The Word of God - Quotations and Illustrations


Read the Bible. Free gift inside.

I have read many books, but the Bible reads me.

One who uses the Bible as his guide never loses his sense of direction.

The Old Testament altar points to the New Testament cross.

The old covenant is revealed in the New, and the New Covenant is veiled in the Old. - Augustine

In the Old Testament the new lies hidden, in the New Testament the old is laid open. - Augustine

The faith will totter if the authority of the Holy Scriptures loses its hold on men. We must surrender ourselves to the authority of Holy Scripture, for it can neither mislead nor be misled.  - Augustine

Warning: Inductive Bible study can be habit-forming. Putting the principles into practice can cause loss of anxiety, decreased appetite for lying, cheating, stealing, hating and "symptoms" of growing sensations of love, peace, joy, compassion.

Leave not off reading the Bible till you find your hearts warmed. Let it not only inform you but inflame you. -- Thomas Watson

Inductive Bible study is meant not merely to inform but to transform. (see Romans 12:2-note)

If reading the Bible can be compared to cruising the width of a cler, sparkling lake in a motorboat, studying the Bible is like slowly crossing that same lake in a glass-bottomed boat. The motorboast crossing provides an overview of the lake and swift, passing view of its depths. The glass-bottomed boat of study, however, takes you beneath the surface of Scripture for an unhurried look of clarity and detail that normally missed by those who simply read the text. As author Jerry Bridges put it, "Reading gives us breadth, but study gives us depth." (Ed comment - Sounds like they are describing Inductive Bible Study!) - Don Whitney in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

R C Sproul addresses the question of why we don't study the Word of God - "Here then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy." - Knowing Scripture, 1977

Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them. - E. Paul Hovey

The new is in the old contained, and the Old is in the New explained. - Graham Scroggie

The family Bible is more often used to adorn coffee tables or press flowers than it is to feed souls and discipline lives. - Charles Colson

The Bible—banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons. Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed ruthless killers into gentle saints. - Charles Colson

God's plan for sanctifying us, that is, for making us holy and godly, is accomplished by means of "the truth"--His Word (see Jn 17:17) If we settle for a poor quality intake of hearing, reading and studying God's Word, we severely restrict the main flow of God's sanctifying grace toward us...For those who use their Bibles little are really not much better off than those who have no Bible at all.  - Don Whitney in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life 

The Bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions. (Deut 8:3, Mt 4:4)

The Bible is the best "TV guide". (Ps 101:3) (Spurgeon on Ps 101:3)

When you open your Bible, ask the Author to open your heart. (Ps 119:18, Luke 24:45, Eph 1:17-note; Eph 1:18-note)

If a Christian is careless in Bible reading, he will care less about Christian living.

To understand the Word of God, rely on the Spirit of God.

You can't enjoy the harmony of Scripture if you play just one note of truth. (Acts 20:27)

To hear God speak, read the Bible carefully and study it prayerfully.

The roots of stability come from being grounded in God's Word.

Bible study is like eating peanuts. The more you eat, the more you want to eat. - Paul Little

Backsliders begin with dusty Bibles and end with filthy garments. - Spurgeon (See article on Backsliding)

The devil is not afraid of the Bible that has dust on it.

We cannot bear fruit without the water of God's Word. (Luke 8:15)

The highest goal of learning is to know God. (John 17:3)

When we look into the mirror of God's Word, we see ourselves more clearly. (James 1:23,24, 25 - note)

A text taken out of context becomes a pretext.

Let God's Word fill your mind, rule your heart, and guide your tongue. (see Colossians 3:16-note, Eph 5:18-note; Eph 5:19-note;Eph 5:20-note)

The Bible: The more you read it, the more you love it; the more you love it, the more you read it.

It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand. - Mark Twain

The best protection against Satan's lies is to know God's truth. (see Ephesians 6:14-note)

Like a compass, the Bible always points you in the right direction. (Deut 28:13,14, Joshua 1:7-9-note)

Those who only sample the Bible never acquire a taste for it. (Jer 15:16-note, Job 23:12-note, Ps 19:10-note)

While other books inform, and some few reform, this one book transforms. -- A. T. Pierson

Other books were given for our information—the Bible was given for our transformation.

If you're too busy to read the Bible, you're too busy.

As A W Tozer put it "Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me."

God feeds the birds, but He doesn't throw the food into their nests.

We lose the joy of living in the present when we worry about the future. And we lose the joy of living for the future when we focus on the present.

Opening your Bible can be a real eye-opener.

A well-read Bible is a sign of a well-fed soul.

The Bible breaks hard hearts and heals broken hearts.

A Bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't.

Sin will keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin.

It's better to live one verse of the Bible than to recite an entire chapter.

The Bible: read it through, work it out, pass it on!

Scripture has but one sense, which is the literal sense. - William Tyndale

I have observed that all the heresies and errors have arisen not from Scripture’s own plain statements, but when that plainness of statement is ignored, and men follow the Scholastic arguments of their own brains. - Martin Luther

The jewel of the Word should not hang in our ears, but be locked up in a believing heart. -- William Jenkyn

When you read God's Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, "It is talking to me, and about me." - Soren Kierkegaard

The Bible is a letter from God with our personal address on it.  - Soren Kierkegaard

To read the Bible as God’s word one must read it with His heart in His mouth, on tip-toe, with eager expectancy, in conversation with God. To read the Bible thoughtlessly or carelessly or academically or professionally is not to read the Bible as God’s Word. As one reads it as a love letter is read, then one reads it as the Word of God.  - Soren Kierkegaard

To me the greatest thing that has happened on this earth of ours is the rise of the human race to the vision of God. That story of the human rise to what I call the vision of God is the story which is told in the Bible. - Jan Christian Smuts

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. - James Bryce

I am my neighbor's Bible:
He reads me when we meet,
Today he reads me in my house,
Tomorrow in the street;
He may be relative or friend,
Or slight acquaintance be;
He may not even know my name,
Yet he is reading me.
Anonymous

     The Bible? That’s the Book.
     The Book indeed,
     The Book of books;
     On which who looks,
     As he should do, aright,
     Shall never need
     Wish for a better light
     To guide him in the night.
- George Herbert

More people are troubled by what is plain in Scripture than by what is obscure. - Roy L Smith

To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this treasure house, the Bible? Queen Elizabeth II

In this one book are the two most interesting personalities in the whole world—God and yourself. The Bible is the story of God and man, a love story in which you and I must write our own ending, our unfinished autobiography of the creature and the Creator. - Fulton Oursler

A man who loves his wife will love her letters and her photographs because they speak to him of her. So if we love the Lord Jesus, we shall love the Bible because it speaks to us of him. - John Stott

Once you and I are face to face with the Word of God. . . we can only accept or reject it. Jesus becomes the two-edged sword that cuts right down the middle, dividing us into believers and nonbelievers. - John Powell

God's Word is pure and sure, in spite of the devil, in spite of your fear, in spite of everything. - R. A. Torrey

Centuries of experience have tested the Bible. It has passed through critical fires no other volume has suffered, and its spiritual truth has endured the flames and come out without so much as the smell of burning. - W E Sangster

The Word is both a glass to show us the spots of our soul and a laver to wash them away. -- Puritan Thomas Watson

One proof of the inspiration of the Bible is that it has withstood so much poor preaching. - A. T. Robertson

God the Father is the giver of Holy Scripture; God the Son is the theme of Holy Scripture; and God the Spirit is the author, authenticator, and interpreter of Holy Scripture. - J I Packer

One of the many divine qualities of the Bible is this: that it does not yield its secrets to the irreverent and censorious. - J I Packer

The church no more created the canon than Newton created the law of gravity; recognition is not creation. - J. I. Packer

My own experience is that the Bible is dull when I am dull. When I am really alive, and set in upon the text with a tidal pressure of living affinities, it opens, it multiplies discoveries, and reveals depths even faster than I can note them. The worldly spirit shuts the Bible; the Spirit of God makes it a fire, flaming out all meanings and glorious truths. - Horace Bushnell

The Bible is my church. It is always open, and there is my High Priest ever waiting to receive me. There I have my confessional, my thanksgiving, my psalm of praise, a field of promises, and a congregation of whom the world is not worthy—prophets and apostles, and martyrs and confessors—in short, all I can want, there I find. - Charlotte Elliot

I never knew all there was in the Bible until I spent those years in jail. I was constantly finding new treasures. - John Bunyan

Make it the first morning business of your life to understand some part of the Bible clearly, and make it your daily business to obey it in all that you do understand. - John Ruskin

The Holy Bible is an abyss. It is impossible to explain how profound it is, impossible to explain how simple it is. - Ernest Hello

The authority of the Bible comes not from the calibre of its human authors but from the character of its divine Author. - John Blanchard

My deepest regret, on reaching threescore years and ten, is that I have not devoted more time to the study of the Bible. Still in less than nineteen years I have gone through the New Testament in Chinese fifty-five times. - Jonathan Goforth

God’s Book is packed full of overwhelming riches; they are unsearchable—the more we have the more there is to have. - Oswald Chambers

The Bible does not thrill, the Bible nourishes. Give time to the reading of the Bible, and the recreating effect is as real as that of fresh air physically. - Oswald Chambers

A partially inspired Bible is little better than no Bible at all. J. C. Ryle

I know the Bible is inspired because it finds me at a greater depth of my being than any other book. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The gospel is not merely a book—it is a living power—a book surpassing all others. I never omit to read it, and every day with the same pleasure. The gospel possesses a secret virtue, a mysterious efficacy, a warmth which penetrates and soothes the heart. One finds in meditating upon it that which one experiences in contemplating the heavens. The gospel is not a book; it is a living being, with an action, a power, which invades everything that opposes its extension. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Inspiration, in the full apostolic meaning of the word, ceased when the canon of Scripture was brought to completion. Without such apostolic inspiration there can be no infallible revelation. - Geoffrey B. Wilson

I never had any doubt about it being of divine origin. . . point out to me any similar collection of writings that has lasted for as many thousands of years and is still a best-seller, world-wide. It had to be of divine origin. - Ronald Reagan

A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. - Theodore Roosevelt

All things desirable to men are contained in the Bible. - Abraham Lincoln

I am sorry for men who do not read the Bible every day. I wonder why they deprive themselves of the strength and the pleasure. - Woodrow Wilson

Give the Bible to the people, unadulterated, pure, unaltered, unexplained, uncheapened, and then see it work through the whole nature. It is very difficult indeed for a man or for a boy who knows the Scriptures ever to get away from it. It follows him like the memory of his mother. It haunts him like an old song. It reminds him like the word of an old and revered teacher. It forms a part of the warp and woof of his life. - Woodrow Wilson

It is impossible to practice godliness without a constant, consistent and balanced intake of the Word of God in our lives. -- Jerry Bridges

The Bible is none other than the voice of him that sitteth upon the throne. Every book of it, every chapter of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High. -- John William Burgon

Apply yourself to the Scriptures and the Scriptures to yourself.

