As I picked up my Bible to start my daily reading, I reflected on how this practice isn’t some religious ritual, but rather my means for building upon the relationship God began with me decades ago. And I choose the words, God began with me, very intentionally. There’s no question in my mind that the Lord was the one who pursued me – what poet Francis Thompson called “the Hound of Heaven” – when I had little interest in pursuing Him.
I don’t treasure my Bible because of its pages and print, ink and paper, but because through this book I encounter the God of all eternity and creation – His love, His wisdom, His grace, His guidance, and His truth.
Unlike days long ago when I casually attended church – it was a ritual of sorts then – finding God in the Scriptures has become my lifeline. At one time I vaguely sensed there had to be a divine deity; now I know this without doubt because of all He’s done in my life; the truths and principles He has taught me through His Word, and the wonderful people I’ve been privileged to meet over the years who count it their honor and privilege to be “Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Similar to the blind man who received sight from Jesus (John 9:13-39), I once was blind spiritually but now I see. I can identify with the apostle Paul’s bold declaration in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believe: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” There’s absolutely nothing like it.
As someone whose financial picture was once totally upside-down, in the Bible I’ve found simple yet profound principles for managing money, starting with the truism, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
For a person who used to have little idea about where my life was headed, I’ve often pondered and applied the promise of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” That assurance and its out-workings haven’t failed me yet.
In a world in which a lack of sense – or nonsense – seems so prevalent, the Scriptures clearly tell us where to go for wisdom and how to forgo foolishness: “The proverbs of Solomon…for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and fair…. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:1-2,7).
Years ago, I met a business leader who had spent much of his life reading self-help and motivational books, listening to taped messages on how to become a success, and using other resources for personal growth. Then he discovered the Bible and started reading it. In short order he disposed of all his other “motivators” and relied exclusively upon the Scriptures not only for guidance as a corporate executive but also for every area of his life.
Rather than self-help, the Bible affirms how desperately we need God’s help – His empowerment – to live as He intended and according to the way He designed us. In John 15:7 Jesus declared to His disciples, “apart from Me you can do nothing” (of eternal value). Piggybacking on that, the apostle Paul affirmed, “I can do everything through [Christ] who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Many times, I’ve been faced with a challenge and thought, ‘I can’t do this!’ Through His Word the Lord has reminded me, ‘I know. But I can do it through you!’
As you’ve noticed if you’re a regular reader, I like to include a lot of Scripture in my writings. That’s because my opinions alone aren’t worth a dime – which isn’t worth much anyway. But in the Bible, we find God’s opinions, which are priceless – they’re the only ones that matter.
This current calendar year is winding to a close. I would hope – and encourage – that if you’re not already doing so, in the next year you’d determine to make meaningful time in the Word of God a regular part of your day. To my way of thinking, there’s no downside to it.
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Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is email@example.com.