Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Case Of Spiritual Heartburn

"I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." — Job 23:12

The other night as I was putting my daughter Kylee to bed, she grabbed the new Bible we gave her for Christmas and a pen. She rushed into bed and said, “Daddy, I know. We can read something from the Bible, underline it and then when the whole Bible is underlined, we’ll know we’ve read the whole thing.” I laughed and then quickly stopped her before she marked in her Bible. At first I told her no, but then I thought – what a great idea! This little girl wants to read the whole Bible! Why should I stop that sincere love and desire to read and understand God’s word because I don’t want her new Bible to get marked up? It was foolish thinking on my part. We underlined several verses she has memorized and the story of Jesus and the Woman at the Well in John 4. I heard one time that the condition of your Bible reflects the condition of your soul – your time spent with the Lord. Maybe more of us should desire to underline scripture and let the Lord underline it on our hearts. It’s like having “spiritual heartburn”. It keeps you awake at night and won’t let you think about anything else. But this is a good type of heartburn.

What is the first think you think about when you get up in the morning? What is it you think about before you go to bed? The Bible? Some people do. When I get up in the morning, what is the first thing I think about? The Bible? Sometimes. My church? Sometimes. Mostly, it is the day’s agenda and “what’s for breakfast”. Can I be honest? I have to train myself to get into God’s Word. I do that in a couple different ways. I have a couple of email devotionals that I receive daily. I read a couple of blog sites from some pastors I admire. I listen to several different pastors preach through podcasts. But nothing really beats getting out the written word. I love my Bible – especially the one I’ve marked up, duct-taped the spine, highlighted and had since High School.

Think about this. I mentioned food being one of the first, if not the first, thing most people think about when they wake up. How much do you desire your next meal? Probably a lot if it is a nice restaurant or you are extremely hungry. What about your desire for spiritual food? Sometimes I skip lunch because of a hectic schedule. The thought crossed my mind “wouldn't it be great if I also were willing to neglect a physical meal to make time for the Word of God?” I like what Job said about God's Word, "I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food" (Job 23:12).

Does your heart burn for the Lord and His Word? It was inside of my daughter that night and I almost extinguished it. Do you remember the two discouraged disciples on the Emmaus road? They were saddened because, in their mind, Jesus had gotten himself killed before establishing the kind of kingdom they anticipated. They were walking along discouraged, when a stranger joined them. Although they didn't know it, it was Jesus himself. He spoke to them about all the things in Scripture concerning himself. By the end of the journey, their hearts were burning again for the Lord.

When He disappeared, they said, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32).

Spiritual heartburn only comes from taking in the Word. It is almost an over indulgence of the Word. All of us could use some “Spiritual heartburn”. And we will get it when Jesus Christ speaks to us through His Word. I pray your heart burns with excitement and anticipation of what He has to say to you through His written Word.

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