By PAT HUTCHENS, A rework of Imitation of Messiah by Thomas A. Kempis—
Truth is what we are to look for when we read the Bible, not clever or interesting words. The Bible should be read in the same spirit in which it was written – a spirit of humility and total dependence on the Spirit of the Holy One. What we need to look for is what we can find in the Bible for living, not how it rates as good literature. It is good to read the more devotional passages as well as those with heavy theology which require more study. Whether the human author sounds brilliant or ordinary is not of great magnitude. Let God speak to you from His true words.
• All people eventually pass away, but the Word of the LORD lives on forever. Regardless of who reads the Holy Scriptures, God speaks to them. However, we can get sidetracked when we read the Bible and easily lose our focus. If you want to get something out of God’s Word, read with a humble spirit. Simply and honestly come before God and hear what He says. Don’t be concerned about showing others how much you know.
• Before you begin reading God’s Word, ask freely of Him for understanding. Pray that you will not only learn what the Bible says, but that you will know how to apply it to your daily living. Someone said to read first for what it was, then to pray to know what it means and finally to seek to know what it means to you.
• There is great purpose in simply listening “silently” to the Word of God, to the words of these holy, dedicated writers whom God spoke through. As you read, do not resist or be displeased at hard sayings. Keep in mind that all is there for a reason.
• King David knew the one purpose of God’s Word when he said, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).
• Timothy, who had learned the Holy Scriptures from childhood, was reminded by the Apostle Paul, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
A PRAYER BEFORE READING GOD’S WORD
Heavenly Father, as I read Your Holy Words – please open my eyes. Let me see what You want me to see. Help me, LORD, not just to read the words but to truly hear them. Don’t let me be like the man who looked in a mirror, saw himself as he was, but went away unchanged and forgot about it. (James 1) I yield my mind to Your Holy Spirit. Keep me from resisting anything You teach me. Show me how to apply Your Words to my life. In the name of Jesus I offer up my prayers. Amen.
A rework of Imitation of Messiah by Brother Thomas A. Kempis