The Bible, inspired by God, reveals His heart to us
By Steve Prokopchak
As kids, many of us had a “Holy Bible” sitting somewhere in our home. It either had a prominent place or an obscure place. It might have been read regularly or never. It was either a source of comfort, direction, and truth or a book you dusted now and then.
The Bible is, hands down, the best-selling book in the world. Between the years of 1815 and 1975 more than 5 billion copies have been printed. By the end of 1995, the Good News Bible exceeded 17.75 billion copies. The Bible has been translated into more than 349 languages.1
I started reading the gospels at my workplace in the evenings when business became slow. I had a pocket New Testament from the Gideons. I was a pre-Christian, age sixteen going on seventeen. I read about miracles. I read parables, attempting to understand them. I read about Jesus and was drawn to His words and who He claimed to be. It was all so new to me.
One evening a young man who worked in the same store saw me reading and asked if I understood what I was reading. I told him that I was trying, but found it difficult. He proceeded to answer my questions.
At seventeen, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. The Word of God became central to my life. I have been reading it daily for over fifty years now. I have read through the Bible numerous times and still find it full of life application, wisdom, counsel, and truth.
The Bible Proves Itself
The Bible is God-breathed. We are told in II Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Jesus emphasized the importance of God’s Word by saying man could not survive on bread only, but by each and every word “from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). It was necessary for the psalmist to “meditate in it all day long” (Psalm 119:97).
The book of Hebrews rightly states, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Do you know of any other book that can do that?
There is even science in the Bible. Did you know that in the book of Isaiah, written nine hundred years before the birth of Christ, the prophet voiced that the earth was round? Isaiah penned that God sits “enthroned above the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22).
The Bible Is Full of Life Direction
Psalms 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses. Most of this chapter extols the virtues of the Word of God. In verse nine the psalmist asked, “How can a young man cleanse his way?…By taking heed according to Your word.” Further in Psalm 119, we read that we are blessed if we keep His statutes (v. 2). If we hide His Word in our hearts there is less temptation to sin (v. 11). We receive counsel from His statutes (v. 24). Strength comes from reading and meditating on His Word (v. 28). Pursuing God’s Word helps to keep us from focusing on selfish gain (v. 37). Scripture is full of His knowledge, understanding, and good judgment (v. 66, 104). His Word is eternal and trustworthy because God is eternal (v. 86, 89). This Word is a “lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).
The Bible, inspired by God, reveals His heart to us. It is full of His wisdom, His paths of righteousness, His character, His heart, His judgments, His direction, His discipline, and His love.
From the Bible, we derive our true nature. We were created to be image bearers of our heavenly Father. Genesis states that we are created in His image in order to reflect His image. (Genesis 1:26, 27.) If you desire to bear His image, read His Word. In it you will see His character, His fatherhood, His compassion, His forgiveness, and His mercy. There is no better demonstration of God than through His Word. He opens His Word as a testament to who He is and how He loves us.
God’s Word Saves Us from Lies and False Doctrine
Because we have the written Word of God, we have doctrine and theology. We have direction, counsel, understanding, and insight into any and every subject. If we desire to hear from God, that hearing starts in His Word. The Bible explains the one way to heaven as being through God’s Son, Jesus. (See John 14:6-7.) The Bible clarifies our lost condition. (See Romans 3:23.) The Bible lets us in on how much God loves us. (Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16.)
If we ignore God’s Word, it will be to our detriment. If we fail to read, study, and live its truth, we will miss the very nature of God and His Son, along with the power of the Holy Spirit. Ignoring God’s Word is like ignoring the law of gravity. Each one of us are in desperate need of a daily appointment with God and His Word.
The Word of God will change your beliefs and teach you how to live righteously and in wisdom. (See Psalm 111:10.) It will give you peace of heart and mind and fill you with hope. (Romans 15:4.) God’s word brings prosperity. (See Joshua 1:8.)
For every temptation that Jesus faced from the evil one, He spoke God’s Word as a counteroffensive. He said, “It is written…” over and over again for each temptation. (See Matthew 4:1-11.) The Word of God, when memorized, is a counter attack to each and every temptation we face. Ephesians 6:17 states, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Many people say they simply do not have time to read the Bible. That’s like saying we do not have time to eat. We eat because we know we must sustain life. God’s Word is like that. It is the only way to sustain a life of wholeness. Others say they cannot understand it. Read it anyway and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth to you as you read. He will come alongside you and speak to you.
God Gives many Promises in His Word
How will you know the promises of God without discovering them through reading those words of promise daily? Psalm 105:50 lets us know that His promises preserve our lives. Later in that same chapter (v. 76), He reveals that a promise of His unfailing love is our comfort. Acts chapter two tells us that the gift of the Holy Spirit is a promise to every one of us and our children. And then there is that promise in II Peter 3:13, “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of the righteous.” Our eternity with Him is promised to us through the written Word of God.
Often we go to Hebrews 13:5-6 which states, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” What a lifelong promise to keep close to your heart, especially in troubling times.
And so Much More
Within the Word of God we find salvation, healing, resurrection, and the promise of life after death. We find purpose, identity, security, and comfort. We can see Jesus, the Son of God, in every one of the sixty-six books. We discover verifiable history and prophecy of future events more current than tomorrow’s newspaper or news on the internet. By reading God’s Word, we develop a biblical worldview and discover God’s acts of creation, marriage, family, and the value of human life. The Bible contains scientific insights, health insights, governmental process, financial wisdom, relationship wisdom, divine counsel, and life encouragement.
What Are You Waiting For?
So, what are you waiting for? Dig in, buckle up, and be prepared to be changed from the inside out. Be committed to a daily portion and let nothing stand in your way. I may not remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday, but I know it sustained me, nourished me, and held me over until the next meal. The same is even more true of God’s Word.
- Guinness World Records, www.guinnessworldrecords.com
About Steve and Mary Prokopchak
Steve and Mary serve on the DOVE International Apostolic Council. Steve has been involved in the Christian counseling field for over 20 years. He earned a master of human services from Lincoln University. Steve and Mary are the authors of Called Together, a premarital counseling workbook. They travel throughout the world teaching and imparting to the lives of many, especially leaders. Read more about the Prokopchaks or catch up on Steve’s blog.