“He became more important than me.”

Nowadays Americans are very busy people. Technology has made it possible to accomplish in one day what took a month years ago. Coupled with a strong emphasis on materialistic wealth, technology has made more slaves out of folks than some regimes. This incessant drive to achieve is also evident in foreign lands such as China and Japan among others. As knowledge increases at a faster rate than ever before, moral priorities tend to take a back seat. This can happen so slowly, however, that it can go unnoticed for years…then it may be too late for some.

I recently had the privilege of listening to Dr. David Shaff, an optometrist in Rochester, N.Y., share his 9-day death experience. His spirit left his body as a result of a severe heart attack while sleeping. He never knew what hit him. He was immediately in the presence of Jesus Christ Himself. They had an interesting talk as you could imagine. At one point in his talk, Dr. Dave said he realized how much we worry about things that seem important, but, in the reality of the big picture of this life, they are not.

As sinners from birth, we fail to perceive our major problem. Depravity blinds us to our plight, unless the Creator reveals truth to us. Enter the Bible. The fact that it still exists while being the most hated and attacked book of all history tells me it’s Special, in the most intriguing sort of way.

While interpretations may vary on smaller issues, the major issue is abundantly clear —- God made everything good, humans ruined things, God provided a way to escape eternal destruction, and we cannot earn it. Christianity is the only religion that asserts that eternal life is gained by grace rather than merit. How our souls spend eternity should be on everyone’s mind…constantly. I find this not so, however. Most people just have too many other concerns and worries to be bothered to seek out the redemption that guarantees eternal life.

Despite the Bible changing millions of lives for the better, it is still ignored by the majority. This amazes me. I was guilty of this very thing for the first 20 years of my life. But during my senior year in college, I heard a man who played the role of Jesus on a record say while he was being crucified, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” That captured my attention (and heart). That extraordinary love, that can be found no where else in history, made me realize that Jesus Christ is our Creator in the flesh therefore making Him the most important Person to ever walk this planet.

From that point on, I just had to read what He said and it changed my life. He became more important than me. Talk about a paradigm shift! I devoured the Bible like never before. That was at the end of 1970 and decades later I am still reading it. Once we realize that our true identity is hidden in Christ, our priorities become in line with what we were created to do.

The question for those who call themselves Christian is: Are you just a believer or a follower? If a follower, it becomes impossible to follow Him without reading the Scriptures often, every day if possible. If we really want to get to know Jesus intimately, we find Him in the “volume of the Book” (Psalms 40:7 & Hebrews 10:7). The first cause of backsliding is usually lack of Bible reading. This world has supernatural powers constantly vying for our affection and they do a high-powered brain washing job on us.

Priorities are always at issue. When we pray, we talk to God. When we read the Bible, He talks to us (if we let Him). When He talks to us, are brains (thoughts) are washed from this world (see Ephesians 5:26 & John 15:3). I think there is a direct correlation between time spent in the Bible and the depth of our walk with Jesus. Too many are mere believers and not followers. Among those followers, Bible reading will usually slowly decrease at some time during their Christian life. Watch out for that! It’s one of the early warning signs of backsliding.

The Bible is oh so powerful to bring folks to God and helps them live in a better way. I now understand why Satan and all his cohorts will continually attack it and discourage people from reading it. A careful reading of the Scriptures reveals that the sword that John saw coming out of Jesus’ mouth in the beginning of his vision for the Book of Revelation represents the Word of God. It is by this “sword” He conquers and restores throughout the Church Age.

This world steals verses from God’s Word and few realize the original source. One common phrase this world says is, “Man shall not live by bread alone.” This is from Deuteronomy 8:3 and quoted by Jesus to Satan during the three temptations. But what this world omits is the rest of that verse, which, of course, is the most important: “But man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” When unsaved people hear the Word of God, they have a chance to re-connect with Him thereby obtaining eternal life. Can there be anything more important to an individual than this?! If followers want to continue their following of Jesus, they must read His Word continually. If our Bible begins to collect dust, then our hearts are slowly becoming hardened against the will of God for our lives. It happens slowly so we do not notice it. Satan is no fool, he believes in God and knows our weaknesses.

Maybe we should view the Bible as food. So think what your body would feel like if you went a week without eating any food. Well, that would be how weak you would be spiritually if you did not engage yourself in God’s Word for a week (week = weak).

I’ll leave you with this thought – out of all the words that God could have chosen to give us on earth, the ones in the Bible are it. Let us not ignore such a great opportunity to get to know Him and find our real purpose. Psalms 138:2 speaks volumes about how much God reveres His own Word, and 1 John 2:15-17 can help us with our priorities. If you are hungry to know God more, you will look those verses up. 🙂