My brother Winston taught a university class called "New Testament Survey." He assures me that most of his students enrolled because their degrees required his class rather than out of any desire to study Scripture. In previous classes, he had given an overview of the Bible and they learned facts about God's Word.
But one semester he tried a different approach. He required that they actually read the Bible. He gave a list of "The Most Important Questions" and Bible references they were to study. His questions ranged from "Is it possible for one to know for certain that he will go to Heaven when he leaves this world?" (1 John 3:14-15; 2 Timothy 4:6; Acts 7:54-60) to "Why is 'Where will I spend eternity?' such a tremendously important question?" (Matthew 16:24-27 ; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20; 22:12-15; Matthew 25:41-46.
Winston read me some of the students' evaluations. "This class has changed my life." "God has ordained this for this time in my life." "This class has affected my life more than I can possibly imagine." "This class has renewed my faith." Students were beginning to attend church and many had a new interest in God.
Wonderful books about the Bible lack the power of the Word no matter how insightful they may be. Repeatedly God tells us a bit of what His Word accomplishes. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:9). By the power of His spoken word, God willed creation into existence. He said, "Let there be light," and there was light. He sends forth His Word and the ice melts. He speaks a word and people are healed. (Genesis 1:3; Psalm 33:6; 147:18; 107:20).
Best of all, taking the Word into our hearts gives us life in our spirits.
Thank you, Lord, for Your life-giving Word. When I obey Your Word, I sense life in my spirit.
"These instructions are not empty words--they are your life!" (Deuteronomy 32:47).