Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).
I’ve read the entire New Testament eighty-one times since I started keeping record in 1975. Honestly, I am not boasting, but trying to make an important point. Bear with me a moment longer.
As I prepared for my nightly reading ritual, I opened my Bible and it fell to Luke’s gospel. The first thought that entered my mind as my eye focused on the page heading was, “I'm bored. I want to read something else.”
I know all the stories in Luke. I can quote many passages from memory. I’ve even taught several classes on that gospel.
But just as quickly as that first thought dropped into my mind, another followed: Without fail, each time I have read Luke’s gospel, the Holy Spirit has shown me something new . . . a different perspective of an eternal truth; A necessary reminder of an earlier insight; A nuance I’d not noticed during any of my previous times through the pages. And once in a while He has shown me something that absolutely stunned me with a life-altering revelation.
Eighty-one times I’ve read Luke’s gospel. And eighty-one times I’ve learned something new.
And so the point: The next time you sit down to read your Bible, regardless of the many times you’ve read or heard the stories, don’t ever think the Holy Spirit is unable to give you a new insight, a gracious filling of your cup, a soothing of your fears, or doubts, or confusions. Don’t think He is unable to change your life through His living pages.
The testimonies of men and women throughout 2000 years of Church history attest again and again and again to this truth: the Bible – all of it, from Genesis through Revelation – is truly a living document, able to change lives.
Even on the eighty-second time through.