The Bible is the world's best selling book, but why should we read it?
In Psalm 119:105, the psalmist addresses God when he says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."
To walk safely in the forest at night, we need a light to guide us around tree roots, and other obstacles of danger.
The Bible, God's guidebook to a purposeful life, reveals the entangling roots of false values and philosophies. Reading God's word makes us wise. True wisdom goes beyond amassing knowledge; it applies that knowledge in a life-changing way.
King David wrote in Psalm 19:8, "The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes."
In other words, the "life-maps" of God are accurate, pure, and bright, rejoicing the heart, and illuminating our understanding.
When we think of precepts (laws), we think of rules that keep us from having fun; however, here we see the opposite: laws that give us joy and make us wise.
By choosing to "go it alone" without following the eternal truths contained in God's word, we make a mess of our lives and the lives of others. God's Word warns us of the subtle pitfalls (temptations) that often look so inviting.
Psalm 19:10-11 declares, "They [the ordinances of the Lord] are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant (David, speaking of himself) warned; in keeping them is great reward." Here King David gives us two additional important reasons for reading the Bible: it points at danger and warns us, and it rewards us with success.
In addition, read God's word in your family devotion time, because it blesses little children (Matthew 19:14), strengthens young men (1 John 2:14), sanctifies (sets us apart, as belonging to God) and cleanses all who read it (Ephesians 5:26). It protects widows (Exodus 22:22-23) and honors the aged (Leviticus 19:32). It offers eternal life to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ (John 3:36).
Ok, so we have all heard these Christian buzz words, but what does it really mean to believe in Jesus Christ?
For that answer, let's turn to one of the most widely known verses in the entire Bible, John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
To believe is more than to agree intellectually that Jesus is the son of God. To believe means to put our complete trust and confidence in Jesus that He alone can save us.
It is to put Christ in charge of our immediate plans and eternal destiny. It is coming to Him as we are, and relying upon Him for the power to change our lifestyle of destructive habits.
Maybe you are asking this question; "Why should I trust the Bible to be the authentic Word of God?"
One of the strongest evidences of the divine inspiration of the Bible is the phenomenon of fulfilled prophecy. The Bible is unique among religious writings of mankind because it dares to predict future events in great detail.
It is impossible to consistently prophesy future events including specifics unless you are God.
When we examine the Bible, we find hundreds of detailed prophecies concerning various nations, events, and individuals covering thousands of years.
In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet Isaiah predicted that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and that He would be called Immanuel (meaning God with us). Isaiah prophesied these two occurrences 700 years before the birth of Christ to a virgin named Mary. We find the fulfillment in Matthew 1:18-23.
Isaiah 41:18-20 says, "I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it."
The lack of available water, including rain, is one reason why Israel was a desolate, unproductive land during much of the past two thousand years. The prophet Isaiah's prediction of a future restoration of Israel coincides with an occurrence in modern Israel.
During the 1900s, when many Jews returned to their ancient homeland, they built a network of irrigation systems and planted thousands of trees in Israel.
All of the trees referred to by the Prophet Isaiah are among the trees planted in Israel during the last century. Ancient Bible prophecies fulfilled with total accuracy clearly shows us that we can trust the entire Bible to be the authentic Word of God. May God bless you as you read His message to you, His Word, The Holy Bible.
Pastor David Goode is the senior pastor at Heart of Worship Ministries, which meets on Sundays at 3 p.m. in the arts and crafts room at the Port St. Lucie Community Center, 2195 Airoso Blvd., across from City Hall. Column reviewed by Nance Cox.
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