Bible Society remind us that ‘the value of the Bible lies in its use. We must use it or lose it.’  In our country we have free access to the Bible. We have a variety of different translations and can have the Bible in electronic versions as well as in book form. There are commentaries, guide books, devotional books and a variety of apps freely available to help us to understand the Bible and to make the most of this precious gift God has given to us.

Just as a banquet may look appetising and appealing and be nutritious but will do us no good unless we partake of it, however, the Bible cannot feed us and sustain us if we never open it!

banquet 2Paul told the Thessalonians, ‘When you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.’ (1 Thess 2:13) The Bible is a living word with power to change us and transform us… but only as we accept its authority over us and bow the knee to the God who speaks through it. David Kinnamann says, ‘A person with a biblical worldview experiences, interprets, and responds to reality in light of the Bible’s principles. What Scripture teaches is the primary grid for making decisions and interacting with the world.’ (David Kinamman, ‘Unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity… And Why It Matters’) We can only know what Scripture teaches as we read the Bible and as we allow what we learn there about God, about the world, about ourselves, about other people to have the final say in how we think, speak, act and live.

Paul says in Colossians 3:16 ‘Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.’ The Message version says ‘Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives.’ We can encourage one another as we share what God has said to us through His word; we can build each other up in faith as we focus more on His words than on our words. Let’s fit these pieces of the Bible together in our daily lives and eat from the banquet prepared for us by God so that we can grow and become conformed to the image of Jesus (Rom 8:29), growing up healthy and robust in love (Eph 4:13, The Message.) Song of Songs 2:4 says ‘Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love’; the whole book uses the imagery of the relationship between a bride and groom to give us glimpses into the relationship God wants to have with us. Let’s feast on God’s Word every day and allow Him to satisfy our every longing, desire, yearning and need.

We also had a birthday to celebrate tonight!