Bubba Blue stated in the movie Forrest Gump: “Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp Creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.” Only 21, Bubba?
This weekend Pastor Brian continued the Start with the Why series with why read the Bible. He offered several excellent reasons and as any good sermon should do, it made me think a little more. Like Bubba, the Bible itself lists numerous reasons why reading, studying, meditating, memorizing and absorbing the Holy Scriptures, be it the Law in the Old Testament or the Sermon On the Mount in the New Testament, is a very fruitful endeavor and worthy of praise. I name several more and after reading the list, you may ask, “only 21, Bill?”
Psalms 1 relates that delighting and meditating on the Law yields being: 1) securely rooted in life; 2) fruitfulness; 3) success in living. Psalms 19 gives a handful of reasons: 4) it restores the soul; 5) makes wise the simple; 6) rejoices the heart; 7) enlightens the eyes; 8) better than gold; 9) sweeter than honey; 10) warns of danger. In Psalm 119 which is all about God’s Word many reasons are given such as: 11) blessings; 12) assistance in maintaining moral purity; 13) structure to not sin against God; 14) provides counseling; 15) gives illumination to not stumble; 16) light to see the path of life. In the New Testament His Word provides many benefits including these listed in 2 Timothy 3: 17) profitable for teaching; 18) reproof; 19) correction; 20) training in righteousness; and 21) equipping for every good work.
As wonderful as each of the above reasons are for getting into God’s Word, the most compelling and worthwhile is the Bible opens the gateway to knowing who God is and that we can have a relationship with the Creator of the universe. Finally I close with this. I love to read maps, especially road maps. When I travel or am planning a trip, I look at the maps. So when I go I know how to get there and have an idea of what to expect. The map is not the destination and is a mere shadow of what is there. The format, the printed words themselves or the compilation of the sacred writings in and of themselves is not “magic” nor are they to be worshipped. It is the person of God who is characterized and described who is to be worshipped. I encourage you to read His Word so you can know who He is in person.