By Brooke Holt
“Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (The Collect, "Book of Common Prayer")
What do people say they need most these days? What I hear repeatedly is hope. They need hope for the economy, hope for their loved one’s salvation, hope for their favorite sports team, hope for a good diagnosis. You know all the things you hope for and what you hear others express. It is not wrong to hope; it is a great gift. But we must ask ourselves: in what (or in whom) are we placing our hope?
There is only one place for true, eternal hope: the Lord Jesus Christ. How do you get to that hope and stay in it? The Collect for today answers that question. Hope is in the everlasting life that Jesus came to give us. So, you must look to him continually to receive hope and to remain grounded. To do so, you must delve into the Scriptures.
The Collect paints a picture of how the Scriptures equip you for hope. You are not just to hear the word of God read on Sunday mornings at church. The words of the Lord written in the pages of Scripture are to be your life—that you may hear them, read them, mark them in your Bibles, and digest them through study, discussion, and meditation. When challenges arise (and they will), Scripture will be in your heart and your mind. In those difficult times, you can choose to stand on the foundation of God, his promises, and his truth.
The same is true when others betray you, when you are bombarded with the world’s pressures, or when you face the enemy's lies. You can stand firm in the truth of the Scriptures. You plant God’s word in your heart so that you are always ready to engage in the battle. Paul wrote to Timothy, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man [or woman] of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). The word of God is there to teach, challenge, guide, and train you for God’s work. This is the word of life!
Is this how you view the Scriptures? Do you devote time to read them, study them, and meditate on them, so they become a part of you? When you embrace the study of the Scriptures, you embrace Jesus and the hope of Jesus, the hope of everlasting life. May you know that hope today and live in that hope every day until you see the source of your hope face to face.
How can you be more intentional to study, meditate, and allow Scripture to shape you more into the likeness of Jesus? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Awaken the awe and the wonder of Advent! “The King Is Coming” is a 4-week Advent devotional especially written with a child’s heart in mind. It takes families through the salvation story by focusing on who God is, the gift of Jesus, and the importance of celebrating and sharing that miraculous gift! Bring your family together this Advent season for a journey exploring God’s big love for you.
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