The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me. - Martin Luther

Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like eating without chewing. (Ps 119:15, 23,27, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148)

God speaks through His Word--take time to listen.

The value of the Bible is not knowing it, but obeying it.

When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the Word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness and your own duty. -- Woodrow Wilson

It is not the Word hidden in the head but in the heart that keeps us from sin. - Vance Havner

God’s Word is its own best argument. - Vance Havner

The Word of God is either absolute or obsolete.  - Vance Havner

A Bible in hand is worth two on the shelf.

A Red Letter Bible is fine, but one that is Read is far better!

Those who spiritualize tell spiritual lies, because they lack spiritual eyes.

When the Bible becomes a part of you, you'll be less likely to come apart.

The Bible is simple enough for a child to read and too deep for a scholar to master.

A Bible that has frayed edges usually has an owner that doesn't.

Trying to absorb the depths of the Bible is like trying to mop up the ocean floor with a sponge.

The best thing to do with the Bible is to know it in the head, stow it in the heart, sow it in the world, and show it in the life.

Devout meditation on the Word is more important to soul-health even than prayer. It is more needful for you to hear God's words than that God should hear yours, though the one will always lead to the other. -- F. B. Meyer

The Christian is bred by the Word and he must be fed by it. --William Gurnall

The best way for Christians to grow is to eat the Bread of Life.

The Word of God is the candle without which faith cannot see to do its work.

The true Christian church is the work of the Word communicated by every available means. -- Martin Luther

The Bible is like a compass—it always points the believer in the right direction.

The Bible is like the ocean. You can wade in it, feed from it, live on it--or drown in it. But those who take the time to learn its truths and practice them will be changed forever.

With God's Word as your map and His Spirit as your compass, you're sure to stay on course.

When you study the Bible "hit or miss," you MISS more than you HIT.

When the Word of God dwells in you, the love of Christ shines through you.

The Bible is a window in this prison-world through which we may look into eternity. - Timothy Dwight

Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years. - C H Spurgeon

The Bible is a vein of pure gold, unalloyed by quartz or any earthly substance. This is a star without a speck; a sun without a blot; a light without darkness; a moon without its paleness; a glory without a dimness. O Bible! It cannot be said of any other book that it is perfect and pure; but of thee we can declare all wisdom is gathered up in thee, without a particle of folly. This is the judge that ends the strife, where wit and reason fail. This is the book untainted by any error; but is pure, unalloyed, perfect truth. - C H Spurgeon

Beware! Error often rides to its deadly work on the back of truth! --Spurgeon (2Cor 11:13,14, 15)

Spiritual growth requires the meat of God's Word. (see Hebrews 5:14-note, 1 Peter 2:2-note)

Be diligent in your study of the Word of God. Then, instead of falling into error, you will stand firmly on the truth.

Study the Bible to be wise; believe it to be safe; practise it to be holy.

The Word of the Lord is a light to guide you, a counsellor to counsel you, a comforter to comfort you, a staff to support you, a sword to defend you, and a physician to cure you. The Word is a mine to enrich you, a robe to clothe you, and a crown to crown you. - Thomas Brooks

Your life will run smoother if you go by "The Book."

If we want our life to run well, even through stormy situations and rough circumstances, we must take the time to study the "Owner's Manual."

Many people store the Bible on the shelf instead of in their heart.

Some people make the Bible say what they want to hear

To be a healthy Christian, don't treat the Bible as snack food.

A well-read Bible is the companion of a well-fed believer.

We must approach God's Word as if our lives depended on it--because they do.

If your life depended on knowing the Bible, how long would you last?

We must align ourselves with the Bible, never the Bible with ourselves.

Do you know a book that you are willing to put under your head for a pillow when you are dying? Very well; that is the book you want to study when you are living. There is only one such book in the world. - Joseph Cook

The Bible is literally God speaking to you. It is God's instrument in salvation (Romans 10:17-note; 1 Peter 1:25-note) and God's instrument for growing mature Christians (1 Peter 2:2-note). It is the blueprint for the Christian. - George Sweeting

Prayer is the "open sesame" to the Bible. Always begin your Bible reading with prayer for divine guidance. All of us in reading some current book have wished the author were present to answer and explain some things, but this is rarely possible. Amazing as it seems, this is possible when reading the Bible. - George Sweeting

The branches of growing trees not only reach higher, but their roots grow deeper. It's impossible for a strong tree to have high branches without having deep roots. It would become top-heavy and topple over in the wind." The same is true with Christians. It's impossible for us to grow in the Lord without entwining our roots around His Word and deepening our life in His commands." - Joni Eraeckson Tada

Bible study demands pondering deeply on a short passage, like a cow chewing her cud. It is better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little.

Unless God's Word illumine the way, the whole life of men is wrapped in darkness and mist, so that they cannot but miserably stray. - John Calvin

Why do they put the Gideon Bibles only in the bedrooms, where its usually too late, and not in the barroom downstairs? - Christopher Morley

Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of our liberties; write its precepts on your hearts and practise them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look for our guide in the future. Ulysses S. Grant

The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond: but if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it; and so they see only the dead letter.” - Phillips Brooks

The Bible shows how the world progresses. It begins with a garden, but ends with a holy city. - Phillips Brooks

The Bible was not written to satisfy your curiosity, but to make you conform to Christ’s image. Not to make you a smarter sinner, but to make you like the Savior. Not to fill your head with a collection of biblical facts, but to transform your life.” --Howard Hendricks in Living by the Book

No one ever graduates from Bible study until he meets its Author face to face. - Everett Harris

It has been said that the Bible is so deep that theologians cannot touch the bottom, yet so shallow that babes cannot drown.

J. I. Packer once said that "If I were the devil, one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the Bible."

One controlling, guiding, unifying mind must have been operative through all the weary ages to produce out of such composite elements a result so wonderfully unique, uplifting, and unfathomable as the Bible; and that mind in the nature of things could not have been human. - William E Gladstone

In the midst of that period of intellectual history called The Enlightenment, a philosophy known as deism was sweeping Europe. In the midst of this development, the famous skeptic, Voltaire, proclaimed that within 25 years, the Bible would be forgotten and Christianity would be a thing of the past. However, 40 years after Voltaire’s death in 1778, the Bible and other Christian literature were being printed in what had once been Voltaire’s own house! Here is Voltaire's actual quote "Another century and there will not be a Bible on earth." (See another entry on Voltaire below)

In twenty-five years, the Bible will be a forgotten book. - Robert Ingersoll

My rule for Christian living is this: anything that dims my vision of Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it. - Dr. Wilbur Chapman

Rome also persecuted the Scriptures; but chiefly in this way: that instead of being the custodian of Scripture it became the jailor of Scripture, and for many centuries the Word of God was hidden from the people, and legends and traditions of men became the food of the human mind. - Adolph Saphir

There is no doubt that God has often brought a certain verse to the attention of one of His children in an unusual and almost miraculous manner, for a special need, but the Word was never intended to be consulted in a superstitious manner. - S. Maxwell Coder, God's Will for Your Life

The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars. - Henry Ward Beecher

Every hour
I read you, kills a sin,
Or lets a virtue in
To fight against it.
- Izaak Walton

Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
- Samuel Smiles

Leave not off reading the Bible till you find your hearts warmed…Let it not only inform you, but inflame you. - Thomas Watson

Never let good books take the place of the Bible. Drink from the Well, not from the streams that flow from the Well.-- Amy Carmichael

Gipsy Smith told of a man who said he had received no inspiration from the Bible although he had “gone through it several times.” “Let it go through you once,” replied Smith, “then you will tell a different story!”

On the cover of your Bible and my Bible appear the words "Holy Bible." Do you know why the Bible is called holy? Why should it be called holy when so much lust and hate and greed and war are found in it? I can tell you why. It is because the Bible tells the truth. It tells the truth about God, about man, and about the devil. The Bible teaches that we exchange the truth of God for the devil's lie about sex, for example; and drugs, and alcohol, and religious hypocrisy. Jesus Christ is the ultimate truth. Furthermore, He told the truth. Jesus said that He was the truth, and the truth would make us free. - Billy Graham

The Bible is the only thing that can combat the devil. Quote the Scriptures and the devil will run . . . use the Scriptures like a sword and you’ll drive temptation away.  - Billy Graham

The Bible redirects my will, cleanses my emotions, enlightens my mind, and quickens my total being. - E Stanley Jones

When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness and your own duty. - Woodrow Wilson

A readiness to believe every promise implicitly, to obey every command unhesitatingly, to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God, is the only true spirit of Bible study. - Andrew Murray

The New Testament holds up a strong light by which a man can read even the small print of his soul. - John Hutton

The book which closes the New Testament "shuts up all" "with a seven-fold chorus of hallelujahs and harping symphonies" as Milton says in his stately music, and may well represent for us, in that perpetual cloud of incense rising up fragrant to the Throne of God and of the Lamb, the unceasing love and thanksgiving which should be man's answer to Christ's love and sacrifice. - Alexander Maclaren

The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying. - John Flavel

The mystery of the Bible should teach us, at one and the same time, our nothingness and our greatness, producing humility and animating hope. - Henry Melville

We glory most in the fact that Scripture so commends itself to the conscience, and experience so bears out the Bible, that the gospel can go round the world and carry with it, in all its travel, its own mighty credentials. - Henry Melville

There is only one real inevitability: it is necessary that the Scripture be fulfilled. - Carl F. Henry

The Bible was the only book Jesus ever quoted, and then never as a basis for discussion but to decide the point at issue. - Leon Morris

The third chapter of Genesis is undoubtedly the most important chapter in the whole Bible. It is the only chapter which, if we could conceive it as being withdrawn, would leave all the rest of Scripture unintelligible. Take away this chapter and you take away the key of knowledge to all the rest of the Bible. - Bishop Trench

