Summary: A very practical sermon that depicts the Bible as God’s love letter to us. The message shares some insights from the Word about the Word and practical advice on how to engage the Bible.
Back when I was a young sailor, I came back home on Christmas leave. My sister asked me to take her to get some last minute Christmas gifts and I said OK. So when we got into the car, my sister told me that she was going to invite a friend, Sofi, to come along with us. Well – let me tell you – I still don’t know if my sister and Sofi had anything planned, but after that day, Sofi and I were on the fast-track to a wedding. But we had a bit of an obstacle – I was still in the Navy and around January 2nd or 3rd I had to return to California, where I was stationed.
So over the course of the next several months, we corresponded by mail. Remember, back then there was no email. There were no text messages. It was just the US Postal service. Telephone service was expensive! So we sent letters to each other … many, many letters! [pick up letter scrapbook] These are the letters that I sent to Sofi between January and July of 1975. Sometimes I’d write two or three letters a day and I’d get from Sofi two three letters each day. It was absolutely wonderful to get the letters from Sofi. Sometimes she would put a drop of perfume on the letter and then write SWAK on the back flap. The guy that worked in the mailroom and ask, “Hey, how do you do it man?”
But I loved to get letters from Sofi. I’d read them over and over again. We fell in love through the letters that we sent to each other. Many of the things that I knew about Sofi, I learned from letters that I got from her. I’d read them over and over again. I’d read the letters when I woke up, on breaks and before I went to bed. It’d take them to the mess hall – the cafeteria – and read them there. Why? – because I was vitally interested in falling in love with this little lady named Sofi!
Well, listen friends, the Bible is God’s love letter to us! Here, we see God’s heart more clearly than anywhere else. We see the depth of his love and his care and his mercy. So, listen, I just want to encourage you to fall in love with God by spending time with God’s incredible love letter, the Bible.
We have some pretty good examples of why regular Bible reading is important. Martin Luther said, “For some years now, I have read through the Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant.” The last thing that brother Martin wrote was on a slip of paper the day before he died: What was on the paper? - Words of praise for the Bible and an appeal to read it with a humble spirit.
Why do you suppose that Luther love the Bible so much? Here are a few reasons: When Luther had questions or issues that troubled him, he came to the Bible expecting to find an answer. Luther delighted in the joy of discovery. He said, “For twenty-eight years, since I became a doctor, I have now constantly read and preached the Bible; and yet I have not exhausted it but find something new in it every day.” Ultimately, though, Martin Luther loved the Bible because it was there that he had found Jesus Christ.
So listen, let’s take a bit of time to look at the kind of things that God says about his Word – his love letter to us: In Psalm 119.105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. When do we need a lamp or a light? When it’s dark! And friends, when the darkness comes around us – when we don’t see which way we should go – God’s love letter is there to show us the way.
In Isaiah 40.8, the prophet writes: The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever. In this world of instantly disposable and immediately obsolescence, we need something that is a sure thing; something on which we can pin our hopes and on which we can count. God’s Word will never pass away.
Isaiah also writes (55.10-11): As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. God’s Word has efficacy. That means that it will make a difference by doing what God intends to do with it. We saw how He made the heavens and the earth with it. He will also send his Word to penetrate into our hearts and build his Kingdom there!