“He who has the Holy Spirit in his heart and the Scripture in his hands has all he needs”-Alexander Maclaren.
In a remote village, a traveling evangelist stopped by for some lunch. He entered a small yet quaint eatery where they served hot food. While waiting for his order to arrive, he placed his stuff on a chair and a Bible on the table. The waiter brought his food and noticed the book on the table. He asked what it was and the traveling evangelist gladly shared the gospel with him. Before he could even finish his food, he led this waiter to Christ and gave him the Bible. He finished his lunch and left. The waiter took his new Bible with a renewed sense of purpose. He shared what he read with a friend who also gave his life to God. Then, both of them shared it with a family who surrendered their life to Christ. In a few weeks, the whole town was in a buzz because of their new found faith in God. All this happened with just one Bible. John 5:24 says, “I am telling you the truth: whoever hears my words and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He will not be judged, but has already passed from death to life.” Reading the Bible is not a religious chore but a life changing event. For those who meditated on God’s word, it turned their life around completely. So much so they wanted to share it with their friends.
What God wants from us is a genuine yearning for His presence in our life. Not just in one area but in our entire being. Intimacy with the Lord can only be achieved if we spend time with Him and His Word – The Bible. The Word of God is more than just text on a page. It is His love letter to us, His people. Read it. Study it. Meditate on it, memorize it and most importantly, live it.
Pope Francis says that we should pray to understand and remember the Word of Jesus. For example, he says, when you read every day- as I advised you – a passage from the Gospel, ask the Holy Spirit: “help me to understand and to remember these words of Jesus.” And then read the passage, every day. But before that prayer to the Holy Spirit, which is in our hearts, say: “Help me to remember and to understand.”
Jesus proclaims the word in a way we can understand, but how come that, at times, God’s word simply does not make sense to us? Not only his words, but even our own experiences seem to be empty of meaning; we find it difficult to see God in our life. God’s presence in our life is like that of the growth of a seed-that sprouts unseen in the soil. Believe that God works in our life; God is always with us, unseen but ever present.
Hply Father says, “Taking care of the family is a way to work on the Lord’s vineyard so it can produce the fruit of the Kingdom of God.” In order for families to move forward, the Pope recommended that they read the Word of God. “It is not for putting in a shelf, but rather for having it at hand. It is for reading it often, every day, either individually or in groups, husband and wife, parents and children; maybe at night, especially on Sundays. That way, the family can move forward with the light and the power of the Word of God.”
St. Paul says, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s scheme (Eph 6:11). It is imperative that all soldiers wear the armor in order to fight the enemy. The armor is part of the preparedness for war. If there is any laxity in it, the war will end up in defeat. If this is so important in the wars of the world, how much more is it true of spiritual warfare! The enemy of our soul is far more powerful than any of the ammunition of this world and so requires thorough preparation and proper uniform which is part of the whole armor of God. It is also important that the whole armor is used by the Christian soldiers and that no part is ignored or given less importance. Wearing the whole armor is an indication of total dependence on the Commander-in-chief. It is important to remember that our enemy will not appear directly, but will only send his secret arrows to defeat us. His secret but discreet arrows include anxiety, fear, doubt, confusion and unbelief. To combat these subtle weapons, we desperately need to use the Word of God (Sword) and faith (shield) among other weapons. Faith is the strong shield which can withstand the piercing of the darts of the enemy to discourage us. The Word is the foundation for faith and it emerges from the promises of God. Faith helps us to put our trust in the power of the gospel of peace and God’s righteousness which keeps our spiritual mind at ease and rest. The enemy tries to weaken us through unbelief and mistrust in the Word and its promises and his success depends on how much he can keep the Word away from us. But the solider of Jesus Christ must hold fast the Word abreast and keep meditating on it day and night.God expects us to depend on His energy to fight for Him so that we would become victorious.
It is written in the Bible: Remember these commands and cherish them. Tie them on your arms and wear them on your foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working. Write them on the door-posts of your houses and on your gates (Deut 11:18).
A woman had to undergo surgery, so she was referred to a specialist by her doctor. She arrived early for the appointment, finding the door of the clinic unlocked, she walked in. The young surgeon was seated behind the receptionist’s desk and was so deeply engrossed in reading, that he didn’t hear her come in. When she cleared her throat to call his attention he closed the book with a start. The woman at once noticed it was the Bible. With some fear in her voice she asked, “Does reading the Bible help you before or after an operation?’ Out came a soothing response: “During” !!!
A man once went to a priest and told him that although he had gone through the Bible several times, he had received no inspiration from it. “Let it go through you once”, said the priest, “and then you will tell a different story”. The Book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one that makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.
Man cannot live on bread alone but needs every word that God speaks (Mt 4: 4).