I remember fondly many hours beachcombing as a boy, scouring the beaches of the Fife Coast searching for anything of interest. Even if nothing was found a good time was had in the salty North Sea breeze blowing in off the Firth of Forth. Occasionally a shell, pebble or smooth green glass would catch my attention. I would wipe the treasure clean and dip it in a rock pool to see it in all its glory. I have never found anything of significant value over the years, certainly no silver, but I find silver everyday in my Bible.
Searching God’s Word is certainly as time consuming and as pleasurable as any beach search, the major difference being that we will always find treasure in His Word. How much biblical treasure we find is completely dependent on how much we search and how often. An individual who excelled at searching God’s Word was the Dundee Evangelist Robert Annan, who dedicated whole nights to the Word and often more than one night.
Dear reader, how much time do you give to searching the Word of God? Not just reading it but praying over it and dissecting the phrases for deeper understanding, just like examining your beach finds and washing it in the rock pool water. Such attention to your Bible will deliver greatly, building you up in your walk with Father God.
Who remembers rock pooling as a kid during the summer holidays? I remember our family holidays to the caravan park on the hillside overlooking St. Andrews beach, it was a haven of delights. My nephews, neice and myself disappeared all day down to the beach like explorers in a foreign land. The Scots language for rock pooling is “guddling.” It’s the same term used to refer to fishing for trout with your hands from a river bank.
My heart gets excited as I read God’s Word. In my mind I think it is like guddling on the beach at lowtide, searching the shallows and the deeper pools, turning over rocks to see what lies beneath. Reading my Bible is a fishing adventure for my soul. I must confess I squeal with delight at my Bible discoveries like I did when guddling on St.Andrews beach all those years ago.
Dear reader, do you get excited reading and searching His Word? Get yourself a mug of coffee or tea and open your Bible today. Grab your highlighters and notebook and go guddling in His Word – the treasures you will find in its pages will enrich and excite you, and also it is fun!
“Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; and after them seven years of famine will come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land. So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe.”
There are times in the Christian walk where the river runs low, right down to a trickle. Suddenly all is silent about you, concentration is hard and the Word of God doesn’t appear to say much. I have times like these, usually through fatique which is a regular effect of my health issues. Tiredness and pain can make big and small things difficult, including spiritual matters. Yet God can use these times to help us grow in Him. During such dry times in life our Father God provides abundantly, literally from nothing.
It was while searching for inspiration in what has been a hard day, I found myself looking at my Bible notes from Friday 26th June 2020 and I found the scriptures I present to you today. In my notes I wrote that day: “in Scripture when we find famine, God is at work in the midst of it with bountiful blessings.” Look at the story of Joseph, and how God through a famine blessed him, his family and, also his nation. Then we have Ruth, which is a truly beautiful Biblical story. To escape famine Naomi and her daughter in law Ruth return to Judah. Ruth meets Boaz in the harvest fields who becomes her husband, their son Obed is the great grandfather of David, and a forerunner of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. What a truly a great harvest in the midst of a famine!
Dear reader, in times of personal famine when life is difficult our Father God is still present, right beside us. No matter how low the water level in your reservoir, the Almighty can still work a miracle with it. He is the Master of taking the small and weak to fulfill His purpose. Let us never despair in our famine, He will feed us from His bountiful harvest!
Some years ago I found myself in the midst of a spiritual storm, one of my own making. I had strayed from His Narrow Path. It was through intercession and direct intervention of good friends I found my way back onto the path with God. It was my own prayers of humble repentance that God wanted to hear, I had to admit my error and change direction. He heard my prayers and answered them, bringing me through the storm. On reflection I can see how God took my brokenness and used it to achieve His will in His perfect time. He saved me and made me fruitful for Him again.
