The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, July 10, 2022 comes to us from Carlos Xavier Soto Serrano of Puerto Rico
27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, "My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God"? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:27-31 NIV
“Time with God’s Word”
Several years ago, I began to study the Bible by reading and memorizing passages. I tried to retain what I had read, but after a while I couldn’t remember. I was frustrated because I felt that my efforts were in vain. One day I was watching a program about the Northern Fulmar, a marine bird found in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Arctic Oceans. Fulmars enjoy feeding on crustaceans, squid jellyfish, and scraps generated by fishermen. When baby fulmars leave their nest, they are too heavy to fly, so they float on the water, taking time to digest and lose weight. But other marine life and fishermen take advantage of the situation and capture the vulnerable fulmar.
I reflected on this story and thought of studying the Bible. Bible study is not about “filling up” on God’s word until we can’t absorb more information. Rather, it is about pondering God’s word and allowing it to nurture us and shape our actions. When we allow God to renew our strength through scripture, we will soar like eagles. God wants us to experience the fullness of life, and scripture is our guide to finding God’s purpose.
I find Carlos Xavier Soto Serrano’s reflection very helpful, because I still have to “look up” scriptural passages because I don’t have very many of them committed to memory. Still, I am often moved by working to understand the context, culture, and social influences that contribute to understanding the message of a particular passage of scripture. Thus, the words of scripture become even more full of meaning and message for me, as I work to apply them to my everyday life. I invite you to consider ways in which the scriptures become meaningful and powerful in your life.
Creator God, nurture us with your life-changing word each day and help us discern your will for us. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
--Carols Xavier Soto Serrano
Missionaries who distribute Bibles
Thought for the Day:
Today I will take time to be nurtured by God’s word.