BIBLE READING: SUSPENDERS AND HOPE

I remember as a young child that if a cartoon on television showed a man’s pants falling down viewers witnessed polka dotted boxer shorts. It was embarrasing to the man and laughable to the audience.

Worse than the embarrassment of pants down, it could be downright dangerous for the man to attempt to walk with his pants around his ankles. He was sure to be unable to maneuver without falling, which only added to his funny situation and was certain to bring more laughs.

Perhaps the day could have been saved — as well as the man’s pride — if he had worn suspenders. Suspenders, while a useful invention, are not typically in one’s thoughts. In today’s blogpost they are the object of a spiritual illustration. Who would have thought?

Of course our faith has a foundation to keep us on our feet. If we fall spiritually it is not as funny as cartoon humor. Such falling is preventable, and prevention may be as simple as wearing suspenders!

What could possibly serve as spiritual suspenders? The Bible, God’s Word, keeps our Christian pants up so to speak. Today far too many are caught at times with their “pants down,” because they neglect God’s Word.

I think if we are careful to feast on God’s Word daily, then this serves as “suspenders” to hold up more than our pants. It holds us up to stand firm… to stand for that which is right and against that which is wrong. People who share our planet need to witness those who are able to stand spiritually. It is possible but not in our own strength.

How does the Bible support believers? It may be called God’s Word, the law, precepts, statutes, ordinances, or commandments, but it is not called suggestions or options. One reason to read… to study… to learn the Bible is because it is a command.

When we get serious about the Bible and fill our hearts, heads, and lives with it, then we’ll find that it has divine power to help us to stand. It is for us all to ponder, to meditate on, and to live by. If we have a daily feast on God’s Word, then we will be stronger spiritually. It is spiritual nourishment that can provide that which is needed for growth and strength of our spirits.

Where to begin? Proverbs offers a chapter for each day of our month. Psalms offers easy-to-relate-to chapters throughout this Old Testament book for our varied personal situations in life. Job is especially helpful in times of deep suffering. Read Genesis to understand the account of Creation.

The gospel of John is a good New Testament book to begin for those not used to reading it. On and on it goes; something for us all no matter where we find ourselves.

My point is we need to read it! We need to get to know the Word of God. It’s even more important to get to know the God of the Word. Let’s put on our spiritual “suspenders” daily. Doing so will help us to stand for Him and will increase our hope.

 

“But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”  (Matthew 4:4)

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; So that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  (2 Timothy 3: 16, 17)

“For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit of both joints and marrow and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4: 12)

“But know this first of all that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”  (2 Peter 1: 20, 21)

“Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end.

Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart.

Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.

Establish Your word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You.”  (Psalm 119: 33 – 35, 38)

“I shall delight in Your commandments, which I love.

And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love; and I will meditate on Your statutes.

Remember the Word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope.

This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your Word has revived me.”  (Psalm 119: 47 – 50)

“I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me.

How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

I have sworn, and I will confirm it that I will keep Your righteous ordinances.

I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your Word.

O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me Your ordinances.”
(Psalm 119: 102 – 108)

“Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.

I hope for Your salvation, O Lord, and do Your commandments.

My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly.

I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies for all my ways are before You.

Let my cry come before You, O Lord; Give me understanding according to Your word.

Let my supplication come before You; Deliver me according to Your Word.

Let my lips utter praise for You teach me Your statutes.

Let my tongue sing of Your Word for all Your commandments are righteousness.

Let Your hand be ready to help me for I have chosen Your precepts.

I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my delight.

Let my soul live that it may praise You, and let Your ordinances help me.

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant for I do not forget Your commandments.”  (Psalm 119: 165 – 176)

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