Heathdale flower 01st April 2021

The Best Book Ever!

How are we to overcome any misunderstandings we may have about The Bible and overcome any reluctance to read God’s Word on a daily or regular basis?

Heathdale flower

The other morning, I awoke to the radio announcers playing a guessing game. The last question that was posed was, ‘Name the greatest book ever written that has a title starting with ‘The’.’

One announcer said instantly, “The Great Gatsby!” The other announcer went, “The Bible”. This response stunned the first announcer and he said, “You win, my mind didn’t even go there!!”

This caused me to ponder. How do people see or perceive The Bible today? Is it an ancient book, a novel, a historical recount?

Then I wondered, how does the Heathdale community at large see or perceive The Bible? As a significant or sacred text that belongs to a particular religious community?

Then, as you do in reflective moments like these, I started to ponder on how I see or perceive The Bible? It’s God’s Word, it’s His instruction manual, His love letter to us. I also realised that The Bible isn’t something like a random search engine or some other directory, which we turn to only in times of trouble. How then, are we to overcome any misunderstandings we may have about The Bible and overcome any reluctance to read God’s Word on a daily or regular basis? To put it another way, how do we work up an appetite or desire for God’s truth contained in The Bible?

Our understanding of the writing in The Bible and attitude in which we approach it, makes an enormous difference. If you believe that The Old Testament is just a fragmentary record of a few Jewish tribes who lived several thousand years ago in the Middle East, and that The New Testament contains the teachings of a legendary man called Jesus, then we will feel no great need or urgency to read God’s Word, The Bible. We need to understand and appreciate that The Bible is no ordinary book, it is a unique volume. If a person believes that The Bible is an inspired record and that God Himself has supervised its compilation and ensured that it contains all the information that we need to live in a close relationship with Him, then they will come to this book in a completely different frame of mind.

I didn’t have the blessing of growing up in a Christian family. I had parents who loved me deeply, however faith was not a core element of my upbringing. I became a follower of Jesus later in my life. Most of my spiritual formation and development came through the blessing of knowing Godly men and women who taught me what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

As a young follower of Jesus, I have a vivid recollection of a saintly old man sharing with me how he understood The Bible. He spoke of his love for this sacred text and how every time he went to open his Bible or turn its pages, he did so with trembling hands. His hands trembled not out of fear but from the understanding that the words he was reading were God’s thoughts and were helping him to think God’s way!

How blessed we are as a people to have such easy access to God’s Word through The Bible. We may have it as a book, digitally on our phones or even have audio files to listen to The Bible being read. We have a liberty, freedom and opportunity to open The Bible anywhere anytime! What a privilege, what a blessing this level of access is!

One of the things that marks the start of everyday at Heathdale is our opportunity to open our Bibles and read it to the students during morning devotion. I thank the staff for faithfully doing this day in, day out.

My prayer and hope for students is that as they hear God’s Word through the reading of The Bible, they will be able to gain insight and understanding of how much God loves us as well as gain wisdom and insight on how to live a life that brings honour and glory to God. Over this Easter break, can I encourage you to find a Bible, open it and read it. As you do so, allow these sacred words to soak into your heart, soul and mind. You are indeed meeting with our Lord.