“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8
At my church, whenever the pastor starts preaching, he’ll read the passage from the Bible that he’s going to speak on and then he quotes this verse. Our camp ministers do this at Greystone too. At first I didn’t pay much attention to it, but when I started to think about why pastors sometimes do that, I realized that it’s to remind us of how important the Bible is.
Grass and flowers don’t last. The same can be said for many things that we think are important. Styles change and sometimes we grow out of or wear our clothes out. Many of us upgrade our cell phones every two years because there’s a newer and better model. We can get a lot of likes and favorites on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter but in a couple of days people will forget what you posted. I’m sure you can think of other things that are good but don’t last very long.
But God, through the prophet Isaiah, tells us that the Bible, his Word, will last forever. Forever is a long time. God’s word has lasted and will last for a very long time. And it doesn’t change. We may have different versions because languages change, but what the Bible says - the stories, the advice, the praises to God - doesn’t change. It’s a really powerful book that impacts the whole world and each of us individually. It was the first book ever printed on the printing press. It’s the world’s top best-seller. It has been translated into more languages than any other book.
But why? Why is it so important? It’s God’s love letter to us. Through it we learn about who He is and what He has done for us. The Bible shows us what a relationship without Him is like, and how we can change that and become His children who live lives to honor Him. The Bible has stories that tell us the mistakes and successes of others, stories we can learn from. It has advice for how to praise God with our actions and live lives that please Him. It has poetry that tells us of God’s immense love and care for us. God wrote the Bible through people so that you and I can know how great He is and how much He wants to be in a relationship with us. Wow.
When I think about the Bible like this, I’m reminded of how important it is to spend time reading it, and not just reading it because I feel like I have to. For me, it’s easy for my eyes to go over the words and read them but get to the end of the chapter or verse and not remember what I just read because I wasn’t paying attention. Some of you may feel that way too. Or maybe you just don’t read it because sometimes it’s confusing or boring.
I want to challenge you to do something that I challenge myself to do every day: read your Bible and take the time to think about what it says, even when you’re reading something you’ve already read before or something that doesn’t seem to apply to you or you may not understand. Read it and ask God to show you what he wants you to learn. There may be times when you just don’t want to read it. When that happens, ask God to give you a love for His word. And guess what? When you ask him to, He will! He’s not going to be mad because you can’t do it on your own. Instead, He’ll be happy to help you do it.