Treasured Words on the Altar of the Urgent

What goes through your mind as it hits the pillow each night? Are you able to say with Job, "I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread" (Job 23:12), or is our closed Bible on the altar of the urgent?

If we're honest with ourselves, often, in the craziness of life, instead of treasuring and applying more Scripture to a heart that needs it we shy away from time in the Word.

In the prelude of For the Love of God, D.A. Carson offers the following observation:

The challenge [of reading our Bibles] has become increasingly severe in recent years, owing to several factors. All of us must confront the regular sins of laziness or lack of discipline, sins of the flesh, and of the pride of life. But there are additional pressures. The sheer pace of life affords us many excuses for sacrificing the important on the altar of the urgent. The constant sensory input from all sides is gently addictive—we become used to being entertained and diverted, and it is difficult to carve out the space and silence necessary for serious and thoughtful reading of Scripture. More seriously yet, the rising biblical illiteracy in Western culture means that the Bible is increasingly a closed book, even to many Christians. As the culture drifts away from its former rootedness in a Judeo-Christian understanding of God, history, truth, right and wrong, purpose, judgment, forgiveness, and community, so the Bible seems stranger and stranger. For precisely the same reason, it becomes all the more urgent to read it and reread it, so that at least confessing Christians preserve the heritage and outlook of a mind shaped and informed by holy Scripture.

This, then, ought to be our response: we are to read systematically and repeatedly from the Word of God so that we might rejoice in Scripture. When we do, we remove God's Word from the altar of the urgent and rightly call its contents, "treasured."

If you're struggling to get into the word, here are some ideas to give you the jump start you may need to dive back in:

  • It's not to late to start up on a Bible reading plan. (You can even have them sent directly to your email or synced with your iCal).
  • Gather a group of friends from church and start reading the Bible out loud together.
  • Find a prayer partner and pray through Scripture together on a weekly basis.
  • Read through some of the Old Testament narratives. Sometimes the narrative genre is a bit easier to jump into.

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