I wasn’t born with a great desire to read. As a high schooler I remember seeing my youth pastor’s daughter (maybe 8 or 9 at the time) devouring books. That wasn’t me as a kid. I was a bike riding, trampoline jumping, social butterfly kind-of a kid.
My whole life I’ve heard that I should read the Bible. I grew up in a decent sized, good ole’ southern baptist church in the heart of southeast Texas. I remember the day that AWANA did a presentation for the church — it didn’t take long before that program became a big part of my childhood. In AWANA, you’re rewarded for memorizing verses in the Bible — the more verses you memorized, the more rewards you got. I didn’t get many rewards. And when I did get a reward it was because I crammed a verse 5 minutes before reciting it — only to forget it 2 minutes later.
It never occurred to little me that knowing the Word is it’s own reward. But I remember the day when that changed — the day when the Word of God became a treasure. It was a desperate day. A day when I needed answers — and I didn’t know where else to look. It was a day when I was confused, broken, sad, and unsure what to do or where to go next.
Opening the Word on that day was much different than all other times before it — and it’s never been the same since.
We tend to treasure the things that give us life. I have a friend who needs medicine daily — he treasures that medicine. Likewise, I know people who need a lot of affirmation — they treasure their Instagram accounts. We all treasure something and it usually revolves around what we think will give our life value, meaning, and opportunities.
The thing is, most treasures fade and dull — and most of the time they simply end up being a big letdown. They just simply don’t provide the life that we anticipated. The rich and famous still battle with depression and meaninglessness. The most beautiful people still feel the need to constantly improve their looks. When this happens, we either press harder into our pursuit of that treasure, or we bounce to a new pursuit, a new treasure.
I’m here to tell you with all the honesty and sincerity that I can muster — when the Word became a treasure in my life, it simply has never disappointed. It gets richer and richer — giving me more and more fullness and happiness in life.
You can go and read the Word (and I’m hoping that you do) — but my real prayer for you is that you will come to treasure the Word. All those years of “only” reading the Word never revealed to me what I now see. But the moment that the Word became my treasure — all the beauty, power, and life-giving help of the Word came to life.
If you’ve been tracking along with the me in the last several blogs — then it should be no surprise to you by now that David didn’t just read the Word, he treasured it.
I have treasured Your Word in my heart
So that I may not sin against you.
I think David had tasted the rot of death that came along with sin. He wanted life — and life was found in knowing and keeping the Word. That’s why the Word was David’s treasure — it was his lifeline.
Among many excellent virtues of the Word of God; this is one: that if we keep it in our heart, it keeps us from sin, which is against God and against ourselves.
Reading is good, but reading simply isn’t enough to suck all of the goodness out of what God offers us through His Word. If we want all there is to have from this ocean of wisdom, joy, hope, and life — the we need to ask God to help us treasure His Word in our hearts. That’s my prayer for me and you both.
There laid up in the heart the Word has effect. When young men only read the letter of the Book, the Word of promise and instruction is deprived of much of its promise.