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Finding strength continually
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"Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually."
Psalm 105:4

Have you ever spent time with a good book? I love to read, and I always treasure the time that I can curl up and immerse myself in another world - the world of a book. I love going on those adventures of the mind, seeing sights I have never seen before, imagining worlds very different from the world around me. Books can take you to far away places and introduce you to fascinating people. With a book in your hand, you can be inspired to create, think, explore and imagine. Books can change your perspective and give you a larger worldview of people very different from those who live in your neighborhood.

This happens, too, when we spend time with God and scripture. I can be reading along in scripture, and I will read words that Paul wrote to one of the churches, and think, "I wonder if I have some of these bad habits he's talking about here." I can read words from a Psalm of praise, and my soul is lifted toward the heavens as I sing praises to God. Scripture can bring us closer to God and can inspire us to be better human beings and to walk closer to our Lord. Scripture can inform us of God's work in the past, and can tell us about a bright future as we are filled with hope of resurrection.

But there is something that scripture cannot do. It cannot read itself, and it cannot change us unless we read it. The words will not jump off the page and follow us around like a bowl of that creamy hot breakfast cereal unless we invite them come alive in our lives. Scripture cannot change us unless we read it.

The Lord can continually strengthen you for whatever lies ahead if you spend time with God's word, God's love letter to you, and if you invite God to change you as you read.

So tell me, have you read the Good Book lately?

Jan McCoy is associate pastor of First United Methodist Church of Covington. She may be reached at