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Sunday, March 12, 2017

More than a good read

And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 NLT)
Have you ever read a good book, put it down, and then taken it up a short time later to read it all over again?  I have! There are times when I reread the entire chapters again until I get a good handle on the content contained within, or just because I thought maybe I missed something the first time I read through it. If we do this with novels and instructional books designed to help us be better leaders, learn a new task or skill, etc., doesn't it also make sense that we'd want to do this with God's Word? As a matter of fact, God even asks us to do it!
No one needs to remind us that pain is real, do they? We stub our toe, immediately cry out in pain, and hobble around for days "babying" that tiny part of our body that managed to collide at some awkward angle into some immovable object. We get rejected by that first love and our hearts are left emptied of warmth, frozen in a place of hurt and pain. We see the anguish of our children trying to make a way for themselves in the world and repeating the same mistakes you'd hope they'd have avoided just because you told them to be on the lookout for them. Pain is real - it is evident all around and within us.
We don't need a book to point out our pain, do we?  What we need more is a plan laid out that takes us from pain into a place of hope and healing. That is exactly what we have in God's Word. Yes, there is some content in there that outlines the pain brought on by sin's pathway in our lives, but it is also filled with promises of great hope and magnificent grace. Maybe this is why God tells us to speak about it continually - to "reread" it because we might have missed something the first time, or it just needs to be heard time and time again to remind us of his tremendous love for each of us.
In the days this passage was penned, there wasn't mass printing capabilities. Every home did not have the luxury of owning a copy of the Word of God, nor did their lives contain the ease of a Bible app on their smartphones. So, they "talked" God's Word every chance they had - so it would be refreshed in their minds, taught from generation to generation, and carried on through their actions each day. As much as God may want us to frequently remind each other of the truths from the Word of God, using these truths to guide our behaviors, it is equally important we become familiar with them personally. 
It may have been some time since you dug into the "book". I would encourage you to "begin again" - maybe not where you left off, but reread something of meaning to you. Begin with the easier stuff - the psalms or proverbs, perhaps. Then branch out - but just get into it again! It isn't just a "good book" - it is the Book of Truth that guides our steps and ensures light along our path! Just sayin!