Growing up in the church, attending revivals, church meetings, retreats and other Christian events, these are phrases I am most familiar with, “you need to be reading the bible,” “get into the word!” while others jokingly state, “a bible verse a day keeps the devil away.” No matter how one may say it, the reminder is to read the bible. There have been several statistics done in the United States revealing how many people read their bibles, and the number is beyond disheartening. When I ponder this, I can’t help but think we might need to do a little more than just state from the pulpit that this is something we need to do, and find ways as Jesus followers to ignite a hunger for His word in our lives.
When I was a piano teacher for several years I had mainly two groups of students. One group was motivated, they were in love with the instrument, and practiced without me even asking. The next group, which I would have associated with as a child, enjoyed the piano, but practicing was not routine for them. They were the students who would slowly open their piano book, not having a clue what page they were supposed to be on and fumble through each piece as if they were looking at it for the first time. This group of students needed a little more motivation than others. The common, underlying issue was their desire to grow, their love for the instrument, and a little self-discipline.
When I saw kids were not practicing, showing little interest, I would take all their books and plop them on the floor. My goal was to inspire them to love the instrument and remind them why they play it. We started creating sounds, pulling melodies out of the instrument that they had never discovered before. I would say, “let’s pretend we are in a desert and it’s raining on the dry, hot sand. What does that sound like?” The student would start making the sounds of raindrops on the keys and I would say, “quick! a lizard is passing by, what does that sound like?” Then we could hear the lizard scurrying over the hot sand by the sound of passive notes rolling up the piano.
These were always my favorite lessons, full of joy, creativity, and usually left an impression on both of us. I loved seeing smiling faces and a renewed sense of affection for an instrument that had previously been distant and uninteresting. I would tell them to go home and just play notes and write something special and share it with me the following week. I heard the most creative, passionate, and lovely songs written straight from a child’s imagination and heart. This would always draw them back to a love of practicing their instrument, and a desire to grow, create and learn more of how to become better musicians with it.
When kids heard, “you need to practice,” often the response was dormant and unfruitful, but when the kids found love for it, the response was positive and fruitful. Maybe we need to stop telling each other to read the bible, and instead inspire people to dig deeper and remember how to fall in love with their Savior again. To want to discover something new, to have a passion to grow, to learn, to be challenged and pushed forward in our growth and relationship with our KING! When we tend to read the bible to check off a list, the bible becomes a task, and not a breath inspired word of God. But if we read to know who God is, what only He can do, and how to live this life on earth to the fullest, then the bible will go from being a challenging task that only brings shame and guilt when not completed, to becoming one of the best highlights of your day.
Open the Word of God today and ask Him to show you something wonderful about Him, something to challenge you and grow you in your walk with Him, and something hard that you can chew on and ponder, asking Him to guide you in every word. Let us be a nation that is hungry for the word of God, and a people that is desperate to know more of Him. The bible is alive and active, and the more we draw close to Him and fall in love with Jesus again and again, the more we desire to open those God breathed pages and let it change us from the inside-out.
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