The Word of God

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 9
What a wonderful privilege it is to have the precious, living Word of God. It just doesn’t matter where we open this precious Book; we’re sure to find something that God has for real blessing to our hearts. Every once in a while, as I pick up the Book, my memory goes back to my early boyhood days and I remember how this Book was read and honored in the home in which, by God’s grace, I was brought up. Perhaps you often see your father and mother reading this Book, and it may be, sometimes, that you’re tempted to think that you can find a lot of pleasure and satisfaction in other things. I want to tell you that, having had the happy experience of being brought up in a home where this Bible was read and loved, there is just no privilege like it.
I was just a very little fellow, just learning to read, when my father and mother first gave me a rather large-print Testament with my name in the front. You know, I thought it would be a good thing to have a Testament of my own—it would be fine to be able to hunt for the answers to the questions in the Bible Searcher papers—it would be a fine thing to learn my weekly Sunday school text from my own Bible.
I remember, one day, seeing one of my brothers sitting and reading his Bible. I said to him, “Are you looking for your answers?” He looked up and said, “No.” “Then, are you learning your Sunday school verse?” Again he said, “No.” I didn’t ask him any more questions, but I remember how it struck me; I thought, Is he just reading that Bible because he enjoys reading it?
I remember going and getting my own Testament and thinking, That would be a good idea for me. And to this day when I pick up this precious Book, a sense comes over me of how very, very little to this day I know of the precious treasures that are in it and what a wonderful, wonderful Book it is. With all that is within me, I urge you dear young people, and older ones too, to read this precious Book.
I took a funeral recently of a dear old sister in the Lord, and this precious Book was lying open on her casket. Her two daughters had laid that Book there, and I asked them if I could pick it up and look at it. I turned to the front, and there in the front I found her name and the word “Finish” and the date, and then again the word “Finish” and a later date, and again the word “Finish” and a later date, and all down the page was that word “Finish” and the date on which she had read the last verse in Revelation and had started over again. I beg you to make this precious Book your daily companion and guide.
I want to turn to a verse which I trust will speak to the conscience. It is Jeremiah 17:9-109The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9‑10). “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart.”
Have you ever felt this verse probe deep down into your heart and into your conscience? It’s so easy to live in a community where a certain code of conduct is expected; it’s easy to come to the meetings and to Sunday school and have Father and Mother, perhaps, consider that everything is well with your soul, because you can sing the hymns so nicely and because you’re found reading the Bible every once in a while. Yet, is it true of you that the finger of God has probed right down into that heart and caused you to feel just exactly what He has seen there?
I refer again to my childhood days in a home where this Book was loved and where Father and Mother loved the Lord Jesus. I’m sure they prayed for their son, and I’m pretty sure they thought their boy was a Christian, because I came to meeting with them, sat between them in the meeting room, and read that precious Bible that they had given me. But let me tell you this: I sat down in those meetings week after week and listened to the preacher as they called him, but the finger of God, although it probed deep down into my heart, had never yet laid bare to me what was there.
Oh, when the time came in my life when I realized what was in my heart in the sight of God, I found what a poor, guilty, helpless sinner I was in God’s sight and that I was lost. I tell you, it sent me home to lie awake at night and many a time to lie there at night fearing that the Lord Jesus would come and take Father and Mother, brothers and sisters away and leave me behind.
I want to read these verses, as though the very voice of God were speaking to your inmost conscience. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” “As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.” We’re not speaking about the man behind bars, nor of those who are awaiting execution, nor the poor man down in the gutter of sin whom everybody avoids and considers unfit company. No, the finger of God points with one sweep and tells that “there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
We read also in Hebrews 4:1313Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:13), “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” There’s a solemn statement! I remember the first time that statement really struck home to me. I had known the Lord at that time for many years, but the force of that verse struck home to me as a dear brother was preaching one time in a gospel tent, and I was sitting there on one of the benches. I sat there on that bench, and I thanked God that the cleansing power of the precious blood of Christ had cleansed and blotted out forever all that the eye of God had seen in that wretched heart of mine.
You may pass among your fellowmen as a pretty respectable person. But that’s the part of the verse that rings in my soul: “Who can know it?” Oh, what matchless news it is! In spite of what God saw in my heart and in yours too, He loved us just the same. He loved us with a love that we cannot possibly express. We know that the answer is: None but God can know the depths of sin that He sees in the human heart. Yet we know that the wonderful news of the gospel looked right down into a depraved and sin-stained heart like ours, bringing the glorious news of forgiveness and cleansing from all sin.
A. Hayhoe (adapted)