“And Then …”

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

One can generally tell when a person, even a congregation of the Lord’s people is familiar with God’s Word more than in a superficial way.

Those who spend time in the Book … reading, meditating, and complying and applying its truths to their own lives … are the same ones who desire to “speak as the oracles of God.”  They are the ones who comprehend and choose to “… walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.”

People of the Book take the admonition, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:5,6) Those who choose to spend quality time pouring over the pages of God’s Word learn to speak with others with spiritual kindness, truthfulness, words that are wholesome, fitting, sensitive, gentle … with love and genuineness that reflects thoughtfulness and caring for others.

As Joshua was given the awesome task and privilege of leading God’s chosen people across the Jordan River and into the long-awaited Promised Land, God assured him of success on the condition of adhering to God’s Word and keeping himself familiar with its teachings. The place of this truth is a principle that will always remain central to our spiritual efforts … to walk in God’s way will always require a growing understanding and application of the Scriptures with no timeouts!

The Psalmist would tell us one value of God’s Book …  among many values … is its ability to guide and lead us in the way He would have each of us to walk through life. (Psalm 119:105)

It would be well, then, for each of us to give some serious ‘thought time’ to how often we pick up God’s Book … read, study, and meditate on its truths with the passion and the sincere desire reflecting a “hungering and thirsting after righteousness” and having that desire satisfied to the extent of “being filled.”

Allow me to share a true and inspiring example of one who made a great sacrifice to engage in the reading of God’s Word. This example should help to motivate each of us to do better:

William McPherson was a superintendent for a stone quarry when a blast severely injured him. As a result of the explosion, he lost his eyesight and both hands. He became resolved to read the Bible but was challenged by his injuries. Ultimately, he learned to read the raised letters in Braille with the tip of his tongue. Painful as it was … as difficult as it had to be … this man was able by the end of his life to read through the Bible four times in this way! The Chicago Tribune published an article about this man on April 27, 1913.

From my perspective … his example leaves us without excuse! My friends, we live our best life when we live in ways God can most fully bless us. And in so doing, we are willing to give up what keeps us from focusing on what is best for our souls.

“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely” (Hebrews 12:1, ESV)

For you and for me, will there be an “and then …” of the enjoyment of God’s pleasure and fulfilling of His promises realized?

Our choice!

 Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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