Christians are people of the Word, men and women who live their lives according to its every precept. The Bible is the revelation of God to display his character and to show what it means to live in conformity to him. It is an inestimable privilege to have access to the mind and will of God. Yet while many people pay homage to the Bible, few love it. How can you know if your love for the Bible goes beyond a mere passing fancy? Here are a few ways to measure whether or not you truly love the Word.
You show your love for the Word by reading it diligently. Your heart is a library meant to hold the Word of God. It is a map that charts the way to heaven and deserves to be pored over every day. It alone has the double power to teach and judge you. The person who will not be taught by the Word shall in the end by judged by the Word.
You show your love for the Word by meditating on it. David could say, “Oh, how I love your Law, it is my meditation all the day.” It is not enough to just read the Word. Rather, its benefits are applied by deep and prayerful contemplation. Your heart and mind needs more than transient thoughts of truth, but also a long steeping in them.
You show your love for the Word by delighting in it. Jeremiah proclaimed that God’s words were like food that fed, nourished, and satisfied him. No one ever loved a fine meal as much as he loved the Word! You ought to study every Word of God’s revelation to you in much the same way a son studies every word of his father’s final will and testament.
You show your love for the Word by hiding it in your heart. David told that he had hidden up the Word in his heart so that he would not transgress God’s will. If the Word is a jewel, your heart is the safe to secure it. This demands more than simple memorization and rote recitation, but a deep apprehension.
You show your love for the Word by defending it. A wise landowner defends what is his by rights. David said that God’s words were his heritage, his inheritance. What rational person would allow their inheritance to be taken from right under their nose? You show the depths of your love for the Word by your willingness to defend it.
You show your love for the Word by regarding it as ultimately precious. God’s Word is better than food, better than riches, better than worldly honor. There is nothing that is more precious, more beneficial, or more important than God’s Word. Is it of the highest value to you?
You show your love for the Word by speaking of it. Once again, it is David who would say, “My tongue will sing of your Word.” The way a rich man brags of his extravagant purchase, the Christian brags of the precious Word. Those who will not speak well of the Word show that they do not think well of the Word.
You show your love for the Word by conforming to it. The Word is a compass that sets your direction for life, a balance that weighs your every decision. People who desire godliness diligently study the Word, then live their lives in total conformity to it.
Do you love the Word? I hope and pray you do. And I hope that these markers, set out years ago by Thomas Watson, will serve you as you contemplate the matter.
This article was drawn from The Godly Man’s Picture which I’m reading with a whole crowd of people as part of my ongoing Reading Classics Together effort. If you’d like to join us, we’ve only just started. You can find all the information you need right here.
For those who are reading with me, please continue reading Chapter IV, “Showing the Characters of a Godly Man,” sections 10-12. Again, that’s a pretty sizable chunk of reading, so don’t procrastinate. Then check back a week from today and I’ll have an article drawn from it.