As most of you know by now we are dedicating this year, our 50th year of ministry, to the problem of biblical illiteracy. As I have said so often, this is not a problem, it is the problem. So we are urging people to get into the Word of God and get the Word of God into them. As a result of that I’ve developed a Legacy Bible Reading place marker that you can place in your Bible. It teaches you how to read the Bible, not in bits but rather in books, by genre and by author. We’re teaching people to read a Proverb a day—which is to say a chapter of Proverbs every single day—and then to meditate on three Psalms per week. In that way, every single week you read seven chapters of the book of Proverbs, and you meditate on three Psalms, the Psalmistry of ancient Israel. It is a way to sing to the Lord, to praise Him, to magnify His holy name.
I’m reminded particularly today of how important it is to not only get into the Word of God but to get the Word of God into you. Many years ago I spent a good bit of time memorizing the book of Proverbs. In fact, I developed a course called “Your memory and the Proverbs: Keys for Successful Daily Living,” which would teach people how to memorize the book of Proverbs in order by chapter and verse. I was reminded of that process I developed many years ago, and got back into it this year in earnest.
Proverbs chapter 3, and that’s the Proverb we’re on today, reminds us of how important it is to write the Word of God upon the tablet of our consciousness:
My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man (Prov. 3:1-4).
And then the familiar words:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
Honor the LORD from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;
So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD
Or loathe His reproof,
For whom the LORD loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast .(Prov. 3:5-18)
And then these words that have been emblazoned upon my mind:
The LORD by wisdom founded the earth,
By understanding He established the heavens.
By His knowledge the deeps were broken up
And the skies drip with dew. (Prov. 3:19-20)
How beautiful is the Word of God, and how often have we forgotten the beauty of the Word of God. We are more enamored by the color of our Bibles than the content of our Bibles, but that has to change. When Josiah found the book of the Law, revival was a result. And I’ve often said that people look for revival in the culture, but it’s looking for revival in all the wrong places. What has to happen is reformation in the church, and then you will find revival in the culture, but not a revival that lacks substance—that it’s mere external trappings that end up showing—but rather a revival that changes the hearts of a people so they no longer live by the dictates of their own will. Instead, they follow Jesus Christ, and He gives their lives meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. It may yet be that America can be a great mission sending agent to the world, but it will only be, if we take seriously the problem of biblical illiteracy and correct it. I hope this year, all this year, you’ll stand with me, not in pointing the finger someone else, but saying, I myself am going to become immersed in the immortal everlasting Word of God. There are only two things that last for all eternity, the souls of people and the Word of God. Get into the Word of God. Involvement produces commitment. Do it as a discipline and it will turn to be one of the greatest joys, moments, times everyday of fulfillment from now until the time that you meet your Savior face to face.
If you want the tools that help you in the process of reading the Bible for all its worth, just check it out on the World Wide Web at equip.org. You can write me at P.O. Box Charlotte, NC 28271. You can talk to our resource consultants at 888-7000-CRI.