We love getting mail. Little notes from friends. Cards that just say, hello. Postcards with a beautiful view from a place far away. We love hearing from those we love. I can tell you with great excitement I love getting packages in the mail. Books! It's like Christmas every time I receive a new one. When I receive a card from a far away friend my heart lights up with joy. You know those cards. Some make us giggle. Some bring a tear. But just knowing someone was thinking of you makes the day seem much lighter. It's encouragement in tough times. It's inspiration when the heart is aching. It's love simple as that.
When I was little I had a few pen pals. Today I cannot remember who they were or where they lived, but I do remember the joy in receiving a letter. It made me feel important. My parents received mail daily, but when I went to check the mail, wow, if there was a card for me, I ran back to the house and before I got to the door my letter was ripped open and ready for reading.
I have been making my way through the New Testament. I did a review on my newest Bible a few weeks back. I ordered Max Lucado's Life Lessons Bible. Friends, this is one amazing Bible. I have made it a habit to leave my Bible open. That has changed my daily activity immensely. I leave it on a chair in my bedroom on the lesson I had just read. I have placed it in a spot that I must pass by several times a day. I have been studying over morning coffee and in the evening when all is quiet. But many times I will pick it up throughout the day. This has changed my life. Just this one addition to my day. One change. Just leaving my Bible open has called me to read it more. Which brings me back to receiving mail.
I have always been excited to read the Word of God. But yes, I can honestly share with you that there have been times I have read my Bible just to check it off my list for the day. I think we all have gotten into that trap a time or two. This can be the beginning of those dusty Bibles. But something is changing in me. I have a greater desire than ever to read the Word of God. It has become more exciting to me. Why? I changed my perspective in reading. For instance in reading the book of Philippians, I am now reading through it as if Paul had written this letter to me. After all he did write it to the church in Philippi. Paul doesn't just pick up a pen out of duty. He writes from the heart. He allows the Holy Spirit to move through him. He is the vessel. God is the Word. The Word is living! Yes!
Paul is in chains. In having a clear picture of Paul's life we can get a better understanding of the Word. Life for him is not an easy one. He isn't writing from a grand hotel in Paris. He isn't at a mountain resort. Not at the family lake laying on a hammock. He is in chains. He is imprisoned and yet, he isn't thinking of himself. He is focused on His Savior and he is concerned for the church. His loves covers his pain. We see that God's grace is enough. He is content. Why? Because he knows what lies outside of those prison doors. He knows there is life beyond the chains and while he is in those chains he has a mission. He never lost sight of his mission. He was to share the gospel of Christ. He was to be a light in the darkness.
Can you imagine how the churches reacted when they received a letter from Paul? Paul would send messengers to the churches. He would remind them that although he wasn't there in person, although they could not see him, he was with them in prayer and in love. Yes, just as our Savior is with us today. I'm sure they didn't just receive his letter and set it back on a shelf for a day when it was raining. They didn't just toss it in a drawer. They gathered around and read it with excitement. They wanted to know what Paul was doing and they wanted to hear from him. They wanted to hear the message that was sent from God to inspire and encourage them.
As we open the Word of God we need to be excited for what these pages hold. These are words written from one heart to another. These are words written to give us hope. We have the entire Word of God available to us. We don't have to wait for the postal service to deliver it. It's not going to get lost in the mail. We don't have to place our order and wait like a watch pot. His Word is right here before us. Where is the excitement?
We get excited when our favorite television shows are coming on. When the new action movie is at the theaters we are so excited we call our friends and make a date. We preorder books from our favorite authors. We get so excited for these things and more. Why not be excited about the Word of God? It was written just for us. That's pretty exciting to me. I haven't always felt super excited to read the Word of God. It takes effort. We must be deliberate and diligent. The Word was written for me and you. Doesn't that stir your heart?
One of the most amazing things is that I find myself within these words. These words hold such deep meaning that every time I read them I am moved in a whole new way. Yes, I have been having a lot of "aha" moments lately, but they wouldn't be happening if I was not not determined and disciplined. I am learning. The more I see of the Lord the more I see myself. It's as though I am uncovering page by page who I was created to be. With every word, with every chapter and book comes change. My heart is changing. With a heart change comes a life change. As my heart changes my perspective on life changes. I am on the course of becoming the woman of God He created me to be. Praise Jesus, He is with me all the way!
As we open a book from the Bible we need to think about who wrote it and why. We need to dig deeper and seek when it was written. What was happening at this very time of receiving the letter. There is so much to be excited about. We love a good book. Friends, this is the Good Book! It's the best book ever written!
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17