“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly . . . .” Colossians 3:16
Probably prayer is less neglected in devotions than is the reading of the Bible. Many people who would not go out any morning without a few moments of prayer, will go forth day after day into the thick of life’s duties and perils, without reading even a verse of Scripture! They feel the necessity of asking God to keep, guide and bless them, but they fail to realize that it is in and through meditating on His Word that God chiefly gives His richest and best blessings.
It is in His Word that God reveals Himself. We cannot know what He is like, nor what the attributes of His character are unless we ponder the Scriptures. We cannot learn what God’s will is nor what He would have us to do and to be if we do not look into His Word. There is nothing that we need more than to hear God speaking to us every morning. This is possible only as we open the Bible and let its words whisper their messages to us.
No matter how familiar we may be with the teachings of the Scriptures, we need to ponder them anew every morning to keep their pure ideals and lofty requirements ever before us, lest we allow our standard of holy living to be lowered.
Rubenstein used to say that he could never omit his daily practice on the piano, for if he did, the quality of his playing would at once begin to deteriorate. He said that if he missed practice for three days, the public would know it; if he missed practice for two days, his friends would know it; and if he did not practice for even one day, he himself knew it! It is no less true in the Christian life that in order to keep its holy tone up to what it should be, there must never be a break in the continuity of the study of God’s Word.
One of the ways the Bible helps us is by making Christ known to us. The noblest Christian is he before whose eyes the character of Jesus shines in brightest splendor. Indeed, it is only when we have clear visions of Christ that we really grow like Him.
“It seems to me,” says a writer, “that today men think and talk too much about improving their own character, but meditate too little on the perfectness of the divine character.” Christ will never appear really great in our eyes unless we make His Word our daily study. And only as He becomes great and glorious in our thought will our character and standard of life be lifted up to what they should be. Many of the blessings we seek in prayer can come to us only through the Word of God.
We ask to be kept near the heart of Christ, but our Master tells us that only those who keep His commandments shall abide in His love. In order to keep His commandments, we must know them and we can know them only by reading and re-reading them.
– J. R. Miller