Warm, soft, fragrant banana bread. Mmmmm.
During the winter months, curling up under my blankets and reading the Psalms became my pastime. As the snow fell and the ice continued to crystalize outside in the cold, I would cover myself in warm, fur-like blankets, and fall into the pages as my heart warmed to the beauty of God’s love and glory. One night, as I dug into the psalms, I made myself some warm banana bread. Truly, the combination of beautifully written scripture expressing love towards God and the warm spicy scents radiating from the oven is the perfect recipe for feeling cozy and close to Jesus!
As my heart would come alive to the words so magnificently expressed in scripture, I pondered the magnitude of what my eyes were looking at. It’s utterly amazing how powerful the Word of God is. How totally error-free beyond human ability to accomplish and perfect it is. It’s completely trustworthy. Your soul can cling to every single word in that book and know that your soul is holding onto the very purpose of our being. Your soul can cling to every word in that book knowing that it will never rust, mold, or deteriorate, ever. It’s eternal, and putting your hope in Him leads to eternal unwavering delight.
Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21
It’s not the kind of book that you read once and then you tip up your hat and walk away, having gotten all you can out of it.
No, completely opposite, actually.
The more you consume the Word of God into your being, the hungrier you are for it. For Him.
Though He perfectly satisfies the human soul, perfectly fills, perfectly provides all of our richest desires, the more we get of Him, the more intense our hunger for Him becomes. Because we realize that nothing on this earth tastes as good as Him. Nothing even compares. So when we experience intimacy with our Maker, the cry of our soul is satisfied – and our hunger intensifies – all at the same time. We do anything and everything we can to receive more of Him. More intimacy with Him, more of His faithful love filling us, more of His peace, more of His closeness, more of His joy, more of His presence, more of His voice, more of His wonderful company. When we pursue Him like this, He responds. He promises that when you seek Him, you will find Him.
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you. Psalm 9:9-10
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8
Scripture is saturated with God telling us people to seek Him. He wants to be found! He desires us to reach out to Him and allow Him to be our shelter, our refuge, our shield.
A relationship with Jesus Christ is a real, ongoing, close relationship – closer than any other you could possibly have. When He responds and you experience deeper and deeper intimacy and closeness to Him, you then respond back to Him. In the same respect, He’ll pursue us with a relentless, intense, passionate pursuit. He always pursues us, it never ends. He pursues us in countless ways, all you have to do is look around. He woo’s us with glorious sunsets and sunrises. He feeds us with a bountiful assortment of food supplied on the earth. He speaks to our hearts. He draws us in using countless of life situations to get our attention. Some bad, some good. He wakes us up everyday. He heals our bodies. He reveals Himself to you. He convicts your heart of His existence. He comforts you in times of distress. He fills you with His perfect love. He offers peace when you’re anxious. He mends our broken hearts. He fills us with His light, shining Himself through us when we come to Him. He died and experienced gruesome unthinkable torture so that you could live in a close bond with Him forever. He keeps you alive. He gives you breath each moment and wakes you up every morning. He pursues us.
Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. Hosea 2:14
The Sovereign LORD has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will. Isaiah 50:4
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Hosea 2:14 is one of my very favourite Bible verses. It has melted me and excited me. It has filled me and thrilled me and lifted me and has made my heart feel like exploding. It has pulled me in, desiring Him deeply, longing for Him more than air, wanting Him more and more and more. He has touched me and stirred me and warmed me with His presence through this verse. This verse shows of his passionate pursuit of us. He’s a God of love, a God of romance with those in relationship with Him. And there is absolutely nothing that could even compare in this world. It’s so incredible, that when people start to experience His love and who He is, they feel compelled to realize that everything else in this world is a loss compared to Him. He compels people to give up anything and everything just for Him.
Because there is nothing better.
To have a God that protects you and pursues you and loves you to no end…is the most blissful feeling that one could ever experience.
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
Isn’t it beyond incredible that even the most valuable things on this earth would be considered garbage in comparison to having a relationship with Jesus Christ?
This world contains a vast amount of worth, of value, of beauty. I stand in awe of it every day. But it’s all nothing in comparison to God Himself. That’s how immeasurably valuable God is! That even the most valuable things on this earth is nothing compared to Him. To the one who made all of that beauty and worth and value.
One does not realize the immensity of this until they reach out to Him in faith. When you respond to Him in an act of faith, thus beginning a real relationship with Him, you will experience the greatest love, the greatest treasure a man can posses.
You will rack your mind wondering how you lived a single moment without Him prior.
It’s just a beautiful relationship altogether and my heart feels like it’s going to burst when I try to wrap my head around it.
And God was gracious enough to give us His Word. His Word contains His character, His personality, His attributes, His beauty, His love. We get to know Him through this text, this powerful supernatural God-breathed text. The Word of God isn’t a bunch of text written of people’s interpretations of Him – rather, the Word of God is a text written by God about Himself and how much He desires a relationship with us. It’s a love story. The love story. God and the people He has a wild love for.
He reveals Himself through scripture. People, under the complete inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote this holy book and every word in it is ordained and carefully written by God. It’s who He is.
Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1: 1-5
The Word is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God. God is the Holy Spirit.
With God, you go deeper and deeper into fellowship with Him in your Christian walk. Until your last breath on this earth, you’re in His loving hands – granted you have a relationship with Him. Going deeper with Him means that as you read a passage, the Holy Spirit will touch and minister to you and stir your heart in new and different ways. He speaks to you through His word, ministers to you through his word, tends to you, comforts you, guides you, holds you, disciplines you, and above all, loves you through his word. Oh, the joys of his love are never-ending, always freshly flowing, and radiantly filling us lowly human beings. He brings incomparable delight to our hearts, taking tender care of us until the day we meet Him face to face.
I am so thankful He left humanity with the gift of His holy Word. His Word is His love letter to us, and once you begin a relationship with Him, His Word becomes a light to your eyes and a lamp to your feet. God’s Word isn’t just a bunch of printed sentences on paper. God’s word is truly Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is truly, completely God Almighty. Therefore, holding the Bible in your hands is the most valuable physical thing you can hold in your hands. It’s God and his love and his treasures, on pages written out in love.
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
So, reading Psalms again brings a new delight to my heart and a sparkle in my eyes, as I’m taken even deeper into fellowship and understanding of God.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13
So as I’m reading the Psalms in my warm fleece cuddly pjs, smelling that banana bread just enhances the experience.
And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times. Psalm 12:6
We’re not meant to walk through this life alone, wondering what on earth we are here for, spending our days meaninglessly wondering and doing and working and sleeping. We were meant to experience so much more. We were meant to know why we are here, and where we are going. We were meant to know Who made us, and Who loves us with an overwhelming, consuming love. The greatest love.
And when you find this out, you light up brighter than the sun.