Valuing the Gift of Scripture
As I walked the halls of the local children’s home for at-risk children during a holiday open house, one of the young girls grabbed my arm in excitement to tour her room. She led me through a steel door into a cinderblock-walled room, painted bright purple.
This small space housed a simple wood-framed bed covered in a hand-me-down, Disney-themed comforter and an open-shelved nook that held her few earthly belongings. Inside I ached for the scarcity and circumstances surrounding this child, but on the outside, I rejoiced with her over her space. Her excitement revealed this was more than she had ever had.
As she described each item on her shelves, she carefully picked up a broken figurine with an expression of remorse across her face. The figurine was a cherished gift from a loved one. But one night, in her anger and rage, she had thrown it against the wall. A sense of grief colored her eyes.
This child mourned her actions that had broken something of value from someone she loved. Our eyes met, and no words had to be spoken. She knew the pain she had inflicted on herself through allowing her emotions to control her. She knew that beautiful figurine, even if superglued together, would never be the same.
Yet, she chose to keep it. It would sit as a reminder of both a symbol of love and an object of loss. She carefully put it back on the shelf and then bolted down the hall to find another eager guest.
Why is Valuing the gift of Scripture so Important?
I have thought of that moment many times, as it resonated deeply within. On many occasions I have mishandled the precious gifts God has placed in my life. One of those gifts is the treasure of Scripture, His heart for His people in written word.
In loss, bitterness keeps me from believing its words. In joy, I am too distracted to let it ground me. In grief, the words feel distant. And in daily living, busyness keeps me too frantic to pause, neglecting the gift I should value most. Not because I feel obligated, but because it is life-giving.
How many times have we traded the goodness and beauty of God for a temporary moment of sin, idleness, lack of self-control, or the need to be right? It is easy to ignore the life-giving words of Scripture for a few moments of extra sleep, a Netflix binge, or fulfilling our dreams. This occurs because we underestimate the impact God’s Word has on our lives.
What if instead we behaved like the woman in Luke 7:36-50 who poured out her expensive perfume and lavished it upon Christ? She valued her time at Jesus’ feet and was tremendously blessed by it.
In what ways is God waiting to speak to us through our time with Him? Instead of letting truth fill us, we leave it sitting within arm’s reach and wonder why we are empty and running on fumes.
How to Rejoice in the Gift of Scripture
During the times when my relationship with God through His word feels stale and dutiful instead of thirst-quenching refreshment, I revisit Psalm 119. Within this longest chapter of the Bible, David rejoices in the gift of Scripture. This passage highlights the purposes of God’s Word, the beauty of its design, the purposes for our lives, and the love we should have for all of it.
David asked God to teach him to love His words, commands, testimonies, laws, and statutes to restore and build him up. And don’t we really desire that too? But we are like the girl with the broken figurine…throwing our best efforts at the world and trying to pick up the pieces on our own.
I am thankful for the truth of Lamentations 3:22-23 (HCSB): “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!”
No matter how we have viewed God’s Word, we can begin again. We can renew our minds and learn from Psalm 119 about how to properly love truth and appreciate the benefits we gain from holding it in high esteem.
7 Benefits of Valuing the Gift of Scripture
God offers us the best. It is ours for the taking. And we reap what we sow. Psalm 119 teaches us how to cultivate a desire and longing to be filled with the best He has to offer. Here are a few major purposes and benefits for spending time in Scripture (HCSB):
God’s Word blesses our lives and leads to happiness:
- Psalm 119:1-2: “How happy are those whose way is blameless, who live according to the Lord’s instruction! Happy are those who keep His decrees and seek Him with all their heart.”
God’s Word keeps us from stumbling into sin through the knowledge of truth:
- Psalm 119:9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping Your word.”
- Psalm 119:11 “I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.”
God’s Word makes us aware of the beauty around us and brings delight to those who behold it:
- Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wonderful things from Your instruction.”
- Psalm 119:24 “Your decrees are my delight and my counselors.”
God’s Word comforts and strengthens us in our grief:
- Psalm 119:25 “My life is down in the dust; give me life through Your word.”
- Psalm 119:28 “I am wearyfrom grief; strengthen me through Your word.”
God’s Word brings life, freedom, and hope to the hearer:
- Psalm 119:37 “Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in Your ways.”
- Psalm 119:45 “I will walk freely in an open place because I seek Your precepts.”
- Psalm 119:49-50 “Remember Your word to Your servant; You have given me hope through it. This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life.”
God’s Word sheds light on the purpose of suffering:
- Psalm 119:71 “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes.”
- Psalm 119:92 “If Your instruction had not been my delight, I would have died in my affliction.”
God’s Word is the light that leads us through the darkness to understanding and wisdom:
- Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”
- Psalm 119:130 “The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.”
Beholding the Beauty of Scripture
Reading and meditating on Psalm 119 has revived my love for Scripture when the harshness of life threatens to steal its place of worth. There is so much beauty to behold within the pages of Scripture because it is the very breath of God.
At our core, we all long to be revived by the life-giving words of Jesus. We tend to forget how precious it is as a gift from our Father. And when we forget, we neglect. When we neglect, life gets messy.
Let us meditate on the goodness of God as the Psalmist does and be aware of the value His Word offers to us. Then we can live with the joy and hope the Giver intended through accepting His gift.
**Article first featured @livingbydesign.org/valuing-the-gift-of-scripture/