Thursday, May 26, 2011
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Our family had a chance to visit Colonial Williamsburg, that great restored 18th-century village there in Virginia. And as we were looking at one of the more important homes there in Colonial Williamsburg, we noticed a lot of activity in the yard next to the house. I went over and I asked some people what was going on, and they said, "It's a dig." Sure enough, here were some archeologists and college students excavating in the yard to find the remains of the old slave quarters and to discover some treasures there in the dirt that would give them some idea of the lifestyle of those slaves back in the 18th century.
Now, I don't know what your image of an archeologist is, but they weren't throwing around big shovelfuls of dirt. Let me tell you that. They weren't even using a shovel. They were dealing with spoonfuls of dirt, in carefully marked off little sectors of the yard. And they meticulously scraped up one tiny layer of dirt at a time, put it in a little sifter, sifted it out, and then they carefully numbered and logged anything they found. You know, I think they have a lot to teach us about how to investigate something valuable.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Daily Dig."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Joshua 1:8. Joshua is standing on the river bank of the Jordon River, looking at a swollen river. Beyond them are the great walls of Jericho and the Promised Land that he is to go conquer. And here is a formula for success. "Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night so you may be careful to do everything written in it." Then here's a great promise, "...you will be prosperous and successful." It's a blueprint for conquering a big challenge. Maybe you're looking at one right now. Well, this is your blueprint for success, and it's all in how you approach God's Word.
He says, "Meditate on it day and night." That's an interesting word in the Hebrew. It's the same word used for a cow chewing its cud. So you could almost translate this verse to say, "Here's what you do with the Bible. Chew and do." Chew it and then do it. That's how you can be successful. Now, most of us approach this biblical archeology project of digging into the Bible with a shovel, not a spoon.
Now, I have nothing against reading through the Bible in a year, and it's good to do that. But you grow the most when you get a spoonful of God's truth, exam the layers, sift it carefully, and then log what you found. It isn't how much you get of the Bible, but how much of you the Bible gets. We're archeologists on a daily dig for A Word With You from God.
Now, if you're serious about growing, if you want to succeed, slow down and dig into a few verses at a time. Read them over two or three times. Look for phrases or ideas that are repeated and try to connect them. Try to enter into the situation of the writer; maybe the reader that was receiving it. Stay with it until you can connect something in those verses to something that's happening in your life right now. Then, like a good archeologist, log it. Write it down in a spiritual diary so you may be as it says in Joshua, "careful to do it." Remember, chew it and do it.
I've got a drawer full of the spiritual journals that I've kept over the years. Man, what a treasure it is to be able to write down each day, "What did God say to me today, and what am I going to do differently because He said it?" You don't get the treasure out of an archeological site by the shovelful. You find it in those little spoonfuls. It's the same with treasure from God's life-changing Word.
Slow down, take your time, and get all the treasure you can from your daily dig into the truth of Almighty God.