There came a time in my life when I doubted the divinity of the Scriptures, and I resolved as a lawyer and a judge I would try the book as I would try anything in the courtroom, taking evidence for and against. It was a long, serious, and profound study; and using the same principles of evidence in this religious matter as I always do in secular matters, I have come to the decision that the Bible is a supernatural book, that it has come from God, and that the only safety for the human race is to follow its teachings. - Salmon Chase

The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favourite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian. - A W Tozer

The Holy Scriptures tell us what we could never learn any other way: they tell us what we are, who we are, how we got here, why we are here and what we are required to do while we remain here.- A W Tozer

The Bible is a supernatural book and can be understood only by supernatural aid.- A W Tozer

We find the Bible difficult because we try to read it as we would read any other book, and it is not the same as any other book.- A W Tozer

The sacred page is not meant to be the end, but only the means toward the end, which is knowing God himself.- A W Tozer

Without the present illumination of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God must remain a dead letter to every man, no matter how intelligent or well-educated he may be. . . . It is just as essential for the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of Scripture to the reader today as it was necessary for him to inspire the writers in their day. - William Law

The most learned, acute, and diligent student cannot, in the longest life, obtain an entire knowledge of the Bible. The more deeply he works the mine, the richer and more abundant he finds the ore; new light continually beams from this source of heavenly knowledge, to direct the conduct, and illustrate the work of God and the ways of men; and he will at last leave the world confessing, that the more he studied the Scriptures, the fuller conviction he had of his own ignorance, and of their inestimable value. - Sir Walter Scott

"But the word of God is not bound." That is the inscription on a pillar in the crypt of a church in Rome where Paul is said to have been imprisoned. The heroic apostle, bound with a chain and awaiting death, is not disheartened, discouraged, nor despairing. He has full confidence in the spread of the gospel, and in the conquest of Christ, telling Timothy at Ephesus to be true to Christ and the gospel, for which, he says, "I suffer . . . unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound" (2 Timothy 2:9-note). How true that statement of the apostle was—and is—is demonstrated by the simple, yet tremendous, fact that nineteen hundred years after Paul wrote from his prison in Rome, "The word of God is not bound," the words are taken as the text for a sermon on the invincible power of the Bible. - Clarence E Macartney 

After captivating an audience at Yale University, the late novelist Ayn Rand was asked by a reporter, “Whats wrong with the modern world?” Without a moment’s hesitation she replied, “Never before has the world been so desperately asking for answers to crucial questions, and never before has the world been so frantically committed to the idea that no answers are possible. To paraphrase the Bible, the modern attitude is, ‘Father, forgive us, for we know not what we are doing—and please don’t tell us.’” That’s very perceptive for an acknowledged agnostic. (See interesting diagram of various views) Many of us want a word from God, but we don’t want the Word of God. We know enough to own a Bible but not enough for the Bible to own us. We pay the Bible lip service, but we fail to give it “life service.” In a world where the only absolute is that there are no absolutes, there is little room left for the authoritative Word of God as revealed in the Bible.

Come, Holy Ghost, for moved by thee
The prophets wrote and spoke;
Unlock the truth, thyself the key,
Unseal the sacred book.
- John Calvin

     A bit of the Book in the morning,
     To order my onward way.
     A bit of the Book in the evening,
     To hallow the end of the day.
         - Margaret Sangster

      A glory gilds the sacred page,
     Majestic like the sun;
     It gives a light to every age,
     It gives, but borrows none.
- William Cowper


Robert G. Lee

Books of Old Testament-39. 
Books of New Testament-27. 
Total number of books-66. 
Chapters in Old Testament-929. 
Chapters in New Testament-260. 
Total number of chapters-1,189. 
Verses in Old Testament-33,214. 
Verses in New Testament-7,959. 
Total numbers of verses-41,173. 
Words in Old Testament-593,493. 
Words in New Testament-181,253. 
Total number of words-774,746. 
Letters in Old Testament-2,728,100. 
Letters in New Testament-838,380. 
Total number of letters-3,566,480.
The shortest chapter is Psalm 117.
Ezra 7:21 contains all the letters of the alphabet except "j." 
Esther 8:9 is the longest verse.
John 11:35 is the shortest verse.
There is no word of more than six syllables in the Bible.


Writer Amos Wells reflected our need for thorough Bible study in this verse:

I supposed I knew my Bible, 
Reading peacemeal, hit or miss, 
Now a bit of John or Matthew, 
Now a snatch of Genesis, 
Certain chapters of Isaiah, 
Certain Psalms (the twenty-third), 
Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs -- 
Yes, I thought I knew the Word! 
But I found that thorough reading 
Was a different thing to do, 
And the way was unfamiliar 
When I read the Bible through. 
You who like to play at Bible, 
Dip and dabble, here and there, 
Just before you kneel, aweary, 
And yawn through a hurried prayer; 
You who treat the Crown of Writings 
As you treat no other book, 
Just a paragraph, disjointed, 
Just a crude, impatient look, 
Try a worthier procedure, 
Try a broad and steady view; 
You will kneel in very rapture 
When you read the Bible through.

Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way by  Navpress, 1989, p. 139.


D L Moody

  • The Scriptures were not given for our information, but for our transformation
  • The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.
  • I know the Bible is inspired because it inspires me.
  • The study of God’s Word brings peace to the heart. In it, we find a light for every darkness, life in death, the promise of our Lord’s return, and the assurance of everlasting glory.
  • There’s no better book with which to defend the Bible than the Bible itself.
  • I never saw a useful Christian who was not a student of the Bible.

Pictures of What the Word of God does:

(1) Sword - Ep 6:17, He 4:12

(2) Critic, Judge - He 4:12

(3) Lamp, light - Isa 5:20, Isa 50:10, 11, Ps 36:9, Ps 119:105, 130, Pr 6:23

(4) Mirror - 2Cor 3:18, Jas 1:22, 23, 24, 25

(5) Rain, Snow, Water - Isa 55:10,11, Jer 17:5, 6, 7, 8, Ep 5:26

(6) Food, Bread - Job 23:12, Jer 15:16, Ezek 2:8, 3:1, 2, 3

(7) Gold and Silver - Ps 19:10, Ps 119:127, Pr 8:10, 11, 8:19

(8) Fire - Jer 23:29, 20:9

(9) Hammer - Jer 23:29, 2Co 10:3,4,5, Acts 20:32

(10) Seed - Mk 4:14, Mk 4:26, 27, 28, Col 1:5, 6,7

(11) Honey, Honeycomb - Ps 19:10, Ps 119:103, Ps 81:16, Pr 24:13, Ezek 3:1, 2, 3

(For detailed discussion of these pictures see The Word-Filled Life - Developing the Mind of Christ by Hampton Keathley III)


Salad Bar Christianity -  2 Timothy 3:16 - When it's time to choose a place to eat, I like to dine at a buffet restaurant. This gives me the freedom to choose the kinds of foods that I enjoy and that are compatible with my physician's strict diet. Buffets allow me to eat as much as I like of one particular dish and stay away from those that are unhealthy. Buffets are also great places to take the family. Kids can load up on macaroni and cheese, while grownups can dig into their favorite salads and casseroles. While a buffet is a wonderful place to enjoy a meal, it is a terrible approach to faith. Yet, some Christians approach Christianity in this way. They treat the Bible like a smorgasbord, filling up on passages that appeal to their tastes, and staying clear of those that they don't particularly enjoy. One conservative commentator appropriately named this condition, "Salad-bar Christianity." When the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to young Timothy, he warned against this fickle faith. He said, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16) Picking and choosing your spiritual diet will stunt your growth because it makes feelings the guide to right and wrong rather than the truth of God's Word. And we all know how fickle our feelings can be. They are as unpredictable as the changing weather patterns. It is healthier to take in all of God's Word, even those parts that leave a bitter taste in our mouths. The mature Christian heeds all of God's counsel. The immature Christian heeds only that which suits his fancy. (James Scudder - Living Water)


Ongoing Meditation Read: (Psalm 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104) (Notes on Ps 119)

Your law… is my meditation all the day. --(Psalm 119:97)

Meditation on God's Word doesn't have to end when your devotional time is over. You can continue the blessing by taking Scripture with you throughout the day. Some people memorize a passage or write it on a card so they can have it available to read when they get a few moments. An engineer uses his coffee breaks to continue his reflection on God's Word. Homemakers attach verses to the refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Truckers put portions of the Bible on their dashboard. Leslie B. Flynn tells of a brilliant college student who volunteered to work at a church camp and ended up as the designated potato peeler. A friend who admired her intelligence said,"It's too bad you had to end up peeling potatoes." She replied, "I don't have to think about potatoes while I'm peeling them. So I think about my Bible verse for the day."The psalmist indicated that he didn't read God's Word and then forget it. He meditated on it all day (Psalm 119:97). Likewise, the "blessed man" of Psalm 1:1 reflected on God's Word "day and night" (Psalm 1:2-note). And when the Word of God is in our minds from morning to night, we'll be more likely to obey it and far less likely to violate it. That's the value of ongoing meditation. --D C Egner (Our Daily Bread)

We must read Scripture every day
And meditate on what God said
To fight temptation from the world
And live a life that's Spirit led.
--Sper

Reading the Bible without meditating on it
is like eating without chewing.


The French philosopher Voltaire would certainly fit Jesus' warning about spiritual "dogs and a hogs" in Matthew 7:6-note, for he violently opposed God, His Holy Word and His precious Son. How tragic that one of the most fertile and talented minds of his time (which parenthetically bears witness to the common grace and longsuffering of our great Father), was such a vicious opponent of truth, using his pen to retard and demolish Christianity as much as humanly possible. Once speaking about our Lord Jesus Christ, Voltaire uttered the unspeakable words "Curse the wretch!" Voltaire was so self deceived and arrogant that he once boasted that within "twenty years Christianity will be no more. My single hand shall destroy the edifice it took twelve apostles to rear." God however is not mocked beloved (see Galatians 6:7-note, Galatians 6:8-note) and so not surprisingly shortly after Voltaire's death the very house in which he printed his vicious anti-Christian literature became the home of the Geneva Bible Society! (However see another discussion on this topic) A nurse who attended Voltaire at the time of his horrible death vowed "For all the wealth in Europe I would not see another infidel die." Voltaire's' physician, Trochim, also attended the infidel up to the time of his last breath, and is quoted as hearing Voltaire's last desperate (rightly so) cry "I am abandoned by God and man! I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months' life. Then I shall go to hell; and you will go with me. O Christ! O Jesus Christ!" Voltaire is the epitome of the type of individual that citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven (per orders of our Master) must refrain from sharing the precious and holy truth of God's Word. I had such an encounter with an atheist and finally ceased speaking truth to him when he became to vile in his attacks of me and my Lord.


