Old News that's Good News


My phone has icons for the different apps I use - social media, email, and a program I use to read the Bible. Some of them call out to me with numbers highlighting in red how many unread messages I could look at. But the Bible app just sits there unobtrusively - it never changes.

Modern internet culture loves the high speed of the information super-highway; the emphasis is often on what's new rather than what's profound, and on how much content we can skim over rather than what we can be transformed by. Yet the very word gospel means good news. So how can we receive the Bible with the enthusiasm of someone receiving good news, even though it's thousands of years old?

I've found the advice of George Mueller (it's worth reading the extended quote) really helpful recently:

“I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man may be nourished...I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it.”

Mueller saw that the Bible is not just a set of content to be processed as information, but is nourishment for our souls. Coming to it as a search for delight in God, rather than to fulfill a duty to God, means that we're mentally tuned in to receive that nourishment. Yes, there are more ways we should study and seek to understand the Bible, but for my own daily growth and the health of our souls, I've found that this has been a huge blessing recently.

The reality is that God's word is alive and active; though the words haven't changed reading the Bible is an opportunity to engage with the living God who's incredibly and graciously eager to speak to us and work in our lives. Rather than seeing ourselves as consumers and producers of news, let's remember that we're branches of the vine. As Jesus said in John 15:5&7:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing... If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

We have the opportunity to live in deep connection with Christ, and see wonderful fruit in our lives. Let's not allow the smaller benefits of a digitally connected world to deprive us of living on what will really nourish our souls.

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