As I was reading the other day, I came across a story about Sir Walter Scott who just prior to his death was taken into his library and seated by a large window where he could take in the scenery of his surroundings. As Scott sat there by the window he called upon his son-in-law to 'get the book' and read to him. During his lifetime, Sir Walter Scott had collected one of the largest private libraries in the world. In response, his son-in-law asked the logical question, 'from what book shall I read?' Scott's reply was simple and straightforward: 'There is but one." His son-in-law took the Bible, the Word of God and read a passage from John 14.
Of all the multiplied millions of books in this world, there is and remains one that has the potential to change the soul of man when its contents are applied personally with oversight from the Spirit of God.
The Bible has been described by some as 'Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth.' The Bible is a book of inspiration, revelation, and illumination. The Word of God is a book that is inspired by God directing the hands and hearts of forty different men on three separate continents over approximately sixteen-hundred years. While there are many different writers whom God chose to put quill to parchment and record His will for mankind, there is/remains one author of the Bible.
The Bible is also a book of divine revelation. The Word of God reveals the God who made the earth and everything on it, above it and under it. If a person desires to see and know God, all that individual must do is investigate God's inspired words. In doing so, they will see the revelation of God's person and God's purpose for their soul.
The Bible is a book of illumination, as well. The Word of God when illuminated by the presence of the Holy Spirit provides spiritual enlightenment for the soul. This illumination is critically important for the soul that is walking in the dark surroundings of sin to be given the opportunity to be transformed in such a way that the Light of the world (Jesus) overcomes the darkness.
The Bible says in Romans 10:17, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." While it is important to open the Bible and read it, it is imperative to hear the Word of God for the soul to welcome to the truth of God's inspiration and revelation through the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
Elmer Towns in his book Concise Bible Doctrines states, "If we accept the truths and apply them to our lives, we will continue to discover more truth." I might add, if we fail to apply the truths that God reveals to us personally, discovery of more essential truth has a way of drying up. The hearing of the Word must be followed up with doing (applying) the Word of God. As James would say, "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves (James 1:22).
Consequently, it is a blessing to hear a word of inspiration and revelation from God. However, it is only beneficial as we do what we hear immediately by weaving the illuminated truth into our conversation and conduct. Through that disciplined ongoing life practice, those who are made in the image of God are seen being conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:29). That's not just a good thing, that is a God 'thing'!
Why does any of this matter to me if I am in my teens, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's or older? Simple; one day, if the Lord tarries you will find yourself in a similar place that Sir Walter Scott was. At the end of your life's journey. And when you arrive at the end of days here, you will take comfort from the counsel of the one book that delivers the promise of the rest of days hereafter.
No other book in the world, no matter how professionally written will accomplish what THE Book of inspiration, revelation and illumination will do. However, a person cannot know that or learn to love that until he/she prostrates themselves humbly before God's book as an 'open book', so to speak. Since nothing is hidden to Him anyway, why not do that voluntarily?
Have you obeyed with faith toward God and His purpose the latest thing He, Himself revealed to you personally by inspiration of His Spirit and the illumination of His Word? If so, remember greater discovery results in greater depth of maturity. If not, the discovery will largely remain superficial instead of supernatural. And that leaves you as an 'average' Christian with 'average' meaning the best of the worst and the worst of the best. Neither is acceptable to God. Our God desires better and deserves much more than average. He gave His best when He gave His all!
May the Lord dwell in each of you richly this week in your discovery of His word. The word that is inspired, revealed, and illuminated for His purpose and our pleasure!
(ref. Elmer Towns--Concise Bible Doctrines--pg 30)