Family Altars - Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all. 1Ti 4:15

The chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has often stressed the importance of family Bible reading. Some years ago in a letter to the American Bible Society he said,

"Inspiration has been the keynote of America's phenomenal growth … and the backbone of its greatness… This inspiration has been from faith in God … and in the belief that the Holy Bible is His inspired Word. Reading the Scriptures within the family circle is more important today than ever before. As a small boy I sat at my mother's knee while she read the Word to me and explained its meanings with stories as we went along. It served to make the bond of faith between us much stronger. Then there were those wonderful nights when my father would gather all the chil­dren around him and read aloud verses from the Bible. This led to family discussions which were interesting, lively, and informa­tive. Those wonderful sessions left me with an imprint of the power of faith and … prayer which has sustained me in trying moments throughout my life." 

Regrettably, family altars are fast disappearing from the American scene. People are too busy. The family is seldom together long enough to enjoy such sweet moments of fellowship — and the world is much the poorer for it! The Word of God constantly admonishes us to meditate upon its contents, for only as we ab­sorb its teachings, believe its promises, and hide its precepts in our hearts can we prosper spiritually and live the "more abundant life." Take a cue from the letter of J. Edgar Hoover; and if you have not yet established a definite time for Bible study in your home, start now — even if you can devote only five minutes a day to this necessary task. Man cannot live by bread alone. He must find sustenance for his spirit by appropriating the truths of God through the avenue of prayer and careful meditation.

How precious is the Book divine,
By inspiration given!
Bright as a lamp its precepts shine,
To guide our souls to Heaven.
— J. Fawcett

A Bible that is falling apart
usually belongs to a person who is not!


No Fast Food In The Bible - Read: Ps 119:9-24

I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. . --Psalm 119:15

I love the sight of cows lying in the field, chewing their cud. But what is cud? And why do they spend so much time chewing it? Cows first fill their stomachs with grass and other food. Then they settle down for a good, long chew. They bring the food back up from their stomachs and rework what they've already eaten, assimilating its goodness and transforming it into rich milk. Time-consuming? Yes. A waste of time? Not if they want to give good milk. The phrase "chewing the cud" is used to describe the process of meditation. The writer of Psalm 119 obviously did a lot of mental chewing as he read God's Word. No fast food for him! If we follow his example of careful and prayerful Scripture reading, we will:

Be strengthened against sin (Psalm 119:11).

Find delight in learning more about God (Psalm 119:15, 16).

Discover wonderful spiritual truths (Psalm 119:18).

Find wise counsel for daily living (Psalm 119:24). (See Spurgeon's notes on Ps 119)

Meditation is more than reading the Bible and believing it. It's applying Scripture to everyday life.

God's Word is not meant to be fast food. Take time for a good long chew. --J E Yoder 

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word.
--Lathbury

To be a healthy Christian,
don't treat the Bible as snack food.


There When You Need It - I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11-note).

One thing about students: They know how to memorize! Let's face it-you have to if you want to survive. Whether it's the symbols of all the elements in chemistry, the names of all the bones in the human body, or the chronological sequence of Shakespeare's 23 plays, you can learn huge amounts of information to pass your exams. It's a good thing God gave us such large-capacity brains. We not only store the info we study, but we also keep it all in order and can recall it when we need it. A magazine called THINK reports that our brains can store enough information to fill several million books! Think about that the next time you feel like complaining when your science instructor says to memorize the distance of each of the nine planets from the sun. Classroom work, though, may not be the best use of memory. As good as that is, a better use is to "hide" God's Word in your heart. Then the Holy Spirit can help you recall it when you need it. Remember Chet Bitterman, the Wycliffe missionary? He was kidnapped by Colombian terrorists and held captive 7 weeks before being killed. Before his capture, Chet had memorized 1 Peter, a book written to first-century believers who were suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ. During Bitterman's captivity, he wrote his wife a letter in which he quoted 1Peter 3:15, 16-notes. He said he was using those verses to strengthen and guide him in his response to his captors. Months earlier, when he was memorizing 1 Peter, he had no way of knowing how he would be needing it. So, in addition to memorizing the names of all the parts of speech, why not memorize some of God's Word. Hide it in your heart. No telling when you'll need it. —D Egner (Our Daily Bread)

REFLECTION - Why is it so easy for me to remember the bad things in life and hard to remember the good things? What Bible passages should I be memorizing? How about Psalm 1- notes, Ps 23, 100; Isaiah 53; John 14:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Philippians 2:5-8-notes? What methods can I use to improve memorization? 3x5 cards? Work with a friend?

Carry your Bible in your heart.


The Book With God's Signature Read: Psalm (Psalm 119:121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128) (See Spurgeon on Ps 119)

I love Your commandments more than gold,yes, than fine gold! . (Psalm 119:127)

London music student Richard Steel prized the old violin that had once been his grandfather's. One day Richard tried to help a bus driver who couldn't get close to the curb because of a barrier. Putting aside his old violin, he removed the obstacle. But then the driver, unable to see the books and the violin, drove over them. The crushed books could be replaced. And the old violin, though valued for sentimental reasons, could be replaced too--or could it? As Richard examined his splintered instrument, inside he found the signature of Stradivarius, the greatest of all violin makers. The old violin was a priceless and irreplaceable masterpiece. The Sotheby auction firm estimated that it had been worth more than $700,000. Many families pass treasured Bibles from one generation to the next as spiritual heirlooms. But these treasures are often treated as mere antiques while their pages go unread and their promises remain unclaimed. The message of salvation goes unheeded. Its true value is never realized. The Bible is more than just a record of long-ago events and ancient wisdom. It is the Book that bears God's signature. It is His message of truth and grace to us. Let's not neglect it. Let's read it, believe it, and obey it. --V C Grounds 

Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine,
And jewels rich and rare
Are hidden in its mighty depths
For every searcher there.
--Hodder

Many people store the Bible on the shelf
instead of in their heart.


Endurance of the Bible - Century follows century—There it stands.

Empires rise and fall and are forgotten—There it stands. Dynasty succeeds dynasty—There it stands.
Kings are crowned and uncrowned—There it stands. Emperors decree its extermination—There it stands. Despised and torn to pieces—There it stands.
Storms of hate swirl about it—There it stands.
Atheists rail against it—There it stands.
Agnostics smile cynically—There it stands.
Profane prayerless punsters caricature it—There it stands. Unbelief abandons it—There it stands.
Higher critics deny its claim to inspiration—There it stands. Thunderbolts of wrath smite it—There it stands.
An anvil that has broken a million hammers—There it stands. The flames are kindled about it—There it stands. The arrows of hate are discharged against it—There it stands. Radicalism rants and raves about it—There it stands. Fogs of sophistry conceal it temporarily—There it stands. The tooth of time gnaws but dents it not—There it stands. Infidels predict its abandonment—There it stands. Modernism tries to explain it away—There it stands. Devotees of folly denounce it—There it stands.
It is God's highway to Paradise.
It is the light on the pathway in the darkest night. It leads business men to integrity and uprightness. It is the great consoler in bereavement.
It awakens men and women opiated by sin.
It answers every great question of the soul.
It solves every great problem of life.
It is a fortress often attacked but never failing.
Its wisdom is commanding and its logic convincing. Salvation is its watchword. Eternal life its goal.
It punctures all pretense.
It is forward-looking, outward-looking, and upward-looking.
It outlives, outlifts, outloves, outreaches, outranks, outruns all other books. Trust it, love it, obey it, and Eternal Life is yours.
A. Z. Conrad


The Bible is not in a class. It constitutes a class by itself. (Emile Cailliet).

What the brush is to the artist in painting a picture, what the hammer is to the carpenter in driving a nail, what water is to the laundress in washing clothes, so the Bible is to God in saving souls. (Donald Grey Barnhouse).

Why will people go astray when they have this blessed Book to guide them? (Michael Faraday).

The Bible—has had more written about it—than has been written about the twenty greatest classics of world literature combined. (Wilbur Smith).

I have known ninety-five of the world's great men in my time, and of these, eighty-seven were followers of the Bible. The Bible is stamped with a Specialty of Origin, and an immeasurable distance separates it from all competitors. (W. E. Gladstone)

The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts. I solemnly state this from the experience of 54 years. The first 3 years after conversion I neglected the word of God. Since I began to search it diligently the blessing has been wonderful. Great has been the blessing from consecutive, diligent, daily study. I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the word of God. (George Mueller)


Sorry and Glad - A man was out walking in the desert when a voice said to him, "Pick up some pebbles and put them in your pocket, and tomorrow you will be both sorry and glad." The man obeyed. He stooped down and picked up a handful of pebbles and put them in his pocket. The next morning he reached into his pocket and found diamonds and rubies and emeralds. And he was both glad and sorry. Glad that he had taken some—sorry that he hadn't taken more.
And so it is with God's word.


God's Miracle Book
The Bible is referred to in many different ways. We speak of it as God's Word, the Good Book, the Holy Scriptures, and the Sword of the Spirit. It is also known as the Book of books and the Living Word. Some call it simply THE Book, for nothing else seems necessary. It stands alone, towering above all other writings.
Of the many titles given to the Bible, however, the one that is the most appropriate is God's Miracle Book.
This is true for a number of reasons:
    1. It is miraculous in its origin—coming to us by divine inspiration. 
    2. It is miraculous in its durability—outlasting the opposition of its critics and surviving the attempts of its enemies to exterminate it. 
    3. It is miraculous in its results—transforming the lives of those who read and believe it. 
    4. It is miraculous in its harmony—agreeing in all its parts, even though written over a period of 1600 years by about 40 different authors. 
    5. It is miraculous in its message—telling of many occasions when God supernaturally intervened in the affairs of men to accomplish his redemptive purposes. 
    6. It is miraculous in its preservation—maintaining its accuracy and reliability down through the centuries. 
Yes, the Bible is God's Miracle Book!


Do You Read Scripture Like Mr. Holmes or like Dr. Watson?

Holmes: “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room.”

Watson: “Frequently.”

Holmes: “How often?”

Watson: “Well, some hundreds of times.”

Holmes: “Then how many are there?”

Watson: “How many? I don’t know.”