Spiritual storms can come from many sources, such as health problems or economic distress. As I write this I am in the midst of a storm in my health which began building on Friday, deepening fatique is making everyday tasks difficult. Often life can be cruel and a real trial to bear. In these situations a steady anchor is required, one we can trust. As a child of God I cling to Him in prayer, knowing that He hears me. He hears my spoken and unspoken prayers. Our hearts are like a book to Him, our tears are the pages.
Dear reader are you in the midst of a spiritual storm right now? Like the psalmist keep praying to your Father God, be assured He hears you. Hold tight to Him until the storm passes by.
The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
This post was originally posted on the 4th May 2020. I have editted it and made some changes for todays version.
I read the above text recently and it struck a note in my heart, which had me asking myself “How do I measure up to the Bereans?” Do I study God’s Word effectively, or can I do better?
The example of Bible study the Bereans set for us is a good approach to personal Bible study. “These [Bereans] were more noble [fair-minded] than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with eagerness [all readiness], examining [searching] the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” (Bold text in brackets mine).
The first description of the Berean Christians suggests that they were yielded to God in their approach to the His Word. They “received the Word.” As we approach our Bible study, we also need to be willing to receive and apply any and all biblical principles found in its pages.
Second, the Bereans were intentional in their approach to Bible study. They came to the Scriptures “with all readiness” looking for truth. They had an eager mind, a hungry spirit for His Truth. It was not a matter of reading a chapter to fulfill their Christian duty based on a daily reading plan, but rather having a real personal desire to seek and understand the truth of God.
In the third place, the Bereans approached Bible study with a word by word study of the Scriptures. They “searched” the Scriptures in their pursuit of truth. Theirs was not a superficial fast reading, but reading questioning the meaning of individual words. The Biblical use of the word “searched” means “to sift” as a baker sifts flour separating every particle. When you study the Bible “word for word,” you are “sifting” every word of Scripture to try to understand what God is saying in it. As we invest time researching the meaning of words and expressions used in Scripture, we gain insights missed by those who skim over passages in their reading of the Scriptures.
The fourth characteristic of the Bereans was their routine of “daily” Bible study. Each day these Christians had a fresh personal encounter with God through their study of the Scriptures. On a daily basis they were reminded of God’s merciful compassion toward His people. Just as Jesus instructed His disciples to pray for daily bread (Matt. 6:11), so we need to go daily to the Scriptures which is the Bread of Life to every believer.
The fifth characteristic of the Bereans was that they searched with purpose in the Bible. When the Bereans wanted to know anything specific they turned to the Scriptures. They studied “to find out whether these things were so.” They were concerned with the content of Scripture and the accuracy of it. They sought assurances from their Bible study.
Dear reader, we should follow the Bereans’ example in our own Bible study, we need to check out all Biblical teaching we receive in church, on social media and YouTube for ourselves. Sadly too many folk accept what they hear without confirming the validity within the Scriptures.
Dear Father God, thank You for Your living Word, the Bible. Please fill me with a love for reading and studying Your Word, that I might draw closer to You and be a better servant. Amen.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” MATTHEW 6:25-26.
On a particular cold winter morning when I was waiting on the kettle boiling for my coffee fix I looked out the kitchen window. A flock of birds were flitting back and forward through the bare shrubs in the frozen garden, various members of the Tit family, some finches and a robin. Despite the barrenness they always seem to find some food which amazes me.
This reminded me of the chosen bible text, how God provides for the birds and also for us every day. Jesus reassured his listeners there was no need to be anxious, that God provides. Scripture tells us here that if God provides for the birds around us, then surely He can and will provide for us too. There really is no need to worry, even when there seems to be no solution we need to believe God has it in hand.
Do something positive with your anxiety and turn to God in prayer: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” MATTHEW 7:7-8. Our God is a loving Father who loves to hear from us and cares for our every need.
Dear Father God, thank you for your neverending love and care for me. I am thankful for all that you provide for me each and every day. I surrender any worry I have today about my needs, and I put my trust in you. Thank you. Amen.