Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bunyan on part of one's devotional life

I recently found a wonderful quote by John Bunyan pertaining to the habit every Christian should develop thoroughly: reading Scripture, knowing Scripture better than you know yourself.

Read the Bible, and read it again, and do not give up on understanding something of the will and mind of God, though you think they are locked up tight from you. And don't trouble your heads if you don't have commentaries and expositions; pray and read, and read and pray, for a little from God is better than a great deal from human writers. Besides, human ideas are uncertain, and are often lost and tossed around, but what is from God is as securely placed as a nail in a hard board. Nothing remains with us so well as what we receive from God; the reason why Christians today are so lacking when it comes to some things, is because they are content with what comes from human mouths, without searching and kneeling before God to ask Him the truth about things. Things that we receive from God's hand come to us in mint condition; though old in themselves, yet they are fresh to us. Old truths are always new to us, if they come to us with the smell of heaven on them. (Barbour, The Riches of Bunyan, 1998, p. 46)

I have tried to develop in myself this habit so eloquently stated by Bunyan for the past third of my life and have been relatively successful. However, no matter how many times I make it through all of Scripture, there are each time new treasures, new barbs at my pride, new angles to use in my own life and exhortations to others. Try it. You'll like it.