Holmes: “Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. That is just my point. Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed” (“A Scandal in Bohemia” in The Complete Sherlock Holmes. New York: Doubleday, 1927)

Beloved, let us diligently seek to be "spiritual Sherlocks" (cp 2Ti 2:15 - note) who not only read our Scriptures daily (as part of our devotional and/or read thru the Bible in a year programs), but also make time to truly observe the Scriptures in order that we might then be able to "do" them (proving ourselves "doers of the Word" Jas 1:22 - note) empowered by God's Spirit and His always sufficient supply of amazing grace.

So let me ask you again: Do you read the Scriptures like Dr Watson or like Sherlock Holmes? Do you mechanically read a section in the morning as part of your routine devotional and walk away without having truly observed what the Author is saying? If this is often your experience, then inductive study is for you and will revolutionize your time in God's Word. As Howard Hendricks writes "Personal Bible study is the Christian's lifeline. It is never optional; always essential."


John Wycliffe - You and I have an English Bible in our possession largely because of a man named John Wycliffe. He was known not only as a builder, producing the first English text of the Bible, but also as a fighter. What a leader! When he died, his enemies burned him at the stake and took the ashes of his body and sprinkled them over the Thames River in London. "Forever, we're rid of Wycliffe!" his enemies must have thought. They were wrong. The product of his labors, the English Bible, is with us today because he did more than fight. He stayed at the task. 

Recommendation - If you are largely ignorant of this great man John Wycliffe to whom every believer owes a great debt of gratitude, you might watch one of the videos (including full movies) that are available on the web. Click here for a listing. For example - The Morning Star of the Reformation (Well done 28 minute video); John Wycliffe Morning Star; Full Movie of his life


The Dead Sea Scrolls - A recent archaeological report in the science magazine Discovery contained amazing findings about the Old Testament. Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, the oldest Hebrew manuscripts dated about A.D. 900. The Dead Sea Scrolls, in startling agreement with the Masoretic text, dated to about 150 B.C. But now archaeologists have discovered a pair of tiny silver scrolls that date back to about 600 B.C.! While digging at the site of a 5th-century church in Jerusalem, researchers found a Roman legionnaires' cemetery. Exploring still deeper, they found a small burial cave containing the scrolls. Very carefully, less than a hundredth of an inch at a time, the scrolls were unrolled. On each of them appeared an excerpt from the book of Numbers that included the word Jehovah. And these scrolls date back to the days before the exile to Babylon, earlier than liberal scholars supposed that the Pentateuch had even been written


We've Lost Our Ability to Fend for Food - If you've ever been to Yellowstone National Park, you were probably given a piece of paper by a ranger at the park entrance. On it in big letters was the warning "Do Not Feed the Bears." You no sooner drive into the heart of the park, however, than you see people feeding the bears. When I first saw this I asked a ranger about it. "Sir," he answered, "you have only a small part of the picture." He described how the park service personnel in the fall and winter have to carry away the bodies of dead bears—bears who have lost their ability to fend for food. That's what's happening to us


Dr. Howard Hendricks once asked a group of businessmen, "If you didn’t know any more about your business or profession than you know about Christianity after the same number of years of exposure, what would happen?" One man replied “They’d ship me!” He was right. The reason God can’t use you more than He wants to may well be that you are not prepared. Maybe you’ve attended church for years, but you’ve never really got into the Bible so that it could get into you. You were not yet a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. (2Ti 2:21-note). You must not just be under the Word (sound Biblical preaching and teaching) but not in the Word that you can than be trained in righteousness.


Constant and Unchangeable - Yes, the Bible gives to man the guidance he needs because it is God's unchanging Word—good for every age and every generation. I once read about a musician who went to see his aged music teacher. During the visit, the elderly mentor struck a tuning fork and said. "That is 'A.'" Just then, from the floor above came the voice of a singer. "She sings sharp," said the old teacher. He paused for a moment, then lifted the tuning fork again. The second time he struck it he said, "But this 'A'—always has been, always will be—440 vibrations per second. It will be the same 5,000 years from now." And that's the way it is with the Word of God: it is constant and unchangeable.


Shake the Bible - Luther said he studied his Bible as he gathered apples. First he shook the whole tree, that the ripest might fall; then he shook each limb, and when he had shaken each limb, he shook each branch, and after each branch, every twig; and then he looked under every leaf. Search the Bible as a whole, shaking the whole tree. Read it rapidly, as you would any other book. Then shake every limb—study book after book. Then shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters when they do not break the sense. Then shake each twig, by a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences. And you will be rewarded if you will look under each leaf, by searching the meaning of the words.

First I shake the whole [apple] tree, that the ripest might fall. Then I climb the tree and shake each limb, and then each branch and then each twig, and then I look under each leaf - Luther


They Love the Feel of the Leather - Louis L'Amour, famed writer of novels about the American West, wrote a short story that described a man who liked books. The man was noticed acting suspiciously as he perused the shelves in a library. He took down a leather-bound copy of Shakespeare's King Lear and ran his fingers gently over the cover. He opened the book and felt the pages. Suddenly he tucked it under his coat and bolted out the door. Someone who had been watching him ran after the thief and stopped him. The man willingly surrendered the book. Then he explained. All his life he had loved books, but he had never learned to read. So he would come to the library just to hold books. He loved the way they felt in his hands. That's why he had stolen Shakespeare. Some people are like that with their Bibles. They enjoy the feel of the leather as they carry them to church. They love the smell of the pages. But they never read them. What a shame!


Never Turn-off God's Saving Message - A former park ranger at Yellowstone National Park tells the story of a ranger leading a group of hikers to a fire lookout. The ranger was so intent on telling the hikers about the flowers and animals that he considered the messages on his two-way radio distracting, so he switched it off. Nearing the tower, the ranger was met by a nearly breathless lookout, who asked why he hadn't responded to the messages on his radio. A grizzly bear had been seen stalking the group, and the authorities were trying to warn them of the danger. Any time we tune out the messages God has sent us, we put at peril not only ourselves, but also those around us. How important it is that we never turn off God's saving communication! 


I Can Read the Bible Using My Tongue - A man in Kansas City was severely injured in an explosion. Evangelist Robert L. Summer tells about him in his book The Wonder of the Word of God. The victim's face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He was just a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible. Then he heard about a lady in England who read braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in braille. Much to his dismay, however, he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion. One day, as he brought one of the braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue. At the time Robert Sumner wrote his book, the man had "read" through the entire Bible four times.


Tender Heart - Without a heart for God, we cannot hear God's Word. Proper understanding of spiritual truth is not dependent on a keen intellect but on a tender heart, a heart that is "humble and contrite of spirit, and which trembles at My Word." (Isa 66:2) We don’t as much need physical eyes to read the Bible, as we need the spiritual eyes of our heart enlightened to love the Author. The story is told of a poor, blind French girl who obtained a Braille copy of Mark and learned to read it with her fingers. But eventually her fingers became so calloused she could no longer distinguish letters and words. In desperation for the Word, she cut the calluses in an attempt to restore the sense of touch, but sadly the scarring had the opposite effect. Faced with the reality that she must give up her beloved Book, with weeping she pressed the Braille copy of Mark to her lips, lamenting “Farewell, farewell, sweet Word of my Heavenly Father!” To her surprise, she discovered that her lips were even more sensitive to touch than her fingers had been! And from that moment on she "read" the Bible with her lips, and doubtless offered praises like the psalmist who cried "Let my lips utter praise, for You teach me Your statutes." (Ps 119:171)


Did you know—
    • That the longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 (91 words)? 
    • That the shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35 (2 words)? 
    • That the NIV has two "shortest" verses: John 11:35 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (2 words each)? 
    • That there are 1189 chapters in the Bible? 
    • That there are 31,102 verses in the Bible? 7957 of these are in the New Testament, and 23,145 are in the Old Testament. 
    • That the RSV has one more verse than the KJV? The extra verse is 3 John 1:15 
    • That the longest word in the Bible is Jonathelemrechokim? It occurs in the title of Psalm 56 
    • That there are 790,704 words in the Bible, but only 12,775 different words? 
    • That there are 180,392 words in the New Testament and 610,312 words in the Old Testament? 
    • That in the RSV, Exodus 22:4 is printed between Exodus 22:1 and Exodus 22:2? 
(Unless otherwise noted, all facts relate to the King James Version)


John Bunyan on Reading God's WordJohn Bunyan wrote his immortal allegory Pilgrim's Progress after mastering the Scriptures and sensing that God had spoken to him again and again through its pages. He said, "Although you may have no commentaries at hand, continue to read the Word and pray; for a little from God is better than a great deal received from a man. Too many are content to listen to what comes from men's mouths, without searching and kneeling before God to know the real truth. That which we receive directly from the Lord through the study of His Word is from the 'minting house' itself. Even old truths are new if they come to us with the smell of heaven upon them."


Profitable (2 Timothy 3:16-17) - All Scripture is profitable! Knowing this, we cheat ourselves when we do not access every book, every truth, every verse, and every page of our Bibles for the promises and commands God has for us. Because every verse of Scripture is inspired by God and gainful to us, we should not pick and choose which verses we will read and study. We should not claim verses we like and ignore those that convict us! If we are to become mature disciples of Jesus, we must allow every Scripture to speak to us and teach us what God desires us to learn. Scripture enables us to evaluate the soundness of doctrines that are being taught. Scripture ought to be the basis for any reproof or correction we bring to another. If you are not firmly grounded in God's Word, you will be bombarded with an assortment of doctrines, lifestyles, and behaviors, and you will have no means to evaluate whether or not they are of God. You cannot develop a righteous life apart from God's Word. Righteousness must be cultivated. As you fill your mind with the words of God, and as you obey His instructions, He will guide you in the ways of righteousness. Scripture will equip you for any good work God calls you to do. If you feel inadequate for a task God has given you, search the Scriptures, for within them you will find the wisdom you need to carry out His assignment. Allow the Word of God to permeate, guide, and enrich your life. (Henry Blackabye - Experiencing God Day by Day)


H. P. Barker has a graphic illustration emphasizing the importance of both knowing and doing the Bible’s truths...

As I looked out into the garden one day, I saw three things. First, I saw a butterfly. The butterfly was beautiful, and it would alight on a flower and then it would flutter to another flower and then to another, and only for a second or two it would sit and it would move on. It would touch as many lovely blossoms as it could, but derived absolutely no benefit from it.

Then I watched a little longer out my window and there came a botanist. And the botanist had a big notebook under his arm and a great big magnifying glass. The botanist would lean over a certain flower and he would look for a long time and then he would write notes in his notebook. He was there for hours writing notes, closed them, stuck them under his arm, tucked his magnifying glass in his pocket and walked away.

