Have You Not Read?
Six separate times in the book of Matthew our Lord Jesus Christ asks those around Him, â€œHave you not readâ€¦,â€� expecting the people questioning Him to have â€œreadâ€� the Scriptures. Their questions to Him revealed their ignorance, while they thought their questions were displaying their knowledge. They were the theological scholars of the day and had, of course, â€œreadâ€� the Scriptures. However, there was something missing in their reading. â€œFor good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.â€� (Hebrews 4:2) Just reading, just studying, just memorizing, Scripture does not in itself result in a true knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is only through faith that such knowledge is received. That faith is a gift from Him, when we purposely enter into relationship with Him. (Romans 12:3c)
With that in mind, we need to understand something wonderful about â€œreadingâ€� the Word within the context of a personal relationship. Many in â€œrelationshipâ€� never read the Bible through. We read favorite passages, or passages for comfort, or for a Bible study. However, we have a tendency to excuse ourselves on the basis of grace, and never love the Lord deeply enough to really find out what He has said. Our relationship with our Lord is directly related to our relationship with His Word. If there is little involvement with Word, then there is little involvement with the person we worship.
There are three disciplines we are told to have in reference to the Scriptures. They are: read, study, meditate. These disciplines are distinct and we often try to roll them into one time period. This will not be effective. We are to read. We are to study. We are to meditate. This will take separate time periods, and separate types of mind discipline. All three of these disciplines in the life will produce the fruit of a life in Jesus.
We see this demonstrated in Proverbs 2:1-5: â€œMy son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.â€� The chapter continues to reveal what awaits those who are serious about the Word of their God.
You will notice in the passage above that understanding, the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God are all linked to our reading, studying, and meditating on the Word.
He awaits our serious and disciplined encounter with Him, in and through His Word. If we seek Him, He will answer. The depth of our seeking is directly related to our depth of trust in His Word. Reading the Bible through in a year is a good way to develop such a seeking heart. In a brief 15 minutes a day, the Word can be completely read. Then the matters of study and meditation come much more easily and the blessings of wisdom, knowledge and insight flow in the life. Such is the treasure awaiting all who seek.
If you would like a reading schedule that will help you read the entire Bible through in 2006, please send your request to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a reading schedule will be sent to you free of any charge. We want to help you begin a disciplined and serious reading of His Word in His love. Then when He asks our heart, â€œHave you not readâ€¦â€� our answer will be â€œyes, my Lord, I have read.â€�
Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright Â© 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.