Revive Our Hearts Podcast

— Audio Player —

The Light

Leslie Basham: Author Mary Kassian says, "Reading the Bible can be like enjoying a good piece of chocolate."

Mary Kassian: For me there's been a break through in terms of approaching Scripture in the way that I read it. When the Holy Spirit shows me something in the Scripture that grips my heart, I just get so excited about it. It's so nourishing, it's so exciting and encouraging. It's like a really good, good piece of chocolate or something. It's spiritual food, but it's just so tasty that you go, "Oh, I want another piece. I would like another piece." You know how that goes, ladies. I think when you've tasted the goodness of Scripture it's like, "Wow! That tasted so good; I want more."

Leslie: This week we'll learn to savor God's Word on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, February 13.

In January, Nancy offered a challenge—read God's Word every day in 2012. Many women have signed up for this challenge at ReviveOurHearts.com. It's not too late to join them. This week, you'll see why taking a challenge like this is so valuable, as Nancy bring us a series called, The Wonder of the Word.

She'll begin by explaining that the Bible is unique.

Nancy: The Bible is in a class by itself. When you use the word unique, technically you shouldn’t say—or grammatically you shouldn’t say—“most unique” or “very unique” because unique means there’s only one like it. It’s one-of-a-kind; it stands alone. It is true, absolutely true, that the Bible is unique.

No other book can compete with it. The Bible, by the way, is the best-selling book of all time. It sells throughout the world, I’m told, at the rate of 80,000 copies a day. The Bible is sold at that rate. It’s read by more people and published in more languages than any other book in the history of the world. Unquestionably, the Bible has had the greatest impact of any book on the history of civilization, on art, on literature, on culture—they’ve all been influenced by the Word of God.

Now, as many of you know, the Bible is actually a collection of books: sixty-six separate documents that were written over a period of more than 1,500 years by more than forty human authors, who came from a wide variety of backgrounds. Two of the writers were kings, two were priests, one a medical doctor, a couple were fishermen, some were shepherds. Remember, the apostle Paul was a Pharisee and a theologian. Matthew was a tax collector; Joshua was a soldier; Ezra was a scribe; Nehemiah was a butler.

So a whole variety of backgrounds—and yet, considering that these different books were written over a millennium-and-a-half by forty different authors, it’s amazing that the Bible holds together as one single unit. The same theme: It’s never contradictory, and all those different pieces written by all those different authors are held together by a theme of who God is, and what is His redemptive plan to have a relationship with sinful man.

That’s the story of the Bible. The Bible is one long love story. It’s a story of God’s great plan of redemption.

There are many different things about the Scripture that could be used to point out its uniqueness, but one of those that I think is particularly remarkable is the incredible accuracy of the prophecies that we find in the Scripture. I think, for example, of the book of Daniel, in the Old Testament, that gives numerous minute details about various kingdoms of the world that did not even exist yet, hundreds of years before those kingdoms were even nations.

Yet Daniel told what those nations would be and details about how they would be overthrown and what their characteristics would be. There is a foreview of world history, remarkably specific, long before he could have possibly known what was going to happen—because it hadn’t happened yet!

On another vein of thinking here, as it relates to prophecy, the Old Testament contains over 300 references to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, including sixty major prophecies of details that were written hundreds of years before Christ was born, and were totally beyond His human control.

For example, the Old Testament tells us the place of the Messiah’s birth. It tells us the time of His birth. It tells us the way that He would be born. It gives minute details about His earthly ministry, His miracles, His parables. It talks about the rejection of Jesus and the betrayal by a friend—that was predicted hundreds of years before it happened.

The Old Testament prophesies of Jesus’ (or the Messiah’s, fulfilled by Jesus) death, hundreds of years before crucifixion was even known as a method of execution. And yet the Old Testament describes, in the book of Psalms, the crucifixion of the Messiah. It gives details about His burial, about His resurrection, and His ascension.

Different writers have marveled about how this could be true, and they’ve tried to figure out what is the probability of taking these prophecies, in such detail, and seeing them fulfilled in one person. Peter Stoner wrote a book called Science Speaks, and in that book he calculated the probability of just eight of those prophecies being fulfilled in one man.

Mathematically, he said that the probability would be one in 100 quadrillion. Now, in case you don’t happen to know how much a quadrillion is, 100 quadrillion is a one with seventeen zeroes. That is the chance of just eight of those prophecies mathematically being fulfilled in one person, and they were all fulfilled in Christ.