The third thing I noticed was a bee, just a little bee. But the bee would light on a flower and it would sink down deep into the flower and it would extract all the nectar and pollen that it could carry. It went in empty every time and came out full (A. Naismith, 1200 Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes [Chicago: Moody, 1962], p. 15.)

Comment: Don't be like the butterfly flitting from one Bible study [preacher, devotional, commentary, etc] to another, but failing to personally apply what you learn. Neither are you to be "Bible botanists" (even good inductive students), who laboriously observe the Biblical text and derive accurate interpretation but fail to apply these truths. Instead, we need to be Bible "bees", using inductive study to go deep into the Scriptures obtaining its divine nectar and then allowing God's "nectar" to change us. And when we do, like the bee, we will find that we never go away from God's Word empty.


With Compliments of the Author (2 Peter 1:21) - The story is told about a young boy named Timothy who was planning to give his grandmother a Bible for Christmas. He wanted to write something special on the flyleaf but wasn't sure what to say. So he decided to copy what he had seen in a book his father had received from a friend.

Christmas morning came and Grandmother opened her gift. She was not only pleased to receive the Bible, but she was amused by the inscription Timothy had put in it. It read: "To Grandma, with compliments of the author."

Even though that boy was unaware of it, he had suggested a unique fact about the Bible. It came to us from its Author -- God. The apostle Paul wrote, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Ti 3:16). And in today's Bible reading Peter said, "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21-note). That makes the Bible the most valuable and desirable of all books.

Knowing who wrote a book often determines whether we'll pick it up and read it. The Bible, with its divine origin, not only ought to be read, but it demands our respect, our trust, and our obedience. It comes "with compliments of the Author." - R W De Haan 

Your thoughts are here, my God,
Expressed in words divine,
The utterance of heavenly lips
In every sacred line.
--Bonar

The Bible is a gift from the Author -- God.
Study the Bible to be wise. 
Believe it to be safe 
Practice it to be holy.


The Staff of Life - The Bible isn’t just another great book. It is God’s Word, given by God to tell us about Himself. Peter declared, “We did not follow cunningly devised fables . . . for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:16, 21). Paul stressed, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). I have known many outstanding leaders who made the Bible their guide. Businessman Herbert J. Taylor, former president of Rotary International, told me he began each day by reading the Sermon on the Mount aloud. Let the Bible be your firm foundation. Let it be the staff of life that nourishes your soul. Let it be the sword of the Spirit that cuts away sin. Many years ago I heard these words: “Sin will keep you from God’s Word—or God’s Word will keep you from sin!” - Billy Graham


William Tyndale's First English New TestamentWilliam Tyndale's first English New Testament, finished in 1525, had to be printed outside of England and then smuggled back inside barrels of flour and bolts of cloth. Catholic bishop Tunstall of London bought up most of Tyndale's first edition in order to stamp out Tyndale's "heresy" but the proceeds financed new editions! 


God's Word Is His Love Letter to Us - A childhood accident caused poet Elizabeth Barrett to lead a life of semi-invalidism before she married Robert Browning in 1846. There's more to the story. In her youth, Elizabeth had been watched over by her tyrannical father. When she and Robert were married, their wedding was held in secret because of her father's disapproval. After the wedding the Brownings sailed for Italy, where they lived for the rest of their lives. But even though her parents had disowned her, Elizabeth never gave up on the relationship. Almost weekly she wrote them letters. Not once did they reply. After 10 years, she received a large box in the mail. Inside, Elizabeth found all of her letters; not one had been opened! Today those letters are among the most beautiful in classical English literature. Had her parents only read a few of them, their relationship with Elizabeth might have been restored. In a very real sense, God's Word is his love letter to us. Nothing has the power to free us from destructive behavior and revitalize our relationship with him like his Word. 


The Quarry of the Holy Scriptures in Inexhaustible - Charles Spurgeon is well known in modern church history for his many contributions to Christian preaching and literature. In his lifetime he produced 135 books, edited 28 others, and contributed many more shorter writings to the church. In spite of his thorough studies, however, he once said, "The quarry of the Holy Scriptures in inexhaustible. I seem hardly to have begun to labor in it; but the selection of the next block, and the consideration as to how to work it into form, are matters not so easy as some think."


Only God's Word Produces Spiritual Life - F.F. Bruce noted the following about the Bible: "The word of human beings however wise in substance or eloquent in expression cannot produce spiritual life; this is the prerogative of the Word of God....The Bible was never intended to be a book for scholars and specialists only. From the very beginning it was intended to be everybody’s book, and that is what it continues to be."


The Gideons - Once upon a rainy night a couple of travelling salesmen—Sam Hill and John Nicholson—seeking a place to sleep in Boscobel, Wisconsin learned that there was but one room available in the only local hotel. So they agreed to share room number 19 that night. When one asked permission from the other to keep his light on so that he could read his Bible, a discussion ensued about the dearth of religious reading material available. Then and there was born the Gideons, the purpose of which was to place a Bible in every hotel room in the United States. That was ninety-two years ago, and today the Gideons supply Bibles in 60 languages to hotel rooms in 149 countries. The Boscobel Hotel is now 125 years old, been vacant for years, and it's for sale. But one thing more: In March of 1960 Senator John Kennedy was campaigning in Wisconsin. Passing through Boscobel, he asked for a place to rest and freshen up. Of course the town had only one hotel, so Senator Kennedy and his wife, Jacquelyn, were assigned to historic room 19. History records that their son John was born precisely nine months later. 


The Transforming Power of the Word of God - Though accounts of the demise of Fletcher Christian vary, the outcome of the Bounty mutineers is well known. After nine mutineers, twelve Tahitian women and six Tahitian men put ashore on Pitcairn Island in 1790, jealousy, treachery, drunkenness and murder took over. Ten years later, only two white men survived, surrounded by native women and half-breed offspring. When one of them died in 1800, he was the first man on the island to die a natural death. When the sole remaining mutineer was discovered in 1808, it was found that he had at one point discovered a Bible. By reading it and teaching it to others, he had instituted a simple, pious little community with no jail, no whiskey, no crime, and no laziness. Such is the transforming power of the Word of God.


What Does It Really Mean ? - Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. –Psalm 119:105 
A father was telling his son the Bible story about Lot. He said, "God was going to destroy the city of Sodom, so He warned Lot to take his wife and flee. But when Lot's wife looked back, she turned into a pillar of salt." Puzzled, the boy asked, "What happened to the flea?" This humorous misunderstanding points out a deeper problem some of us have with the words of the Bible. Although we believe that every word of Scripture is inspired, this doesn't mean we should take every word literally regardless of its context. Some people seem to do this and thereby miss the true meaning of many Bible passages. The Bible is filled with images–word pictures we call similes and metaphors. The book of James gives us a classic example, calling the tongue "a fire" (James 3:6). We know it doesn't mean that we have a literal flame in our mouth. Jesus used figurative language too. He said, "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out" (Mt. 5:29-note). What He meant, of course, is that we should take strong measures to keep ourselves from sin. We need to listen carefully to what God is saying in His Word so we can put it into practice. His Word is a "lamp" for our feet and a "light" for our path (Ps. 119:105). –D J De Haan 

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 
Observation: What does the context say? 
Interpretation: What does the text mean? 
Application: What does it mean to your life?

A text taken out of context becomes a pretext.


Quote, Misquote - You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." --Mt 5:38-note  In the opening chapter of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain presents an interesting conversation that reflects human nature. Tom tries to persuade his friend Huck to join him in his plans to form a band of robbers and to take captives much like pirates used to do. Huck asks Tom what pirates do with the captives they take, and Tom answers, "Ransom them." "Ransom? What's that?" asks Huck. "I don't know. But that's what they do. I seen it in books; and so of course that's what we got to do," explains Tom. "Do you want to go doing different from what's in the books, and get things all muddled up?"  This dialog represents a way of thinking that's not much different from what Jesus encountered. The people were also quoting and repeating things they had found in a book--the Old Testament. But they were merely mouthing words. The ideas had been separated from the spirit of the original revelation. By misapplying Mosaic principles of conduct, the people were justifying their sinful attitudes and actions (Mt. 5:27-42-see notes). This should be a reminder to us. When we quote the Bible, let's be sure we understand its meaning and context. Then we won't get things "all muddled up." --M R De Haan II (Ibid)

When reading God's Word, take special care 
To find the rich treasures hidden there; 
Give thought to each line, each precept hear, 
Then practice it well with godly fear. --Anon. 

A text taken out of context can be a dangerous pretext.


The Bible Is of Vital Importance in Teaching Freedom - It was the late Lowell Thomas, well-known news commentator, who once said, "The Bible is of vital importance in teaching freedom; dictators fear the Bible and for good reason—it inspired the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence!" It was John Adams, a member of the original committee that drew up our Declaration of Independence, who wrote these words in a letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1813, "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity!" It was our own Continental Congress that voted to spend $300,000 on September 11, 1777, to buy Bibles to be distributed throughout the 13 original colonies!


The Bible as a Decorative Badge of Christianity - History tells us that when Crowfoot, the chief of the Blackfoot nation in southern Alberta, gave the Canadian Pacific Railway permission to lay track from Medicine Hat to Calgary, he was given in exchange a lifetime railroad pass. Reportedly, Crowfoot put the pass in a leather pouch and wore it around his neck for the rest of his life—but he never once availed himself of the rights and privileges it spelled out. What a tragedy it is when Christians do the same thing with the Word of God, using it as a decorative badge of Christianity, but never availing themselves of the wealth of access to God's thoughts it affords.


Biblical Quotations? - Many people don't know what the Bible really says. It's good to check up on our knowledge. For example, which of the following are biblical quotations?
    1. "Cleanliness is next to godliness." 
    2. "God helps those who help themselves." 
    3. "An honest confession is good for the soul." 
    4. "We are as prone to sin as sparks fly upward." 
    5. "Money is the root of all evil." 
    6. "Honesty is the best policy." 
The answer? While some of these statements are truisms, none of them, as quoted, are found in the Bible! So before you quote the Bible, make sure it is in the Bible.


Finding God in the Bible - Her mother was startled to find seven-year-old Karen going through a new Bible storybook and circling the word God where ever it appeared on the page. Stifling her urge to reprimand the child for defacing the book, the mother quietly asked, "Why are you doing that?" Karen answered matter-of-factly, "So that I will know where to find God when I need Him." Actually, Karen may have the right idea. In times of need it would be helpful to know where to look in the Bible to find the Lord's help.


