What is your response to reading scripture? Do you read it as a good story? Do you see it as an accurate historical account? Or do you see it as something current and thought provoking? Do you put it into practice in your daily life?
2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” It is useful and enlightening when read and applied to our lives.
Many people see the usefulness of the New Testament and focus on it at the exclusion of the Old Testament; however, the Old Testament is just as relevant and rich as the New. Last night I sat with some friends reading through Nehemiah 7-8. We discussed the passage and laughed at how difficult some of the names were to pronounce. If you want to come up with a unique name for a baby, just turn to Nehemiah 7-8. As we wrapped up our discussion, we generated a list of things we could take away from the passage and apply to our lives. One of the examples is Nehemiah 7:3. It spoke of the residents being appointed as the guards of their homes and the areas around them. God still calls each of us to be intercessors for our families and our communities. We shouldn’t sit back and count on someone else to battle for us. We have a responsibility to war in prayer for the things and people that are important to us.
Nehemiah 8:3 tells of how Ezra read the scriptures to the people from daybreak till noon. It goes on to say the people listened attentively. The people were hungry for God’s truth and they were willing to listen for hours without checking their watches or texting their friend to say they’d be late for the game. We are in such a hurry in our world today; we miss out on the benefits that come from just soaking in the Word of the Lord. Let us learn from the example of the Israelites. They pressed the pause button on all of the things demanding their attention and the focused on the Word of God for a prolonged period of time. When was the last time we did this?
Limiting yourself to the New Testament is like taking the treasure out of only half of the treasure chest when the whole thing was given to you. Ask God to open your eyes and your spirit to His message and then dive into the whole Word of God. You’ll be amazed by the treasures you find when you sift through entire Bible.