To comprehend what that means, because those numbers are kind of mind-boggling to me, Stoner illustrates it this way in his book. Take 100 quadrillion silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. Spread them out; they’ll cover the whole state two feet deep. So imagine the whole state of Texas two feet deep in these silver dollars.

Now, he says, put an X on one of those silver dollars, and then blindfold a man and tell him he can go as far as he wants in the state of Texas, but he has to pick out the one silver dollar that you’ve marked. Of course, we know it’s impossible. Well, mathematically, it’s not impossible. There’s one chance in 100 quadrillion—that's one with 17 zeroes—that he will pick up the right silver dollar.

And this writer said, “What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.” 1

But they didn’t write them in their own wisdom. They were inspired by the Spirit of God, and so what was written was stuff that God knew. He knew it was going to happen. He foreordained, He foreknew, these things, and He inspired these human authors to know what they could not have known on their own. All of those prophecies either have come true—as many, many have—and that gives us confidence that the ones that haven’t yet, will yet be fulfilled.

There are other evidences of the uniqueness of God’s Word. I like to think of the Word of God as being—I call it—“peerless.” There’s nothing that holds a candle to it. There’s no other book that comes close to it.

There’s the archaeological evidence, and one renowned Jewish archaeologist wrote, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference.”

There are entire civilizations and cities and towns referred to in the Old Testament that, until recent years, scholars said, “The Bible must not be true because that city never existed.” In recent years, in some cases, the scholars—the archaeologists—have gone into those parts of the world and have uncovered remains that people did not know about until these recent years. The more science uncovers and discovers, the more it proves the accuracy of the Word of God.

I love that verse in Psalm 119 that says, “I have seen the consummation of all perfection, but Your commandment is exceedingly broad” (v. 96). Broad—it’s the consummation of perfection. It’s peerless; it’s unique.

So what does that mean for us? Well, it means, first, that the Bible is trustworthy. You can believe it. It’s an incredible book, and it should hold a unique place in our lives. If the Bible is a peerless book—and it is—then should it not hold a unique place in our lives? Should the Bible be just one book on our bookshelves of hundreds of other books? Should the Bible take a place in our lives that is secondary to all the other novels and magazines and paperback books and textbooks and things that we enjoy reading?

It’s the Word of God. It’s God’s heart to us that He's made available to us. It’s unique; it’s peerless; it’s exceedingly broad; it’s the consummation of all perfection. That’s why I’m challenging you: Get to know the Word of God.

A lot of people say, “I just can’t understand this book.” I will acknowledge to you, after forty years now of reading this book—or close to it, since I could first read—there are still places. I found some in my quiet time this morning where I’m thinking, “What does this mean? I’ve read this many times over the years, and I still don’t understand.”

But I find that most people who say they can’t understand the Word of God either don’t know God—they don’t have a relationship with Christ, so they don’t have the spiritual capacity to understand the Word of God—or they’re not reading the Word of God. It takes work; it takes effort; it takes desire and commitment. But you dig in, you start to search, and you will find that this book truly is unique. It’s life-changing. You can trust it!

So I want to challenge you: Make that commitment. Start to spend time, if you’re not doing it already, reading the Word of God. You won’t understand it all, but what you do understand will be enough to change your life.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been inviting you to dig for treasure in God’s Word. That message is part of a series called, The Wonder of the Word. This year we’re bringing you several series on the Bible to encourage you to take a challenge Nancy offered starting last month. Here she is to explain more.

Nancy: When you get into God’s Word, and get God's Word into you, it will have a huge effect on your life. I believe that so strongly. That’s why I offered a challenge at the beginning of 2012. That challenge to all our listeners was to spend some time every day throughout this year getting into God’s Word.

During our current series, The Wonder of the Word, I’m encouraging you if you’ve taken that challenge with us, keep it up! And if this is the first time you’ve heard about the challenge (or you heard about it but haven't gotten started into it), it’s not too late. It's really simple. The commitment is just to spend some time in God's Word every day. Now that may mean you have to spend a little less time on Facebook, or a little less time reading other books, or with some other hobbies. 

