an understanding of Scripture will take a lifetime! So a necessary part of loving the Word is to humble ourselves before it.
A love of Scripture comes from confident humility! God bless Whitestone Media towards this goal as they give our children tools to understand our God’s Word and a sense of wonder at its depths!
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.