The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, August 16, 2023, was written by Ken Claar of Idaho.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes. 13 With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth. 14 I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. 17 Deal bountifully with your servant, so that I may live and observe your word. 18 Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
Psalms 119:12-18 NRSV
I write Christian mystery novels. As soon as I finish a chapter, I edit it. I used to think I only needed to edit my chapters once. I also used to think that once I read through my Bible a couple of times, I didn't need to read it again because I had gotten all there was to get in each passage. I was wrong in both cases. I have learned that with each successive edit I find something I've overlooked.
In a similar way, I have learned that I can read the Bible over and over and not tire of reading the same words. Each time I read a passage again, I find that the stories and my understanding are "new every morning" (Lam. 3:23). As I reread a verse, I often find myself saying, "I never noticed that before." New insights, new thoughts, and new blessings come from the same verses I have read many times before. So, as I edit and re-edit my writing, read and reread my Bible, I get new meanings and new ideas from both. An inexhaustible source of strength and peace, the Bible offers us new wisdom each day as we read and reread the powerful words.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
There is power and purpose in the words of scripture. Each time we read scripture; we open ourselves to the opportunity for God to speak to us afresh. Scripture has the ability to impact and influence how we live our lives. Like Ken, I've found the more I read scripture, the deeper my understanding and faith grows. Our reading of scripture must also be informed by the historical and cultural context for which it was written, to gain a richer understanding. Study bibles, commentaries, and communal study allow us to dialogue with scripture in ways that affirm and challenge our worldviews, ultimately stretching our faith. I invite you to reread today's passage from Psalm 119 and today's reflection.
Dear Lord, help us to understand the importance of scripture, and fill our minds and hearts with a love for it. In Jesus' name. Amen.