The song Living in the Pages by Bruce Carroll changed my perspective of the Bible. This 1995 release from the album One Summer Evening challenges Christians to spend their time on earth living in the pages of the Bible. After finishing two different stints as a youth pastor, I realized that spiritual growth is directly linked to the quality time invested beyond the book. This includes meditating upon, reflecting on and putting into practice biblical practices. Without any sort of application, conviction and I nspiration, a willingness to change fades away.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart, Hebrews 4:12.
From my own personal experience, it doesn’t take long for me to resemble Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. First published in 1886 as the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this Robert Lewis Stevenson gothic novel uncovers the dual nature living inside of human beings. Whenever I go a day or two without reading and studying the Bible, my behavior suddenly changes. Impatience spreads, foul words come out of my mouth and my emphasis becomes self-centered. Meanwhile, when I do read the Bible, jot down notes and write blogs influenced by this spiritual discipline, God becomes more of a priority in my life. Thus, your faith depends upon what happens beyond the Bible.
So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ, Romans 10:17.
Since illiteracy was rampant among first century citizens, the Torah was regularly read out loud by priests and letters written by apostles and disciples shared by home church leaders. In the passage above, the apostle Paul details the relationship between faith and the Bible. The phrase out of sight, out of mind applies to Scripture. If the numerous words of the Bible contain supernatural power to transform souls, then the more time you spend putting this advice into practice the better off you will be. Therefore, beyond the book, put your faith into action so that your life may win the respect and trust of outsiders.
by Jay Mankus