If You Want An Above Average Faith . . .

Jan 09

If you long for an above average faith, take a lesson from Harry Ironside.

Harry started his own Sunday School class at eleven. At sixteen he began to preach full time. At nineteen he was preaching over 500 messages a year.  In a thirteen-year stretch he preached over 7,000 times to over a million people. Later, be became the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago where he served for eighteen years. Harry began to write at age twenty-four and by the time of his death he was one of the most prolific Christian writers of the twentieth century—authoring more than sixty volumes.

It may seem that what made Ironside unique was the work he did for God. That is not the case. What gave Ironside an above average faith is the work God did in Harry’s life — as he immersed himself in the Bible.

Harry began to memorize Scripture when he was three. By the time he was fourteen he had read the Bible through fourteen times. This practice of reading through the Bible was a yearly habit Harry maintained for the rest of his life.

You don’t have to be a pastor to immerse yourself in the Bible. God’s promises are for anyone who prizes His Word:

Oh, how I love your law! I think about it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for your commands are my constant guide. Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your decrees. I am even wiser than my elders for I have kept your commandments. I have refused to walk on any path of evil, that I may remain obedient to your word. I haven’t turned away from your laws, for you have taught me well. How sweet are your words to my taste; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.  (Psalm 119:97-105 NLT)

Reading the Bible tunes our hearts to the heart of God. God gives wisdom for decisions, insight for problems, spiritual food for hunger pains of the soul, and a light to make a dark path clearer. If you’re longing for a greater sense of God’s presence and power, get alone and get quiet. Then, like Ironside, immerse yourself in the Word of God. Here are three ways you can do this today:

  1. Read Psalm 119. The psalm focuses on the beauty and power of the Word of God.
  2. Spend 10 minutes dwelling on Psalm 119:97-105. Take time to think about the benefits that came to the Psalmist from immersing himself in God’s Word. How would your life be different from receiving the same blessings?
  3. Adopt a daily Bible reading plan.  Click here for a variety of Bible reading plans from 30 days to three years.

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