The Bible: an Inexaustibel Mine - Former president John Quincy Adams once said, ""I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once a year. My custom is to read four or five chapters every morning immediately after rising from my bed. It employs about an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day. In what light soever we regard the Bible, whether with reference to revelation, to history, or to morality, it is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue."


Dead Sea Squirrels - I home school my children and one day we talked about how the Bible used to be written on scrolls. When my husband came home, my 4-year-old daughter told him, "The Bible used to be written on squirrels!" —Linda S., Jacksonville, Florida, Christian Parenting Today, (September/October '99).


Blow Up, Dry Up, or Grow Up - If you have the Spirit without the Word, you blow up. If you have the Word without the Spirit, you dry up. If you have both the Word and the Spirit, you grow up. —Don Lyon, Leadership, Vol. 5, no. 1


Statistic: Bible and Values
    • Percentage of Americans who believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God: 80 
    • Percentage who believe there is no one set of values that is right: 48 

 —U.S. News & World Report, 4/4/94. "To Verify," Leadership.


Word of God Corrects - Use the Right Standard - The best way to show a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it. 


The Word of God - The Bible is chock-full of verses attesting to its inspiration, authority, infallibility, and usefulness. Perhaps the best New Testament texts on this subject are 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21. The latter says, in effect, that no passage in the Bible came about by a prophet’s own origination, but the writers of Scripture spoke as they were moved (borne along) by the Holy Spirit. The former verse tells us that all Scripture is inspired (breathed out) by God and therefore of immense usefulness in our lives.
Notice the chapter/verse location 2 Timothy 3:16. There’s a remarkable correspondence between John 3:16 and 2 Timothy 3:16. The two verses have more in common than their “street address” of 316.
    • John 3:16 talks about the Savior, and 2 Timothy 3:16 talks about the Scriptures. These two entities comprise the two greatest gifts ever bestowed on humanity. 
    • Both are called “The Word.” 
    • One is the living Word, and the other is the written Word. 
    • Both are utterly unique. Jesus is like no other person the world has ever seen, and the Bible is like no other book the world has ever read. 
    • Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. He came down from heaven yet made His appearance through the instrumentality of a human being who was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are both fully human and fully divine. They came down from heaven yet were given through the instrumentality of human beings who were borne along by the Holy Spirit. 
    • Just as the Savior was without sin, the Scriptures are without error. 
    • Just as the Savior has a dual nature, the Scriptures have a double nature. 
    • The Savior is the God-Man, and the Scriptures are from both God and man. 
    • The Savior came to save us, and the Scriptures were given to tell us how to be saved. 
    • The Bible is Jesus in print, and Jesus is the personification and fulfillment of the Scriptures. And so these 3:16s are twin verses about the Savior and the Scriptures. 
The Great “3:16s” of the New Testament
    • Luke 3:16—The Baptism of the Holy Spirit 
    • 1 Corinthians 3:16—The Holy Spirit’s Indwelling 
    • Ephesians 3:16—The Holy Spirit’s Strengthening 
    • Colossians 3:16—The Imbedded Word 
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:16—The All-Encompassing Peace of God 
    • 1 Timothy 3:16—The Uniqueness of Christ 
    • 1 John 3:16—The Power of Love 
    • Revelation 3:16—The Danger of Lukewarm Love 

Inspiration... is the determining influence exercised by the Holy Spirit on the writers of the Old and New Testament in order that they might proclaim and set down in an exact and authentic way the message as received from God. —René Pach (Rob Morgan - 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart - Recommended)


   How precious is the Book divine,
         By inspiration giv’n!
         Bright as a lamp its doctrines shine,
         To guide our souls to heav’n.

         Its light, descending from above,
         Our gloomy world to cheer,
         Displays a Saviour’s boundless love,
         And brings His glories near.

         It shows to man his wand’ring ways,
         And where his feet have trod;
         And brings to view the matchless grace
         Of a forgiving God.

         This lamp thro’ all the dreary night
         Of life shall guide our way,
         Till we behold the clearer light
         Of an eternal day.
                  —John Fawcett


God's Unchanging Word - Early in my life I had some doubts about whether or not the Bible was really God’s Word. But one night in 1949, I knelt before a stump in the woods of Forest Home, California, opened my Bible, and said, “O God, there are many things in this Book I do not understand. But by faith I accept it—from Genesis to Revelation—as Your Word.” By God’s grace that settled the issue for me once and for all. From that moment on, I have never had a single doubt that the Bible is God’s Word. When I quote Scripture, I know I am quoting the very Word of God. This confidence in God’s Word not only gives authority to one’s ministry; it provides a solid foundation for one’s life. We who trust in God’s Word aren’t living according to what someone says about the Bible or some human philosophy. We are basing our faith, our ministry, even our life itself on God’s unchanging truth as it is presented in His unchanging Word. Is God’s Word the foundation of your life? - Billy Graham


What Does God Say? - I knew a man from India who got hold of a New Testament, was converted and started to preach, but he had no background at all. That is, he started from scratch. He did not have a Greek Orthodox or Roman Catholic or Protestant background. He just started from the beginning. He didn’t know anything about churches. He testified, “What I did when I had a problem in the church was to go straight to the New Testament and settle it. I let the New Testament tell me what I was to do.” The result was that God greatly blessed him and his work in the land of India. This is what I would like to see in our church—the New Testament order of letting Scripture decide matters. When it comes to a question—any question—what does the Word of God say? All belief and practices should be tested by the Word; no copying unscriptural church methods. We should let the Word of God decide. - A W Tozer


The Importance of Studying ALL of the Scripture  - Researchers studying eye movement during normal conversation have found that sustaining eye contact for any length of time is difficult, if not impossible. Special cameras reveal that what appears to be a steady gaze at someone is actually a series of rapid scans of the face. Eye movement is essential because the nerves in the eye need a constant change of stimulation if we are to see properly. Studies show that if we look at the same spot continuously, the rest of our visual field will go blank. We can experience a similar problem in our study of the Word of God. If we "stare" exclusively at certain biblical truths while excluding other important doctrines, our spiritual vision will begin to blur out. Some people, for instance, tend to look only at the love of God, or the wrath of God, or evangelism, or church growth, or the end times, or the devil, or sin. No matter what particular truth we are interested in, we need to be careful lest we lose our perspective. The Bible tells us that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Ti 3:16) and is profitable for our spiritual development. Only as we see the big picture—how the many biblical doctrines fit together—will we avoid staring at some truths and becoming blind to others. —M R De Haan (Our Daily Bread)

God's Word was given for our good
And we are to obey;
Not choose the parts that we like best,
Then live in our own way. —Hess

You can't enjoy the harmony of Scripture
if you play just one note of truth.


Fully Equipped - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17

Karl Elsener, a Swiss designer of surgical equipment in the 19th century, worked for years on perfecting a military knife. Today his Swiss Army Knife is associated with excellence in blades and a variety of utilities. One model includes knife blades, a saw, scissors, a magnifying glass, a can opener, a screwdriver, a ruler, a toothpick, a writing pen, and more—all in one knife! If you are out camping in the wild, this one item can certainly make you feel equipped for survival. We need something to equip us to survive spiritually in this sinful world. God has given us His Word, a kind of spiritual knife for the soul. Paul writes: “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 Tim. 3:16-17). The word translated equipped means to “furnish or fit completely.” How does the Bible equip us for life’s journey? It provides spiritual truth in doctrine; reproof in showing our imperfections; correction by revealing our sinful failures; and instruction in living a righteous life. There’s not a more valuable tool than God’s Word to make us fully equipped for spiritual survival and personal growth.

Lord, thank You for equipping us with Your inspired Word. You’ve given us the tools we need to live for You. Help us to take time to read it and to follow what You tell us. Amen. - Dennis Fisher

The Bible contains the nutrients we need for a healthy soul.


The God-Breathed Book - All scripture is given by inspiration of God. (2 Timothy 3:16). We do not worship the Bible for that would be bibliolatry, but it is the only authorized textbook of our faith. Jesus said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" and those words are recorded only in the Bible. The Book is God-breathed and when we explore that Book we feel, as Dr. J. B. Phillips puts it, like one wiring an old house where the power has not been cut off. Some get a charge, some a shock, for it is wired from heaven! - Vance Havner


Does the Bible Work? ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17) Dave Hunt, in his latest book, An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith, says that Christians have stopped looking to God's Word for the answers and are instead looking in other places. "We are plagued by 'yes, but' syndrome. Isn't the Bible God's inerrant Word? Yes, but... I've tried it and it doesn't work. Don't we have the leading of the Holy Spirit, and Christ indwelling to guide and empower us? Yes, but... and silence...." Hunt continues this thought, "Like Adam and Eve, mankind still flees the voice of God, clothes itself with the makeshift garments of new theories no better than fragile leaves, and hides behind the trees of its latest excuses for unbelief and rebellion." Dave Hunt's assessment is right on target. It seems that today we have tossed out the counsel of God's Word as irrelevant and are searching for solutions elsewhere. The same God that stopped the mouths of lions for Daniel, comforted Job in distress, delivered a son to Abraham, gave courage to Peter at Pentecost, and filled Paul with joy in prison is now being labeled as "out-dated" and "old-fashioned." I may be in the minority, but I believe the principles in the Bible apply to the Christian life in the 21st century. The problem is not with the Bible, but in the hearts of men and women who refuse to follow God for answers to life.  (James Scudder - Living Water)

Those that claim the Bible doesn't work
have never actually tried to use it


Adrian Rogers - When we get this Book written over a period of 1,600 years, employing forty different authors from all walks of life writing in three different languages, it comes together to make one beautiful temple of God's truth. Nothing needs to be added or taken away or embellished. There it stands—one Book! We can't say that it just happened. No thinking person would honestly say it was an accident. No! The unity of the Bible is one of the most wonderful proofs of the inspiration of God's Word—that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God....In addition to the frontal attack against the Bible from those who deny it, and in addition to the rear attack by those who substitute their experience for the Word of God, there is an attack from the flank by people who want to replace it or prop it up with psychology, philosophy, and other things—as if the Bible is not good enough on its own. But, friend, the Bible is true. If you're looking for truth, you can be sure to find it there. As it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible is inspired—"God-breathed"—verifying its authority in the trustworthy name of God.


