I recently bought an updated version of Halley’s Bible Handbook. The one I had been using, an 1956 edition, started falling apart cause of my over-use of this gem. One of my all-time favorite books to turn to when reading scripture, Halley’s Bible Handbook is a resource every person needs to have on hand.
One of the great things about Halley’s book is that he goes beyond just giving commentary of the Bible. He shares his heart with all readers about getting themselves, their families and their churches, into the Bible – reading it daily, studying it deeply, and living it out faithfully. In fact, Halley himself calls these thoughts and instruction, the most important part of his handbook.
I want to share some of these, because Halley’s conviction is my own. As a people of God – the Bride of Christ – we must know God’s Word, and more importantly we must know the God of this Word. We need to be reading it daily, studying it deeply, and living it out faithfully. Otherwise, we don’t really have a right to call ourselves followers of Him. Do we?
“We believe that the Bible is not an account of human efforts to find God, but rather an account of God’s effort to reveal Himself to humanity.”
“Christ, the center and heart of the Bible, the center and heart of history, is also the center and heart of our lives.”
“The Bible is the book we live by. Bible reading is the means by which we learn, and keep fresh in our minds, the ideas that mold our lives.”
“God’s Word is the weapon of the Spirit of God for the redemption and perfection of the human soul. It is not enough to listen to others talk and teach and preach about the Bible. We need to keep ourselves, every one of us, in direct touch with God’s Word. It is the power of God in our hearts.”
“We do not mean that we should worship the Bible as a fetish. But we do worship the God and the Savior the Bible tells us about. And because we love our God and our Savior, we love dearly and devotedly the book that is from Him and about Him … The Bible is the book that tells about Christ and His immeasurable love for us. Is it possible to love Christ and at the same time be completely indifferent to His Word? Is it possible? Each one of us has to make daily choices – to serve Him and not the world. The Bible teaches us how!”
“A church that does not enthrone the Bible in the lives of its people is false to its mission. The church and the Bible go together. The church exists to proclaim and exalt the Christ of the Bible, and for no other reason. Every Christian ought to be a Bible reader. It is the one habit, which, if done in the right spirit, more than any other one habit, will make a Christian what he or she ought to be in every way. If the church could get its people as a whole to be devoted readers of God’s Word, it would revolutionize the church. If the churches of any community, as a whole, could get their people, as a whole, to be regular readers of the Bible, not only would it revolutionize the churches, but it would also purge and purify the community as nothing else could.”
Read it daily. Study it deeply. Live it out faithfully.