Today’s reading is from Luke 19. As I read through this chapter, one phrase jumped out at me. In the last verse of Luke 19, we are told that “all the people were hanging on his words” (Luke 19:48). In the past few days, I have come across this idea of “hanging on” to the Word of God on several occasions. Sometimes the words used were “hold fast”, and other times the word “tether” was used to describe how we are to attach ourselves to Jesus and His teachings. When the same word or idea pops up several times within a short span of days, I pay attention!
In Jesus’ time, people were only beginning to understand who He was and how His death, burial and resurrection would impact their lives eternally. Yet they still knew, somehow, that they needed to pay close attention to the words He spoke. When I imagine people hanging onto Jesus’ every word, I picture a crowd pressed close together, leaning forward and straining to hear the words directly from Jesus’ mouth. In those times, people had to work hard to hear Jesus’ words. Hearing Him meant finding out where He would be, making their way on foot to that place, and then positioning themselves close enough to Him so that they could hear His voice. In many ways, we have it so much easier today, don’t we? We have relatively easy access to Bibles both in written form and on our electronic devices. But we also have an incredible number of distractions that can draw us away from pursuing God and His word.
In a world that is constantly changing, it is critical that we hold fast to God’s unchanging word. His word is as valuable and relevant today as it was on the day it was written. It is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) and God promises “it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
So, what does it look like on a daily basis to tether ourselves tightly to God’s word? Here are a few suggestions.
– Spend time reading the Bible daily. This doesn’t need to happen at a specific time each day. The reading itself is what is important; when you do it is not.
– If you find yourself thinking you do not have time to read the Bible because you have so much else to do, consider this thought that my wise husband shared with our small group this week. He suggested approaching spending time with God during the week with the same mindset we approach taking a Sabbath rest. God asks us to rest once a week, and He asks us to trust that our work will get done throughout the remainder of the week. Likewise, we can set apart time to spend reading His word daily while trusting that He will enable us to accomplish what He has called us to do that day.
– Consider using a daily reading plan found in a Bible or online. There are hundreds to choose from, and the accountability of a daily plan can be helpful.
– Memorize Scripture verses that have personal meaning to you. When your Bible or your device isn’t near, the verses you have memorized are easily recalled when you need them.
The time we spend reading our Bible matters because the words we read on the page or on the screen are alive. His word accomplishes God’s purpose for us and for the world He created. I encourage you to try one or more of the ideas above as you seek to hang onto every word of Jesus!