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Exceeding Text Elevation: More Than Typography

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Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 (NIV)

Warning-moment of truth!

Looking back at the time in my life when a devotional Bible seemed ideal, I was cracking open God’s Word maybe once a week. I used God’s Word to find verses highlighted during a bible study, sermon, or devotional. Mainly, just to find Scripture presented in a different translation because I felt mine was easier to comprehend.  

Unfortunately, my craving and value for His Word had gradually faded outside of church and beyond the daily devotional conveniently appearing in my inbox each workday morning. It crushes me to tell you this. Nothing captivated my heart to dig deeper into the Bible at the time. The surface level reading seemed sufficient. I was satisfied with my limited exposure. I probably would have even justified my actions as proficient at the time. (If you are in the education world, remember proficient is good for an evaluation rating.)

Permit me to explain. See, my focus and a large portion of my energy was spent on a multitude of earthly loves. A period of time where I wanted to move up in my career, make an impact in the community, be the perfect wife, participate in a ton of events, and the list continues. BUSY-Being Under Satan’s Yoke! I had goals and ambitions. I had very little time to sleep let alone get past the mere printed text after I read it once. (Lesson learned, but that’s another book!)    

After going through a season of discipline, my love for God’s Word grew exponentially. It rebirthed the same hunger I exhibited as a child. I even wanted to revert to finding a closet, grabbing a flashlight, snagging the bed pillows, propping myself on top of a wooden toybox, and getting lost in God’s Word. Oh, the sweet craving of Scripture was back. This newfound reverence and desire finally outweighed everything in life.

Without a doubt, the Bible is more than text on a page yet, many copies of God’s Word are only consumed as print on a page. The potential elevation level of the text remains flat, especially when the Bible remains closed. Even when being read, God’s Word can often become a checkmark on a “To Do” list.

Unfortunately, I know this Scripture relationship all too well.

It is read, but not consumed.

It is treasured, but no life value displayed.

It is highlighted, but not truly understood.

It is set apart from any other writing, but so many other books are used.

It is God’s own voice, but everything else is heard above and beyond it.

It is paired with good intentions, but the follow through is overshadowed by “life”.

Yes—you could probably add more statements and I dare to say they too would probably be familiar to my past.

So, how do we break free from these chains? What can we do to ensure our relationship with God and His Word are more than lip service? Where can a person start? I am not sure I can answer these questions for each reader, but I can share my journey and the ways God captured my heart for Scripture.

It began with a simple prayer of asking the Lord for help to grow closer to Him and know Him more. The Holy Spirit reminded me if I truly wanted more of God and less of me, I had to love His Word as much as I loved Him. It required me putting skin on Timothy 2:15, which states, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (NIV).

From this humbly plea, my quest to investigate the importance of Scripture was birthed.

Since then, I can personally attest Scripture is the very words of God:

Living

Miraculous

Powerful

Set Apart

No matter the print arrangement, the Bible is filled with life instructions, promises from the LORD, filled with His attributes and characteristics, and many examples of what-to-do and what-not-to-do.

It is clearly a beautiful love story revealing a God who gave His blameless Son to die for our sins. Book after book of the Voice of God is printed for our engagement and supported by the Holy Spirit’s ability to convey its wisdom.

So much more than typography—an opportunity to go beyond text elevation!

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