January 2, 2020 | by: Tom Kruggel | 0 comments
There’s a bit of finale in the air. The food is eaten, the guests have left, the gifts are unwrapped, the tree feels barren. Another Christmas has come and went, and the excitement of what was to arrive has gone. And with time soon, the glitter of those gifts we so desired will lose much of what they were dreamed to be - flawless and spotless, certain and exact, chaste and proper. Each fade into ordinariness.
Thus it is with things of this world and, perhaps, just as it should be. Our hearts naturally long for that which is perfect, that which is sure, that which is right, that which is pure, that which is clean, and that which is true – but also for something that never fades and is as desirable today as it was yesterday. The drawback is that it cannot be found in what mankind has made.
But the good news is that we need not hope for the next Christmas season to satisfy such longings, or the ones after that, nor need we wait for a heavenly dwelling to find it. Rather, it’s right here, in our very presence – always has been and always will be. And that gift is the Bible, the Word of God. The Lord Himself, through His servant David, wrote most assuredly that His Word could indeed satisfy those longings. And even more, “The law… the testimony… the precepts… the commandment… the fear… the rules of the Lord… More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.”  His Word was written to be delighted in, meditated upon and bless. 
Imagine something more desirable than the most precious possession we could ever receive on this earth, something even more satiating than anything our cravings could succumb. That’s how the Bible is described in Psalm 19, and that’s what the Bible is.
But envision this as well, if we will; envision that in the rhythm of life, after having rested through the night, that the next rhythm is beckoning us - to nourish our bodies with a meal that will launch us with energy, forging us into our day’s callings. We’re revitalized, we’re fed and we’re eager to face the day. Most of us wouldn’t dream of intentionally starting a new day without sleep and nourishment – our bodies speak to us.
Our souls also speak to us, but we often ignore their calling when we postpone times of solitude and feedings from His Word, regardless of the time of day. In fact, many of us are extremely malnourished, and even starved, having actually gone days, weeks and maybe months without nurturing our beings with the food that satisfies our deepest longings, our deepest cravings. Conveniently, we need not go far to look for it or to find it – it’s in our pockets and on our nightstands, like a delicacy set right before our very eyes, just waiting to be savored.
O’, there are lots of books out there, like devotionals and Bible-helps, that may deepen our understanding of the Scriptures, and many are good for sure. But they’re not perfect or pure,  not like the breathed-out Word of God, “… profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”,  nor do they make us “… complete, equipped for every good work.”  And none of them point us so inerrantly to the living Word of God,  the Word made flesh,  Jesus Christ, quite like the Bible. Let not those other books substitute for “the Book” or distract us from it altogether. May we be like someone I once knew that refused to give any other book more time than she gave the Bible, or the itinerant 18th Century preacher John Wesley who once wrote, “I want to know one thing, the way to heaven… He hath written it down in a book. Give me that book! At any price give me the Book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri [a man of one book].” 
If the Bible is, indeed, all that God (“… who cannot lie” ) promised it would be, then why wouldn’t we receive it afresh? And why not afresh this new year? In fact, why wouldn’t we receive it afresh every day this new year? This present, this gift need not fade into ordinariness, for each day is Christmas when we daily open the gift given in the Word of God.
So let us lean into and grab hold of any one of many effectual tools available to assist with a discipline of regular, daily Bible-reading. Here are just a few, several of which are printed and available for free in Grace Bible Church’s Bookstore:
The Navigators – The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan
Blue Letter Bible – Daily Bible Reading Program (Chronological Plan)
ESV.org – Chronological Bible Reading Plan
ESV.org – M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan
The Gospel Coalition (TGC) - Daily Devotional Reading Plan
Make a new beginning in 2020 and feed your soul with the sustenance it so desperately desires but gets quickly crowded out with the tyranny of the urgent and the alluring which tantalize. Rise “… early… seek Thee”  anew, just as our Lord Jesus did when He arose and prayed,  accepting that His “mercies… are new every morning.” 
Establish this habitually, look for Jesus and find Him there, and it will determinedly foist us into a place where we will be regularly revived. We’ll then look forward to it as the very best part of every day, experiencing no day thereafter to ever be ordinary.
Thomas Kruggel is a non-vocational Pastor at Grace Bible Church and works in the City of San Francisco.
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