Little did I know when I climbed into the car, I’d have a life-changing experience that day. As Mr. Presler drove, he asked one of his boys what he had studied that morning in Sunday School. From the back of the car came the son’s reply. Then Mr. Presler said those life-changing words, “Oh, that sounds like 2 Timothy.” I thought to myself, “The Bible is like a volume of the encyclopedia. How can anyone know where certain words are found in such a huge book?” From that moment on, I determined that I would make the Word of God a priority in my life. I wanted to know it as well as Mr. Presler. His family had played a prominent role in my coming to know Christ as my personal Savior. Now, he would play a prominent role in my future.
Since that time, I have become acquainted with many people who know the Bible as well as Mr. Presler. But their knowledge of its pages did not come easily or without effort. They have spent hours poring over its pages and committing parts of it to memory. Each of them made a personal decision to know their Bible well and to let it have authority over their life.
I realize that not everyone is gifted the same. Not everyone has the same desire to master the Word. Not everyone is going to be a scholar or author. But every one of us needs the Bible to be a regular part of our diet. Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from God’s mouth.” He was quoting from the Old Testament at the time (Deuteronomy 8:3). The Bible is a well-balanced food source for our spirit, and without it we will suffer malnourishment of our soul.
There is something of a rebuke by the author of Hebrews. At the end of chapter five he wrote, “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” When it comes to the Bible, the writer of Hebrews is shocked that some of the believers know so little, when they should be teachers by this time.
Here in America we sometimes take our Bibles for granted. In the homes of most Christians you will find at least one Bible for each family member. That doesn’t take into account the many translations we have on our phones and computers. But possessing a Bible doesn’t guarantee that we crack its pages. In other parts of the world, there are believers that don’t have even one Bible for the entire family. When they receive one, they are thrilled to read it. They often rip out its pages and distribute them among their friends. After committing that page to memory, the friend passes it on for someone else to memorize.
I’m not trying to make you feel guilty, but encouraging you to take time each day to study and memorize verses of your Bible. As we learn to obey God’s Word, we will enjoy God and find that our soul is being well-nourished. If you are just getting started, or need a refresher course, I have written short studies and placed them on my website. Feel free to download any of them you would like. Here is the link.