“Rate the Bible.” That's the invitation randomly extended by the creators of my Bible app. While my response to this pop-up is usually, "not now," one particular morning I took a few moments to consider the challenge. “How would I rate the Bible?”
“What a foolish question,” I thought, as James 4:14 ran through my mind. (“…Your life is like the morning fog - it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”) How could a vapor like me offer any credible evaluation of that which Isaiah said “endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8), let alone, rate it on a scale of 1 - 5 stars!
As I paused for a moment, phrases from Psalm 119 bubbled up. “Your word has given me life” (verse 50). “My heart trembles at your word” (verse 161). “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (verse 89). “How can a young person remain pure? Only by living according to Your word” (verse 9 VOICE). Then, New Testament Scripture began to surface. “God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions” (Hebrews 4:12 CEB). "Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope" (Romans 15:4 NCV).
Yes. 5 stars indeed.
Just as I was ready to close the app, the Holy Spirit gently whispered, “Not so fast.” Startled by this unexpected divine interjection, I waited for Him to continue. Though He spoke with unmistakable love and undeniable grace, I was, nonetheless, taken aback by His blunt observation. “If the Word is so life-giving, tremble-worthy, lasting, living, active, instructive, and encouraging, why does it appear to be so optional in your life?”
While my flesh wanted to argue, my morning routine over the last few weeks spoke for itself. He was right. Recently, my time with Him in the Word often came after perceived “urgent” explorations of Facebook, browses through Twitter, and scrolls through Instagram. While many times I could “post-justify” that decision (stumbling upon a cool verse inscribed on an amazing nature photo), the reality was this: my time in the Word was slipping from “non-negotiable” to “optional,” one “tap” at a time.
Embracing this grace-given opportunity to shift my priority back to intimacy of relationship with God, a Peter-like confession welled up in my heart. “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life” (John 6:68).
Not too long after this experience, I noticed that the app creators clarified the language of their pop-up to read "Rate The Bible App." Even with the update, I am reminded of this truth: The One who wrote this life-giving, tremble-worthy, lasting, living, active, instructive, and encouraging Word invites you and me to a deeper place of intimacy of relationship. For indeed, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You [alone] have the words of eternal life [you are our only hope]. We have believed and confidently trusted, and [even more] we have come to know [by personal observation and experience] that You are the Holy One of God [the Christ, the Son of the living God]” (AMP). May we come to know Him "even more"and minister as His agents of grace out of the overflow!
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