Its work in you
If you responded to God’s word and let it work in you, what work do you think the Divine word is going to do in you? There is no doubt that the outcomes are many. Let us consider them..
1- It gathers the scattered mind and occupies it with the divine.
If your thoughts are scattered, you will never know in what areas they may stray. But reading, generally, collects the mind from straying and makes it concentrate on the topic being read. As for specifically reading the Bible, it guides the thoughts to a safe harbour. Reverence in reading gives more concentration due to your respect to God’s word. This concentration will have its spiritual effect.
2- Reading the Bible grants you understanding, enlightenment and knowledge...
Therefore the Psalmist says: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105). He also says: “The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps 19:8). This is why we light a candle during the Gospel reading, remembering this enlightenment. As for understanding, the Psalmist says: “The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Ps 19:7).
He also says: “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation” (Ps 119:99). With this understanding one learns the way of the Lord and knows how to act and acquire the gift of discernment and wisdom. Especially if one showed interest in how the righteous people of the Bible used to act and how they used to deal with God and with people, “Considering the outcome of their conduct” (Heb 13:7).
3- Reading the Bible even guides you to the right faith.
That is if the reading is done with understanding, discernment and with guidance. And for each belief, memorize one verse or more. Each verse in the Bible becomes a protection against heresies and wrong teaching. That is what the great fathers of the Church, the heroes of faith, used to do. They used to resist the heresies through their understanding of the Bible and the amazing amount of verses memorized in their minds.
4- The Bible also guides the reader to a life of repentance and spiritual growth.
In the light of its commandments, one could reach giving account of oneself in a correct way and uncover his weaknesses and sins. He would also know that what is required from him is not only repentance from sin, but at most, a life of holiness and perfection according to the Apostle’s saying: “But as He who called you is Holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am Holy” (1Pet 1:15-16), and (Lev 11:44). Also the Lord says: “Therefore you shall be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
The Bible explains the details of the life of repentance, holiness and perfection, presenting examples. And in contrast, He says: “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures” (Mt 22:29).
5- Reading the Bible also gives the mind and the will a kind of modesty if one faced the temptation of sin.
Because how could his thought that has been sanctified by God’s words and by the spiritual atmosphere during his reading, become defiled by the thought of sin!!
6- In diabolic warfares, one could answer the sin with a commandment.
This is according to what Mar Ogris explained in his book about warfares of the thoughts: ‘If your time is wasted in chatter and much talk, remember the Bible’s saying: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking” (Prov 10:19) , and also the saying of the Psalmist: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips”’ (Ps 141:3).
If the devil fights you with anger, remember the Apostle James’ saying: “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (Jas 1:19-20). And also the saying of the Bible: “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go” (Prov 22:24).
And if the devil fights you with lustful thoughts, remember the Lord’s saying: “... whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:28). And remember also the saying of the righteous Job: “I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1).
And so having the verses of the Bible firm in your mind and in your heart, you are able to recall them and use them to answer any spiritual warfare that the enemy wages against you.. The mere recalling of the commandment will embarrass you and keep your heart from committing the sin, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. The one who sins is most probably in a state of forgetfulness of God’s commandments. The love of sin has stupefied him..
7- The words of the Bible also give you comfort in time of distress and strength whenever you are weak.
Many a time it was said by David the Prophet in his Psalms to the Lord: “... I hope in Your word” (Ps 119:81) . He also says: “Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction” (Ps 119:49,50)... And whenever he experienced satanic wars he would say: “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when man rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive.. Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps 124:2,3-7,8).
How many are the words of the Bible about hope..!
For the one who reads and memorizes them, his heart will be comforted and will find peace, even as the Apostle says: “.. Rejoicing in hope” (Rom 12:12)... God’s promises in His Holy Bible give the soul an amazing tranquillity, as in His saying: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20), and His saying: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore..” (Mt 10:30,31), and His saying: “I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you” (Acts 18:10).. Many are such verses.. Would that you collect them and memorize them..
And to talk about all this, time and space would fail me.
8- The Bible has everything, for everyone and for every situation.
No matter what your circumstances are, what psychological state you are in, you will find in the Bible a message that gives you comfort. You will find in it all that you need and what suits you. It is sufficient, for example, to take the Book of Psalms that expresses all types of feelings and prayers. The Book of Proverbs has all kinds of advices. Each book contains a specific message for you, if you choose it well and understand it..
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