Focused on beginning a new column, I was startled when movement outside my office window distracted me. One, two…no, three deer were running through my yard headed to the wooded ravine behind my house. With white tails pointed upward, the three traveled near my backyard fence where my dog joined the action with his barking.
My description above might depict a country scene. However, I live in a residential neighborhood where red foxes and raccoons also roam. Before a thick forest of trees was leveled to make room for new houses a block west of me, I encountered many deer on my daily walks.
Our walk with the Lord is much like seeing beauty in nature. To encounter the Living God, we need to spend time in scripture each day. Some shy away from the Bible, citing a lack of time or a lack of understanding. It requires commitment, an investment of time and effort, to read and study God’s Word.
His Story is Our Story
Scripture paints a living picture, a story, not just God’s story, but ours as well. The Bible is God’s written word to us, not just a book of do’s and don’ts, but a guidebook to the Christian life.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us the “Word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow.”
God’s Word, according to the same scripture, also “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Our words (and actions) create our life’s painting. Do they reflect light or darkness? Do they lift up or tear down? Do they comfort or bring pain?
1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Paul addresses the church’s lack of spiritual growth. “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?”
Becoming Mature Christians
To become mature Christians, we must continually grow in our faith, understanding through scripture what God desires for His children. In Matthew 7:24, Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
A mature believer doesn’t forsake reading and studying the Bible. It’s impossible to be an effective Christian witness if we’re not eating the solid food of scripture.
American evangelist Dwight L. Moody once said, “Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.”
What kind of Christian do you want to be—one whose life paints a picture of grace or one who leaves nothing of worth behind?