I have been going through Henry & Richard Blackaby’s devotional Experiencing God Day-by-Day this year as part of my time with the Lord. Several recent readings have been particularly pertinent to the area of Christ the Center of our lives. Here is the first:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” JOHN 5:39-40
Bible study will not give you eternal life. You could memorize the entire Bible and be able to discuss minute issues of biblical scholarship and yet fail to experience the truths found in its pages. It is a subtle temptation to prefer the book to the Author. A book will not confront you about your sin; the Author will. Books can be ignored; it is much harder to avoid the Author when He is seeking a relationship with you.
The Pharisees in Jesus’ day thought God would be pleased with their knowledge of His Word. They could quote long, complicated passes of Scripture. They loved to recite and study God’s Law for hours on end. Yet Jesus condemned them because, although the knew the Scriptures, they did not know God. They were proud of their Bible knowledge, but the rejected the invitation to know God’s Son.
Can you imagine yourself knowing all that God has promised to do in your life then turning to something else instead? You may be tempted to turn to substitutes. These substitutes aren’t necessarily bad things. They might include serving in the church, doing good deeds, or reading Christian books. No amount of Christian activity will ever replace your relationship with Jesus. The apostle Paul considered every “good” thing he had ever done to be “rubbish” when compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ (Phil 3:8). Never become satisfied with religious activity rather than a personal, vibrant, and growing relationship with Jesus Christ.