Our Daily Bread - One spring day, Jordan began asking questions about Jesus' resurrection as his mom was taking him to preschool. Realizing he thought Jesus was rising from the dead for the first time this Easter, she tried to correct him. She pulled the car over and told him all about Jesus' death and resurrection. She concluded, "Jesus rose from the dead a long time ago, and now He wants to live in our hearts." But Jordan still didn't understand.

Unsure how she could make it any clearer, she said, "How about if we stop by the bookstore? I saw some books about Easter when I was there last week. We'll get one and read through it together." With a wisdom beyond his years, Jordan responded, "Can't we just read the Bible?"

Jordan's idea was right. Commentaries and books about the Bible are helpful tools. But they should never be used as a substitute for God's revelation of Himself—His Word. No other book has been given to us "by inspiration of God" (2Timothy 3:16). As author Eugene Peterson says, "God's voice [is] speaking to us, inviting, promising, blessing, confronting, commanding, healing."

Let's follow Jordan's idea and go first to the ultimate source of truth—the Bible. —Anne Cetas (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Exhaustless store of treasured gems
Within this Book I hold;
And as I read, it comes alive,
New treasures to unfold.
—Mortenson

Go to the Bible for your
protection, correction, and direction.


Let's Read It - After 30 years as a pastor, a New Jersey minister concluded, “The Bible is the best-selling, least-read, and least-understood book.” In his view, “Biblical illiteracy is rampant.”

George Gallup, the foremost religion pollster in the US, agrees: “We revere the Bible,” he says, “but we don’t read it.” In a recent survey, 64 percent of those questioned said they were too busy to read the Bible. The average household has three Bibles but less than half the people in the US can name the first book in the Old Testament. One survey found that 12 percent of its Christian respondents identified Noah’s wife as Joan of Arc!

The solution? Read the Bible! Join me in a commitment to read the entire Bible through in the coming year. It will take about 15 minutes a day to follow the reading guide in this booklet. Are we too busy for that?

The goal is not information, but transformation. Someone summarized 2 Timothy 3:16 by saying: “God’s Word shows us which road to take (doctrine). It tells us when we get off track (reproof); how to get back on (correction); and how to stay on (instruction in righteousness).”

God’s Word is a precious gift. So let’s read it through this coming year. - David MacCasland

If you've never read the Bible through,
There's a special joy awaiting you:
You could start the new year out just right
Walking with the Lord and in His light. 
—Hess

The Bible: The more you read it, the more you love it;
The more you love it, the more you read it.


A Map And A Compass- Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-17)

All Scripture is . . . profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. —2 Timothy 3:16

I was driving on the outskirts of Orlando, searching for the little town of Zellwood. I had carefully located it on the map, but I discovered that I was on an unfamiliar road. A glance at the compass attached to my windshield, however, assured me that I was headed in the right direction and would eventually cross the highway leading to Zellwood.

The Bible and the work of God’s Holy Spirit are like a map and a compass. The Bible is our map. Paul assured Timothy that Scripture lays out the route of sound doctrine and righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). But where is the compass in this passage?

The compass is the work of the Holy Spirit in Paul’s “manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance” (vv.10,14). Because Timothy carefully followed Paul’s Spirit-led example, he didn’t lose his way.

Perhaps Bible reading, prayer, and Sunday worship were once part of your childhood, but you no longer practice them. Now you are wandering and don’t know what to believe. Look to the map and compass again! Read the Bible and recall the life of parents, ministers, or friends who walked with Christ. Follow their example and soon you’ll be back on the right course. - Dennis J. De Haan

With God's Word as your map and His Spirit as your compass,
you're sure to stay on course.


Eye Contact - Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-17

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable. —2 Timothy 3:16

Researchers studying eye movement during normal conversation have found that sustaining eye contact for any length of time is difficult, if not impossible. Special cameras reveal that what appears to be a steady gaze at someone is actually a series of rapid scans of the face. Eye movement is essential because the nerves in the eye need a constant change of stimulation if we are to see properly. Studies show that if we look at the same spot continuously, the rest of our visual field will go blank.

We can experience a similar problem in our study of the Word of God. If we “stare” exclusively at certain biblical truths while excluding other important doctrines, our spiritual vision will begin to blur out. Some people, for instance, tend to look only at the love of God, or the wrath of God, or evangelism, or church growth, or the endtimes, or the devil, or sin. No matter what particular truth we are interested in, we need to be careful lest we lose our perspective.

The Bible tells us that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16) and is profitable for our spiritual development. Only as we see the big picture—how the many biblical doctrines fit together—will we avoid staring at some truths and becoming blind to others.- Mart DeHaan

God's Word was given for our good
And we are to obey;
Not choose the parts that we like best,
Then live in our own way.
—Hess

You can't enjoy the harmony of Scripture
If you play just one note of truth.


Hearing God - Read: 2 Peter 1:16-21 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. —2 Timothy 3:16

The first morning I heard the mockingbird practicing his bagful of imitations outside my window, I was thrilled by the beauty of his songs. Gradually, however, I began to take this early morning songster for granted. One day as I awoke, it dawned on me that I no longer appreciated my regular visitor. It wasn’t the mockingbird’s fault. He was still there. His beautiful song hadn’t changed, but I was no longer listening for it.

As believers in Christ, we may have a similar experience hearing God speak to us in His Word. When we are first saved, the Scriptures, with their soul-stirring instruction and vital spiritual food, are deeply satisfying. As time goes on, however, we routinely read those same portions over and over in a manner that no longer speaks to us. Our spiritual senses grow dull and lethargic, and God’s exhilarating Word becomes commonplace to us. But then, what joy we feel when a passage reveals an exciting truth, and once again we “hear” the Lord!

Are you reading the Scriptures out of a tired sense of duty? Or do you still possess the fresh expectancy you had when you first believed? Today, when you read God’s Word, listen closely for His voice. - Richard DeHaan

I scanned the Scriptures thoughtlessly—
My haste had closed my ear;
Then prayerfully I read once more—
This time my heart could hear.
—Gustafson

Without a heart for God,
we cannot hear his word.


A Book For Every Need - Read: Psalm 119:137-144 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. —2 Timothy 3:16

When a co-worker gave me a brochure he had received by mail, I looked at it and thought, This can’t be true. No book can do what this promises. The pamphlet was advertising a book containing 853 letters for “every conceivable personal and business need.”

Whether that book can deliver on its claims, I don’t know. I didn’t buy it. But the advertisement made me stop and think about another book that makes a similar promise.

Second Timothy 3:16-17 states, “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.” That’s quite an advertisement! The apostle Paul was saying that God gave us the Bible to teach us about Himself, to give us practical instructions on how to live, and to equip us completely with everything we need to know in order to live a godly life on this earth.

The Bible delivers on its promises. I know, because I bought it, I’ve been reading it, and I’m trying to live by it. It covers all aspects of life. Its pages contain essential truths, instructions, and teachings. It alone is the book for every need. Have you read it lately?Dave Branon 

The Bible gives us all we need
To live our lives for God each day;
But it won't help if we don't read
And follow what its pages say.
—Sper

The Bible: The more you read it, the more you love it;
The more you love it, the more you read it.


A Harmless Diversion? - Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-17

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. —2 Timothy 3:16

Internationally acclaimed novelist Thomas Mann wrote a whole series of books on Joseph, the person who is the focus of Genesis 37 through 50. So we know that Mann had more than a superficial acquaintance with the Bible.

Yet his biographer records that on Christmas in 1940, Mann read aloud from the Bible for the “general amusement” of his family. At one point he said, “This book is a harmless diversion, exactly what I need.”

We may wonder why the family was amused and what Mann meant by calling God’s holy Word “a harmless diversion.” While the Bible does contain humor, its message speaks about matters that are deeply serious and of eternal importance.

Because it is the Word of God and therefore the Word of Truth, the Bible is to be read with reverence. Its timeless teachings should elicit a response of gratitude and obedience, but certainly not amusement.

How do you and I read Scripture? As a harmless diversion, like a piece of pulp fiction? Or do we read it as a priceless source of light and hope that daily demands our concentrated, prayerful attention?  - Vernon C. Grounds

The Bible’s truth is exactly what we need. 
Read the Bible as if God were speaking to you.
He is!


God's Tool Kit - Read: 2 Timothy 3:13-17 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, . . . that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17

A friend of mine is a gifted handyman, but for years he was unable to develop his gifts. The reason was simple: He lacked the right tools. So for his birthday I gave him a tool kit that opens like a large book, containing the basic tools a handyman needs. As he examined each tool, his eyes shone with anticipation. After completing his next job, my friend told me excitedly, “There’s nothing more satisfying than having the right tools for the job.” Then, applying that thought to his spiritual life, he added, “I know where I can find the right tool for every job—in the Bible!”

The apostle Paul, a tentmaker by trade and a “master builder” in God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:10), knew he needed the right spiritual tools. He understood that the most practical tool kit for meeting spiritual needs is the Word of God. In 2 Timothy 3, he declared that all Scripture is God-inspired (v.16). It’s indispensable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, training, and equipping believers for every good work.

Open and use God’s “tool kit” every day. Experience the deep satisfaction of finding in it the right tool for each spiritual task you have to do. It’s the tool kit that has all you need. Just use it!  - Joanie Yoder

You cannot be successful as a worker
Unless you have the tools to fit your trade;
And you cannot be effective as God's servant
Until God's holy Word you have surveyed. —Hess

The Bible has all we need to know,
so we can do all God wants us to do
.


Melvin Worthington gives us a wonderful lesson entitled "The Wonderful Word" based on 2 Timothy 3:14, 15, 16, 17...

Introduction:

The Bible is an amazing book, a living book. It provides information which can be found in no other book.

1. The Nature of the Bible (2Ti 3:16; Ps 119:9, 10, 11; 1Pe 1:20, 21). The attributes which make the Bible a unique book include its author, authority, accuracy, adequacy, appeal, and agenda.

2. The Need for the Bible (1Pe 1:23, 24, 25; Jas 1:18; Jn 5:24). The Bible addresses all the needs of the human being. It is essential for life, likeness, liberty, light, and labor.

3. The Nourishment from the Bible (1Pe 2:2). The Bible reveals and regulates the development God planned, the diet God provided, the disposition God prescribed, and the diadem God promised.

4. The Neglect of the Bible (1Co 3:1, 2). Neglect of the Bible leads to dullness, drifting, disobedience, despising, denouncing, and departing from the Lord.

Conclusion:

Christians need to peruse, ponder, and pray over the Scriptures. This takes time, thought, toil, and tenacity. We need to pray—Father help me hear, heed, hold, honor, and herald the Word of God.