Have you ever gotten a perfect gift? I am not a big fan of gifts. I really don’t like to open them, because I am so particular. It is even harder for me to open gifts in a large group. Because I also don’t really know how to control my facial expressions when I don’t like something.
On the flip side, I actually love to give gifts, but only if it is a perfect gift. Christmas season can be stressful for that reason, because let’s face it, you just have to buy gifts, and a lot of them are just not going to be the perfect gift. My favorite thing to give someone is a Bible. I get really excited about giving that to someone because I know that it is God’s word.
So, the other day my friend left me a gift. And I should have known it was going to be the perfect gift, because she just always gives the most perfect gifts, but I was so hesitant to open it, because of the above problem. What she gave me though left me a bit speechless. It was a perfectly wrapped, beautiful large white Bible.
It was the perfect gift.
Now, I have like 10 Bibles, but none of them are a special Bible. I have always bought my own. However, I have always wanted one that held more sentiment, something more meaningful. One that had a story that I could share years down the road when my children grow up, and have their own children.
My friend didn’t know that, I never told anyone that. I never even prayed about it, but God knew the desires of my heart. And He knew the story of friendship that He wrote with the friend who feels more like a sister.
He knew that I would treasure the gift, and hold it carefully. That I would let tears fall at the beauty, and the story behind the gift.
He also knew that if I had been given this gift 4-5 years ago, my reaction wouldn’t have been the same.
Do you love God’s word?
Take a second and honestly answer that. Do you love the Bible? Or do you think it is just a bunch of rules made to show us how much we fall short of perfection? Or maybe you don’t want to open it because you know what it says. You know it calls us to turn back to God, to follow His ways, and to do some really hard things. Like really hard things.
I have been there. There was a hard season I went through, and I didn’t want to read things like “be strong and courageous”, “forgive those who wronged you”, and “be still and know that I am God”. I definitely didn’t want to read scriptures that encouraged you to “just have faith” when I couldn’t see the next step, to step out of the boat even though the waves could drown me, and endure for the sake of the cross!
Be nice to your enemies.
Oh wait, it’s actually love your enemies.
Oh and the scripture about having faith the size of a mustard seed and how it could move mountains was definitely meant for anyone else but me. Let God fight your battles that He doesn’t seem to be fighting? Shut your mouth when you want to plead your case? Be obedient, when in your mind it doesn’t really seem like the best way?
Isn’t it better to portray that you are perfect, and hide your sin, and want your own strength, and good works (apart from faith) to get you to heaven? Opposed to reading that His grace is all-sufficient.
What do you struggle with?
Or maybe you struggle with the encouragement to trust in a God that you can’t see.
Yes, there was a lot I didn’t want to read because I just didn’t want to do what it said. I knew I should, because I knew it was from God. But I just didn’t.
But then I got to a point that I wanted to love His word. I heard people say all the time how they needed to be in the word, and how it was a staple in their lives.
9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.
That is a portion of Psalm 119. The psalm focuses heavily on delighting in God’s word. That was something I definitely didn’t do. But I needed to read the truth, so I knew the truth,and I needed to do that out of love. So I prayed for a love of His word. I actually prayed for it for a while. And do you know what grew in me?
Have you ever prayed to love God’s word?
What grew in me wasn’t a hesitancy to be in scripture, it was a hunger for the truth. I needed it like I needed to breathe. Like I needed the blood flowing through my veins, and like a dying man in the desert searching for nourishment.
but Why should I love God’s word?
You may be asking yourself why should you love God’s word? Because it is His word. And it is written out of love, and it was written for you. It was not written to condemn us for all of the ways we fall short of perfection. But to guide us in the way that leads to eternal life. He doesn’t leave us to figure it out on our own. He provided us written instruction on how to live life carrying His joy which is our strength.
God delights in the faithful who walk according to His way. And if He delights in us, then we can delight in His word, and His truth because He has given it to us, so that we can live according to His will, and in turn delight in Him.
We don’t have to approach His word with hesitancy when it was written in love. We don’t have to run from it, when He wrote it so we can treasure His truth, walk in His way, and delight in Him, our good Father.
Pray for love for His word. Pray you will delight in it, and then open the truths given to you, and read it as if it were the most perfect gift, because it is.