People are constantly saying: We want something new; some new doctrine, some new idea. But the Bible is relevant. Depend upon it, my friends, if you get tired of the Word of God, and it becomes wearisome to you, you are out of communion with him.
When I was in Baltimore last, my window looked out on an Episcopal Church. The stained-glass windows were dull and uninviting by day, but when the lights shone through at night, how beautiful they were! So when the Holy Spirit touches the eyes of your understanding and you see Christ shining through the pages of the Bible, it becomes a new book to you.
A young lady once took up a novel to read but found it dull and uninteresting. Some months afterwards, she was introduced to the author and in the course of time became his wife. She then found that there was something in the book, and her opinion of it changed. The change was not in the book, but in herself. She had come to know and love the writer.
Some Christians read the Bible as a duty, if they read it at all; but as soon as a man or woman sees Christ as the “outstanding among ten thousand” (Song of Solomon 5:10 NIV), the Bible becomes the revelation of the Father’s love and becomes a never-ending charm. A gentleman asked another, “Do you often read the Bible?” “No,” was the answer, “I frankly admit I do not love God.” “No more did I,” the first replied, “but God loved me” (1 John 4:19).
A great many people seem to think that the Bible is out of date, that it is an old book, and they think it has passed its day. They say it was very good for the dark ages, and that there is some very good history in it, but it was not intended for the present time; we are living in a very enlightened age and men can get on very well without the old book; we have outgrown it.
Now you might just as well say that the sun, which has shone so long, is now so old that it is out of date, and that whenever a man builds a house, he need not put any windows in it, because we have a newer light and a better light; we have gaslight and electric light. These are something new; and I would advise people, if they think the Bible is too old and worn out, when they build houses, not to put windows in them, but just to light them with electric light; that is something new and that is what they are anxious for.
Here are four reasons the Bible is still relevant to your life, expressed in four blessings that you will receive as you spend time in God’s Word.
Bear in mind there is no situation in life for which you cannot find some word of consolation in Scripture. If you are in affliction, if you are in adversity and trial, there is a promise for you. In joy and sorrow, in health and in sickness, in poverty and in riches, in every condition of life, God has a promise stored up in his Word for you.
In one way or another every case is met, and the truth is commended to every man’s conscience. It is said that Richard Baxter, author of “The Saints’ Everlasting Rest,” felt the force of miracles chiefly in his youth; in mature years he was more impressed by fulfilled prophecy; and towards the end of his life, he felt the deepest satisfaction in his own ripe experience of the power of the Gospel.
If you are impatient, sit down quietly and commune with Job.
If you are strong-headed, read of Moses and Peter.
If you are weak-kneed, look at Elijah.
If there is no song in your heart, listen to David.
If you are a politician, read Daniel.
If you are getting sordid (low-minded), read Isaiah.
If you are chilly, read of the beloved disciple (1 John).
If your faith is low, read Paul.
If you are getting lazy, watch James.
If you are losing sight of the future, read in Revelation of the promised land.
In Psalm 119:165, we find these words: “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” The study of God’s Word will secure peace. Take those Christians who are rooted and grounded in the Word of God, and you will find they have great peace; but those who don’t study their Bible, and don’t know their Bible, are easily offended when some little trouble comes, or some little persecution, and their peace is all disturbed; just a little breath of opposition and their peace is all gone.
Sometimes I am amazed to see how little it takes to drive all peace and comfort from some people. A slandering tongue will readily blast it. But if we have the peace of God, the world cannot take that from us. It cannot give it; it cannot destroy it. We must get it from above the world, it is the peace which Christ gives. “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble” (Psalm 119:165 NIV). Christ says, “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me” (Matthew 11:6 NIV). Now, you will notice that wherever there is a Bible-taught Christian, one who has his Bible well marked, and who daily feeds upon the Word with prayerful meditation, he will not be easily offended.
Such are the people who are growing and working all the while. But it is the people who never open their Bibles, who never study the Scriptures, who become offended, and are wondering why they are having such a hard time. They are the persons who tell you that Christianity is not what it has been recommended to them; that they have found it is not all that we claim it to be. The real trouble is, they have not done as the Lord has told them to do. They have neglected the Word of God. If they had been studying the Word of God, they would not be in that condition, they would not have wandered these years away from God, living on the husks of the world. They have neglected to care for the new life, they haven’t fed it, and the poor soul, being starved, sinks into weakness and decay, and is easily stumbled or offended. If a man is born of God, he cannot thrive without God.
I met a man who confessed his soul had fed on nothing for forty years. “Well,” said I, “that is pretty hard for the soul—giving it nothing to feed on!” That man is a type of thousands and tens of thousands today; their poor souls are starving. We take good care of this body that we inhabit for a day, and then leave; we feed it three times a day, and we clothe it, and deck it, and by and by it is going into the grave to rot; but the inner man, that is to live on and on forever, is lean and starved. “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV).
If a man is traveling and does not know where he is going to, or how he is going to get there, you know he has a good deal of trouble, and does not enjoy the trip as much as if he has a guidebook at hand. It is not safe traveling, and he does not know how to make through connections. Now, the Bible is a guidebook in the journey of life, and the only one that points the way to heaven. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105 NIV). Let us take heed then not to refuse the light and the help it gives.