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  • Writer's pictureCody Chesser

Enthusiasm In Scripture

There is a song we occasionally sing in our worship services called "My Father's Voice." The first line of this song reads:

"I read the word of God, and then at once rejoice.”

Well do you? When you read the word of God is your immediate reaction to rejoice?

Because for me, that’s not entirely the case. I struggle with that. I struggle with having that excitement that causes me to run out and want to tell everyone I see what I read about.

Terrible, but true. I doubt I’m the only one.

In fact, for many of us, hearing this day after day, Sunday after Sunday; things change over time. Reading our Bibles sadly become one of two things: time spent in an entertaining storybook or a chore that needs to be done daily. Reality shifts and the inspired, God-breathed, scripture becomes more of “that book of rules I have to follow that I'm supposed to read at least once a day.”

I don’t know about you, but I feel really uneasy about running up to someone in complete excitement and saying “hey I have this book that’s full of rules you should totally follow it!”

Many people just want to know, “why do you people take this book off your shelf, open it, read it, and use it to make important life decisions?"

"What is so special about this book?”

How would you answer that question? Why do you guide your life by this and why would you suggest that someone else should do the same thing? Most of the time I think our “stock” answer to those questions can be “because I am a Christian and I’m supposed to.”

Now that is a good answer and it is correct, let’s not overlook that. But if that’s it, I think we’re missing something. Is all of this, simply, because we’re "supposed to"? If even in the slightest, that’s our answer to the question “Why this book?” then I doubt that we rejoice at once, after reading it.

Finding Enthusiasm

Consider a story from Mark Chapter 7. I want to establish real quick, out front, the attitude that we are looking for. I think the story here, shows the enthusiasm that we should have with a proper respect for our Bibles. The story I'm referring to is in verse 32-36.

"And they brought to [Jesus] a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.

Jesus healed this man. Immediately this man can hear perfectly and he can speak as if nothing had ever been wrong. So what does Jesus tell him and everyone else there to do? "Now that you can speak....dont."

Jesus did not want them to tell anyone. And then what happened? They told everyone they could. Why? Why would these people want to go to so much effort to spread this news about what Jesus did, in light of the fact that they were told to keep quiet?

Because they were excited! What they had just witnessed lit them on fire, and they wanted everyone to know about it! The message that they were sharing with connected with them so strongly that they could not contain it! They had to tell people.

Let's put aside the fact that these people didn't do what Jesus asked them to do, and just appreciate for a moment the absolute enthusiasm that these people felt about what they had witnessed. That is the enthusiasm we should have when reading the Bible. Because Jesus has done amazing things for us as well.

The Personal Connection with Scripture

Now consider this. What if Jesus came to you one day following your reading of the Bible, and said, “of everything you just read about; that I’ve done, or that God has done; DO NOT TELL ANYONE.”

What would change about your actions following your reading? For me, sadly, there have been times in my life when my response would have to have been, “No problem! I wasn’t going to tell anyone anyways.” It’s because as I said earlier, this book; this God-breathed message, can become a storybook to me and can become merely a book that I am “supposed” to follow. As said earlier I think that I have just lacked an enthusiasm and a personal connection to this book and I would guess that I’m not the only one,

Now, what I mean by personal connection is not that this book literally means something or teaches something different to me than it would to someone else. Instead, what I mean is making this book a reality TO ME. To understand for myself personally "Why do I, Cody, pull this book off a shelf and guide my live with it. What does it have to offer me? What does it say to me about my life? Why is it special to me? What does it mean to me?”

Appreciating the Significance of Scripture

I think one of the main reasons why someone might struggle to connect personally with this book, the Bible, is because they don't appreciate what scripture is and where they fit into it.

1. Consider the scope of the book

The beginning of this book is God creating everything. Everything that follows page 1 only happens because God has set in motion a beginning. THE BEGINNING. This book starts from THE beginning of everything. The rest of the book points towards life after this world ends and an eternal life with NO end begins. This means that the time where this book is relevant and meaningful will not pass. It will continue to be relevant as long as there are still people left to read it.

2. Consider the main theme of the message.

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This book is a love story about God doing what needs to be done to get his true love back, which is his people. This book is God’s call to his people! Telling them of his love and expressing his desire to have them back.

3. Consider Our Role In God's Story

Obviously as we said, this is God's story where he is the creator and the one expressing love to his people. 1 Timothy 2:3 - “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I think most obviously, our role in this story, is the ones God is expressing love to. We are the object of affection in the eyes of the Creator within the greatest, longest, love story of all time!

Let that sink in for a minute.

4. Consider Our Responsibility In God's Plan

This book is as 2 Timothy 3:16 says, inspired by God. It Is God-breathed. But how does it get to men? Through men! God inspired men to write it down and now how does its message get to men? Us.

Notice that Jesus when his time on earth was finished in Mark 16:15 said “Go out into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Jesus could have stayed to spread it and make it known. But instead, he entrusted that responsibility to the men who he left behind, and through them, he left the responsibility to us as well.

That places an important responsibility on us to know our Bible. However, evangelizing is not just our responsibility.  It is our privilege. In the story we read earlier from Mark 7, Jesus asked those people not to tell anyone what they saw. Jesus hasn't placed that burden on us to hold back our enthusiasm. We get to go out and tell anyone and everyone who will listen!

Therefore, rejoice!

Why this book?

Because It is a God breathed message of his love for me and for you and God has given me the honor of getting to share that message with the world. If I'm not rejoicing in that, then I'm missing the message.

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