“The Bible was meant to be read. An unread Bible is like refused food, an unopened love letter, a road map not studied, or a gold mine not worked. If you have put off reading your Bible, begin today to make reading and studying it a vital part of your life with God.”
That great quote concludes the Introduction in Irving Jensen’s extremely helpful book Simply Understanding the Bible (World Wide Publications, 1990, p.8). I have included it on a slide I will be showing during the first Old Testament History course I will be teaching this summer. Currently, I am teaching New Testament History for Belhaven University. In our last class, we studied the book of Acts. This coming Tuesday we will be considering the Pauline Epistles, with special attention given to 1 Thessalonians.
I am really looking forward to our time together in God’s Word. At the end our first class together, one of my students stated that she really enjoyed the evening. One of the reasons she listed was my excitement about the subject matter. Her assessment was correct. I come alive teaching the Word of God. I’ve taught a variety of courses both on the secondary and collegiate level, but no content captivates me like the assertions and stories found within the pages of the Scriptures. Whether I have the opportunity to review the history of the early church or the life, ministry and writings of the Apostle Paul, I find myself energized.
My hope, of course, is that my students will be moved by my passion. I pray regularly for them to either come to a saving knowledge of God through Christ or to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Pet. 3:18). Each week I ask God to use me and my material, but I particularly plead with Him to use His Word in their lives. My prayer is that He might work in them as only He can. And I very much want that to be true for me as well. My times of study and teaching cannot simply be an academic exercise or a part-time job. Too much is at stake. Rather, I desire for the Lord to continue the good work He began in me so many years earlier. So, my reading and studying must be a vital part of my life with God.
Can I ask you about your time in God’s Word as of late? Don’t refuse such nourishing food! Open the love letter! Study the map! Mine for gold! Get excited! An incredible journey awaits as you meet God in the pages of His amazing Word!