I’ve said it before and will continue to say it with great conviction, reverence and astonishment: there is not one wasted word in the Bible. Not one bit of filler. Not one ounce devoid of depth and meaning.
The Bible is not a book to speed read through. You have to slow down. You have to prayerfully approach this precious tome for it is the very real, very true, very living and active word of God Himself. This is no mere collection of ancient writings. Make no mistake: men may have penned the words, but God is the Author.
And He is trying to tell us a lot.
About what’s important.
I have been prayerfully reading John 14 today. And I caught myself reading way too fast. For example, there is a great temptation to take John 14:27 and just run with it:
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27 (ESV)
In and of itself, this verse brings us great comfort. For me, it stands as a reminder that the Lord is always with me. His peace is beyond circumstances. Indeed, no earthly situation can truly remove the peace of Jesus from our hearts. Problems may kick us and knock us around. But as long as we remember and cling tight to the promises of God, His peace stands firm within us.
But if we merely stop at John 14:27, not looking at the context and the cross-references and considering the audience, etc., we do ourselves a great disservice.
We need to slow down and take time to let the Lord unfold His Word to us, revealing in our hearts what He has for us. It can be a lot like drinking from a fire hydrant, but what a blessing it is to savor His Word.
So… I think I will be parked at John 14 for a bit. Would you like to join me? I’d love the company.