So today I was engaged in a heated conversation with someone I love very much. It was a tough conversation, and I was working hard to keep my emotions in check, praying that I could get my heart across. I breathed an internal 'Jesus, help me!', and like a plane with a banner trailing behind, words started flitting through my mind...
“...the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple...”
And as our discussion continued, the fog lifted and an entire section of verses became clear:
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”
I didn't lose my temper or my composure. The discussion was difficult, but profitable. The verses played like a sound track in my head, helping me stay focused, respectful, direct, honest and loving. Those verses (Psalm 19: 7,10) echoed in my head long after the conversation was over. And I was grateful, as I have been more and more this year, that I read my bible regularly.
I have a few of them. I especially like The Message bible, because while it's not an exact translation, its colloquial style makes the verses and stories easy to understand and apply. I like the 21st Century King James version, and the American Standard Version for memorizing verses and understand literal translation.
I'm grateful for websites like Biblegateway.com and Bible.cc and Bible.org for online bible sources.
And I use them all, frequently. Because my life flows smoother when I read the bible regularly and fill my mind with the verses.
I read my bible, because when I don't know what else to do, it's the perfect background music - filling my thoughts, helping me know what to do, what to say.
I read my bible, because when I think I know what to do and I ask God to show me, verses flood my mind that sometimes confirm, and sometimes correct my direction.
I read my bible because I trust that the One who created the universe knows a bit more than I do, and I'd like as much of that knowledge in my decision-making as possible. And He wrote a book about it. How's that for ultimate power?
I read my bible because I believe that God uses it to talk to my situation. My life. My heart. My family. My pain. My hurt. - and uses it to help me see the bigger picture that if He talks to my situation that lovingly, He wants me to share the hope that we don't have to figure out life all alone.
I went back to those verses tonight to see exactly what the entire section has to say. It's exactly what I needed to hear. And THAT is why I read my Bible.
The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God's reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of Godare accurate
down to the nth degree.
God's Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You'll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
Psalm 19:7-10 Message Bible
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)