I want to assure you that it worth it. Getting a daily dose of God’s Word will have a huge effect on your life. To help you keep up this commitment to be reading God's Word every day, I want to encourage you to go to ReviveOurHearts.com and sign up for the Daily Bible Reading Challenge. When you sign up, we’ll send you a couple emails each month to encourage you to keep going. You'll also find some helpful resources, Bible reading plans, how to get into God's Word, how to study it. There's a forum where you can interact with others about what you're getting out of God's Word, what challenges you are facing. Again, it's at ReviveOurHearts.com. When you go there, look for the Daily Bible Reading Challenge.  

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. 

In the time we have left, we’re going to hear part of a conversation between Nancy and Scott Lindsey. He’s an expert at using new technologies to aid in Bible study. But before he started working on high-tech methods of studying Scripture, his love for the Bible itself was growing.

Scott Lindsey: I came to faith in the military. I was active duty Air Force a couple months before Desert Storm kicked off. I got invited one evening to an evangelistic service at a church in Phoenix. I heard the gospel for the first time, and it just rocked my world. I was a new creature in Christ. The next morning my roommates thought I'd lost my mind because here I am talking about Jesus, and I'm reading my Bible. Interestingly enough, the Lord used my testimony and two of my roommates actually ended up giving their lives to the Lord within six months as well, so it was just awesome.

Nancy: So as a brand new Christian, you just had this hunger to get into God's Word.

Scott: I just wanted to know the Lord. I wanted to know the Lord so bad.

Nancy: That is such a key thing because for people who think Bible study is dull or boring in this entertainment crazed world, we want to remind them that it's not about just knowing what's in the Bible. The goal of that is to know the Lord. If you want to know Him, this is where He has revealed Himself. So your hunger to know the Lord as a baby Christian led you to study the Bible. 

Scott: Well, then Desert Storm kicked off, so I got orders overseas. I was a little scared because I know the military culture sometimes can be so not Christian, if you will.

Nancy: Not a hot-house for spiritual development?

Scott: Exactly. It's a lot of temptation; it's a lot of people against what I stood for now. I went to a Christian bookstore with my paycheck and a duffle bag. You're allowed two duffle bags when you get sent overseas. I asked the Christian store manager, "I'm a new believer. I know nothing, and I need to know my stuff." We went through the Christian bookstore and filled that duffle bag with Bill Bright, and Josh McDowell, and apologetics, and general survey New and Old Testament.

For the couple years I was overseas, I created my own mini Bible college. I was the student, the teacher; I gave myself the dipoma. I just had a hunger for the Word. I wanted to know what I believed now. I wanted to know who was this amazing Savior who redeemed me and bought me. I wanted to know Him. That kind of began my journey. I got out of the service. I got into some ministry. Then thirteen years ago the Lord saw fit to open a door to join this amazing company. I'm really excited about what we do, because I'm really disturbed with the decline in Bible study. I think this is a way that we can redeem that trend, that we can get people into the Word of God.

Nancy: I know that you share the concern that I have. You're speaking at conferences all across the country. I'm meeting women all across the country. One of the things we often come across is how people don't know God's Word. Is that what you're seeing?

Scott: I have the awesome privilege of working with many wonderful ministries whose sole focus is Bible study: Woodrow Kroll and Kay Arthur. The thing that I'm hearing from most ministries whose focus is teaching people how to study the Word and to get into the Word is the troubling decline that they see in the body of Christ with their pursuit of God's Word.

We've been doing this for twenty years. We see this trend as well. We think what we're doing is helping address that trend because everybody is kind of going "tech." People are used to jumping on their computers for email, getting on the Internet to check the weather, and we're trying to flip a switch and get people interested in God's Word by introducing the computer.

When we ask people, "Why aren't you studying the Word of God?" The number one excuse that we hear is, "I don't have time." I don't think it's necessarily that they don't want to study God's Word. Probably the number two reason we hear is, "I don't know where to start." So either they don't have enough time or they want to, but they just don't know how to.

Now for people who are saying that, they have probably done paper Bible studies. So they've had a concordance out and a commentary and their Bibles and their highlighters. It's a long process; it's very tedious and time consuming. One of the things that really shocked me as a parent was the statistic that the age group right now between fourteen and eighteen, by the time they graduate college, more than seventy-five percent of what they learn they will learn electronically. Parents have to understand that. Pastors have to understand that. Church leaders have to understand that. The problem is we keep forcing this paper paradigm on them.

