Love the Scriptures

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 13:21, NKJV)

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Its interior is decorated with mosaics, marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, “Solomon, I have outdone thee!” Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years.

It is estimated that more than 3.3 million people from all over the world visit the Hagia Sophia every year. There are several mosaics of Jesus Christ that depict Him as a baby, child or adult. Most of the frescos and mosaics picture Jesus with the Gospel in His hand.

The Bible shaped our Lord’s life upon the earth, and His ministry to others. In the Gospel of Matthew alone, we find Jesus quoting from the Old Testament seventy-six times. Thirty-three were from the Pentateuch: three from Genesis, seven from Exodus, six from Leviticus, one from Numbers, and sixteen from Deuteronomy. Nine times Jesus also quoted from Psalms and Proverbs. He quoted from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and from eight of the Minor Prophets. He loved the Scriptures. His life was impacted and directed by the Scriptures (Matthew 6: 6-10).

The example of Jesus’ life shaped the disciples’ ministry upon the earth. They quoted and preached from the Old Testament and the Scriptures Jesus used in His teachings. The early Christians that came to Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost were so impacted and transformed by the preaching from the Scriptures that they painted the frescos of Jesus with the Bible in His hand to remind themselves to read and study the scriptures as He did. Most godly men and women who impacted the Church and their fellow man throughout history attributed it to their daily reading of the Bible.

One of the mistakes we make as Christians is assuming that a quick prayer alone is sufficient to nourish our spiritual lives. There are people who rarely even open the Bible to read from it. Many give quick prayers to implore God’s blessing for the day, without ever hearing anything from the Lord Himself. We forget: “When I pray, I talk with God; when I read my Bible, God talks with me”.