Have you ever wanted to hear from God? Wise counsel from the Creator & Savior would sure be nice during the tough times. Well, He has spoken to you. And He wrote His Word down in a Book. Men and women died so that we could understand it in our native language. The Bible contains “everything we’ll ever need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3; paraphrased). Are you a lifelong student of this life-giving book? So much so that you are continually astonished by the Bible?
11. Astonished by the Bible.
I rarely use the word “astonished.” I had to look up the definition. Merriam-Webster: “to strike with sudden and usually great wonder or surprise.” Perhaps, “to impress greatly or amaze.” I like this word.
Why did I use it? Does it fit the context of being a student of the Bible?
I found this Charles Spurgeon quote:
‘The more you read the Bible; and the more you meditate on it, the more you will be astonished with it.”
Another eternally valuable life lesson I’ve learned from my parents, mentors, pastors, and friends is to read, meditate on, and study the Bible every day.
“But Michael, that sounds like a lot of time, time that I don’t have.” To paraphrase one of my pastors: “We all have the same 24 hours each day. How do you choose to spend your time?” This same pastor suggested doing a time budget. Start by evaluating how you’ve been using your time. Print off a calendar page and write it out. Then determine what’s highest priority and make changes. And be sure to include—and be specific!—time slots for when you’ll be devoted to spending time with God. Any goal-oriented expert will tell you to make goals that are S.M.A.R.T. Make sure your goal of Bible time is specific, attainable, and realistic, or you won’t last long in your great plan.
When I write all of this, I’m not speaking from the high road of perfect achievement. I haven’t won a trophy for perfect daily Bible reading or studying or meditating. I frequently fail to maintain this high priority. Sneaking in a quick 2-minute skim of a Psalm might be nice to check a box, but it doesn’t do ultimate good for my soul. And it severely reduces my ability to do good for others and give glory to God.
I needed this reminder. This is one of the reasons I like to blog. It’s a way of self-evaluation that makes thoughts more tangible and urgent. And hopefully others benefit as well.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:22-25 ESV)
[What if you’ve never had a solid plan for making your way through the Bible? Where should you start? Here are a few free daily reading plans that I’ve used and benefited from over the years: 5 Day Bible Reading Program (my current plan); Professor Horner’s Reading System; and M’Cheyne Reading Plan]
Spurgeon had more to say on this topic (source: Grace Quotes). Can I just say “ouch” now?
“If you find a professing Christian indifferent to his Bible, you may be sure that the very dust upon its cover will rise up in judgment against him.”
“I am one of the bookworms that have not got halfway into my Bible yet; but I am eating my way as fast as I can. This one thing I have proved to myself beyond all question; I shall never, never exhaust this precious book. Much less shall I exhaust the wondrous Person of my divinely-blessed Lord. He is that bread which came down from heaven. He is utterly inexhaustible.” (Reference: The Treasury of the New Testament, II:365.)
“Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God.” (Said in reference to John Bunyan)
I hope that people can say this about me when I’m gone. True #goals.
Be a devoted student of God’s Word. Spend quality time with the Lord and His blood-bought Word. The more time you spend digging for its treasure, the more you’ll be astonished by the Bible.