One of the little experiments I'll do at a lay conference to differentiate the crowd is I'll say, "Everybody twenty-five and younger don't respond to this question. Everybody twenty-five and older I want you to verbally respond to the question I'm about to ask you. Twenty-five and younger be quiet. I'm going to ask you the same question, but let's wait." So I say, I'm going to say a word, and I want you to tell me what's the first word that comes into your mind?

The word that I say is study. All the older adults say, "books." Study is books. Then I ask the same question to twenty-five and younger. Study? And what do they say? Computer. They say electronic, they say Kindle, or iPhone, or Google, or whatever. It's a really shocking revelation to the parents that are in the audience because, again, they're frustrated with the fact that their young person isn't excited about Bible study. The problem is they keep pushing that paper thing on them. That's not the way they want to study; that's not the way they're accustomed to study. 

Nancy: Prior to the Reformation, in the Middle Ages, the mindset for centuries was that only the spiritual leaders should be studying the Word. The lay people were just supposed to take it for granted. They were just supposed to listen to the paid clerics preach the Word or study the Word.

A keynote of the Reformation was that lay people should be able to read the Bible in their own language, should be able to have a copy of the Bible, and should be able to study it for themselves. Of course, with the help of people who had studied the Scripture more thoroughly. I think we need a Reformation again today to get us, as lay people, back into studying the Word, because we tend to think, "Let the pastor do it for me. Let this author do it for me. Me study the Word?" And we're saying, "Yes, you can study the Word yourself, and you've got to be studying the Word yourself."

Scott: I'm so thankful to live in the age that we live in with the Internet and with radio and with TV. We have access now to some of the best teaching out there. Revive Our Hearts, my wife is a huge fan. We love Kay Arthur and John Piper and John MacArthur. That's great to actually hear the Bible taught. People who have invested their lives studying Scripture, but that's not an excuse to not study the Bible for yourself. You can't live off of somebody else's faith. They can edify you; they can understand things a little better.

Nancy: But it's no substitute for your own study.

Scott: I think there's kind of been a cop-out or an excuse today that we have so much great teaching out there now, that why should I? 

Nancy: They do all the work; they get all the blessing. I'm saying to our listeners, if you'll do some of the work yourself and dig in, even for minutes a day, you'll experience the joy, and the blessing, and the reward from the Lord that other Bible teachers are experiencing because they're getting in and digging for themselves.

Scott: And let me just challenge the listeners. It's great to be part of a wonderful church and to have your kids involved. But if your children do not see the Word of God being a priority in your own life . . . So dads and moms, if they don't see you studying the Bible, if they don't see you reading Scripture, you can't expect it in their lives.

Nancy: There's no reason for them to think it really matters if it doesn't really matter to you.

Scott: One of my favorite quotes that I'll close at conferences with is from Howard Hendricks. He says, "We know enough to own a Bible, but not enough for the Bible to own us." That is really my goal. I want the Bible to so saturate my mind, my life, my walk that I just submit to the authority of it, and I walk in it. The more I do that the more healthy my marriage becomes, the better dad I become, the better employee I become, the better friend I become. It really is in direct proportion to how much time I spend with Jesus in His Word.

Nancy: I want to encourage every listener to take steps forward. To build into your life, your heart, and into your children's lives and hearts, and those others you influence, a heart and a love for the Word of God. There is just nothing that is nearly as rewarding as that pursuit.

Leslie: Scott Lindsey is an expert on using new technologies to study the Bible. He talks about using high-tech approaches to dig into God’s Word more effectively on the Revive Our Hearts podcast.  

When you subscribe to the free podcast, you’ll hear this bonus series with Scott. [You can also read the transcript or listen to the audio here.] In the series, Nancy also talks about some of the ways she studies the Bible and prepares to teach on Revive Our Hearts.

Again, that’s on a special podcast-only series. To hear it, just look up Revive Our Hearts in iTunes. Or if you’re new to podcasts, find out how to subscribe at ReviveOurHearts.com

When one of the kings of Judah received the Word of God on a scroll, he cut it up and threw it into the fire. You would never do that, right? Before answering, you’d better listen to tomorrow’s program and hear more of the story. We hope you can be here for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture has been taken from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

1Josh McDowell. Evidence that Demands a Verdict. p.175.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

Read More