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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Why the Word?

When I first made a commitment to Christ in the early 70s, the Word of God cut through the hardness of my heart and caused me to recognize my need for the Savior. I had been singing professionally and was a self-sufficient, self-centered, cynical young woman. I thought I knew what I wanted and what it would take to make me happy. I had set about trying to achieve those goals with fervor. Spurning God wasn’t a conscious effort on my part. He simply wasn’t part of the equation.

I grew up in Wisconsin and attended church regularly, knew catechism, could verbalize church doctrine, and was baptized and confirmed. But I had never read the Word of God. I knew nothing about it. In our home, we went to church regularly, prayed before meals and at bedtime, and observed Christian holidays. I knew about God but I didn’t know Him.

Many years later when a young girl asked me if I was a Christian, I wasn’t sure how to answer. She gave me a little pamphlet called The Four Spiritual Laws, and that night, alone in my hotel room; I read the biblical plan of salvation. As I read the pamphlet, the Scriptures practically leaped off the page at me. I recognized how far away from God I was. I was also drawn to a sense of purity and righteousness in the Scriptures. I wasn’t sure if God was real. But I knew that if what I was reading was available, I needed it. The Word of God convicted me of my sin and at the same time revealed God’s love to me.

I’d had preconceived ideas about the Bible even though I’d never read it. I thought it was impossible to understand and that it contradicted itself. Fortunately, the young girl who had given me that little pamphlet also gave me a modern translation of the New Testament. I grudgingly agree to read a chapter a day. To my amazement, I couldn’t put it down. It was all totally new to me.

I didn’t know the Old Testament from the New Testament. I didn’t realize that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were four accounts of the life of Christ. As I read some of the same gospel accounts I was irritated because I thought someone was moving my bookmarker. I had no idea that Jesus was coming again. But I began to understand how much God loved me, and I began to walk with Him.

What an incredible journey it’s been. Through it all, His Word has been a steady, unfailing compass. God’s Word says,

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6 (NKJV) 

Yet God’s great love letter to us is at our fingertips. He’s given us the instruction manual for all creation, and it’s filled with advice, principles, and promises. I encourage you to get into the Word yourself. As you read these jewels of Scripture taken from God’s Holy Word, I am praying that your faith will be built and your heart encouraged. May He touch you right where you are with His grace and His love.

Excerpted with permission from Near to the Heart of God, by Terry Meeuwsen ©1998

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