Search the Scriptures

June 16, 2010

From Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” Devotional  (June 9), the following great words in reference to John 5:39, search the scriptures:

The Greek word translated search signifies a strict, close, diligent, curious search, the kind men make when they are seeking gold, or hunters when they are in pursuit of game. We must not be content with giving a superficial glance to one or two chapters, but with the candle of the Spirit we must deliberately seek out the meaning of the Word.

Holy Scripture requires searching—much of it can only be learned by careful study. There is milk for babies, but also meat for strong men. The rabbis wisely say that a mountain of matter hangs upon every word, indeed, upon every title of Scripture. Tertullian declared, “I adore the fullness of the Scriptures.” The person who merely skims the Book of God will not profit from it; we must dig and mine until we obtain the treasure. The door of the Word only opens to the key of diligence. The Scriptures demand to be searched. They are the writings of God, bearing the divine stamp and imprimatur—who shall dare to treat them casually? To despise them is to despise the God who wrote them.

How many believers do a superficial reading, a few minutes of daily devotions, and are satisfied, thinking they know enough, all they need to know.  The Bible really is an amazing book, with “milk for babies, but also meat for strong men.”  If ever one should think “I’ve read and studied enough and cannot learn any more,” let them ponder the words of Spurgeon and other teachers, great reminders to keep us humble and stir us further to continuous, diligent study.  Consider the following observation from S. Lewis Johnson, when he was 70 (during the “Divine Purpose” series):  I want you to know that I’ve learned a lot of things, I think, through forty years of reading and studying the Scriptures.  And I’ll tell you one other thing too: I’m still learning some things.

J.C. Ryle also has some great words of wisdom, as to how we spend our time:

If there is anything in the world of which a man need not be ashamed, it is the service to Jesus Christ. Of sin, of worldliness, of flippancy, of frivolousness, of time-wasting, of pleasure-seeking, of bad temper, of pride, of making an idol of money, clothes, hunting, sports, card-playing, novel-reading, and the like–of all this a man should be ashamed. Living after this fashion he makes the angels sorrow, and the devils rejoice. But of living for his soul–caring for his soul–thinking of his soul–providing for his soul–making his soul’s salvation the principal and chief thing in his daily life–of all this a man has no cause to be ashamed at all. Believer in Christ, remember this! Remember it in your Bible-reading, and your private praying. Remember it on Sundays. Remember it in your worship of God. In all these things never be ashamed of being wholehearted, authentic, thorough, and true.
From Practical Religion, chapter 3.

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