“And the word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”
— John [1:14]
THE WORD AND THE BIBLE
A pastor friend of mine, Rich, relayed a story about a crusty cop from Atlanta who was a member of his congregation. The man was forced by his wife to go to church, and each Sunday he went. At first he sat and fidgeted. Then he started to like the music, but he was still resistant. After service one Sunday Rich approached the man and asked him how he liked church. He replied, “I only come because my wife makes me come.” Rich suggested, “Why don’t you read the Bible each morning and see what happens?” Silently each morning the cop got up when the house was dark and began to read. Slowly at first. Then it became a habit. Something he looked forward to each morning. Church then began to mean something to him.
“He’d become more social and trusting. He still was a quiet man. He still was serious, but his heart had lightened. He began to understand grace.”
Over the next year he completed reading the whole Bible, a feat that he was proud of, something akin to running a marathon or riding a bike for a hundred miles. But Rich noticed other things. He smiled more, he went to a Bible study class, and he began to participate in serving his community. Periodically Rich would check in with him, and the man talked about a change of focus. He’d become less interested in the news of the day. He’d stopped obsessing about his savings account. He’d become more social and trusting. He still was a quiet man. He still was serious, but his heart had lightened. He began to understand grace.
“If we read the Bible for fifteen minutes a day, within a year we will have read it cover to cover.”
Today in America, a vast majority consider the Bible a sacred and blessed book. But only one in five read it on a weekly basis. We are too busy or stuck in our routines. We are intimidated by its sacredness. The Bible is for us, to read, to consider, and to be with in spirit. But can we find fifteen minutes a day to read the Bible? If we read each day for fifteen minutes, then at the end of the year we will have read the whole Bible. Here’s the math: reading the Bible from cover to cover for the average person takes seventy two hours. If we read the Bible for fifteen minutes a day, within a year we will have read it cover to cover. To do this means creating a new routine in our lives. Psychologists tell us that our routines are become a habit after doing the same thing for seven days. Those first seven days are the hardest days, but then we created a habit. We have invited God’s word into our lives. The Bible becomes our companion and not just a book.
Jesus the Word came among us and brought the Word of God. In the Bible we will see the richness of his story. The Word was among us and is still among us in the words of the Bible. What stands before us is grace and truth.
Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman
Do we have fifteen minutes a day, and if so when during the day?
Where is there a quiet spot in our house?
What would we have to give up to find fifteen minutes?