I once watched an interview with a guy who read nothing but the Bible for four years. During the interview scriptures rolled off his tongue. Every word of his interview was laced with Bible verses with references to book, chapter and verse.
Lots of believers, I believe, read their Bibles to learn Scripture. They memorize verses, phrases and sometimes even chapters. They gain boatloads of information and Scripture knowledge. Present them with a situation you’re going through, or a struggle you’re enduring and they’ll quote specific scriptures they think you might use to help you in your situation.
I used to think memorizing lots of scriptures would help me be a better Christian. I could use them for my own walk, I thought, as well as share them with others to help them with their struggles. Memorizing scripture is a good thing, as long as the scriptures we memorize help us know the Author.
My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my
sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them
within your heart. Proverbs 4:20-21
It wasn’t until I learned my true identity in Christ years later that I discovered the difference between information and revelation. Law and religion lead us to the Bible for information. Grace leads us to the Bible for revelation from God. Grace leads us to read God’s word so God can reveal Himself to us through revelation. Grace creates a hunger to know God’s word and know Jesus. Those who understand that principle read God’s word because they want to hear from God. They want God to reveal Himself to them and speak directly to their hearts.
Chip Ingram confesses that he doesn’t read his Bible every day. But when he can’t read one day, he’s disappointed because he doesn’t want to miss anything God has to say to him.
A church in Evanston, Illinois asked Charlton Heston if he would return to his home town to help honor a pastor who was retiring after serving 62 years in ministry.
Heston agreed. At the celebration the MC pastor asked Heston if he would read the 23rd Psalm in his best Moses voice. Heston obliged and read the psalm. When he finished Heston asked the retiring pastor if he would come and read it as well.
The aging pastor walked to the podium and recited the 23rd Psalm. However, when he finished there was not a sound in the hall. There were a few sniffles, lots of tears, even a few sobs.
After the pastor finished, and the tears dried up, Heston said, “I know the book. But this man knows the Author.”
Do you know the Author?
Do we read our Bibles for information or for revelation from God?