Me with my Favorite Tea Cup
LESSONS FROM A USED TEABAG
I’ve been frequently asked why I believe people need to read their Bible every day. Perhaps this experience might help illustrate my thoughts on the matter:
I like hot tea. That might be an understatement. I love hot tea, and I’ve been drinking a lot of it lately. I have a favorite, and I am pretty committed to it. Red Rose tea has been my tea of choice for a long time. So, when I noticed during the recent blizzard that I was down to a couple bags left I was a little distraught. From somewhere in the recesses of my mind I heard a voice reminding me that my grandmother, always frugal, had a habit of reusing her teabags to get the most out of them. So I tried it. I don’t recommend it. The second cup from each bag was significantly weaker and bordered on flavorless.
There is a lesson here, besides keeping better track of my teabag inventory. In our spiritual lives we are going to find that we are weak and powerless if we are not “renewed” on a daily basis. Without spending some time reading the Bible daily you are like a teabag whose leaves have been used. You might be able to color the water around you a little, but you are weak and lacking in what matters, flavor. The daily reading of God’s word is a path to renewing the leaves of your life.
Consider some of these gems from Psalm 119:
(The following Scripture References are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible. The bold emphasis is added to key words)
As you read through these references (I recommend reading the entire Psalm in your Bible) take special notice of the words I’ve highlighted. These illustrate the importance and priority of the Scriptures in our lives and why we need to devote some time daily to reading and considering God’s Word.
Verse 11 I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.
Verse 15-16 I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. 16 I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
Verse 18 Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wonderful things from Your instruction.
Verse 25 My life is down in the dust; give me life through Your word.
Verse 28 I am weary from grief; strengthen me through Your word.
Verse 43 Never take the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope in Your judgments. 44 I will always obey Your instruction, forever and ever.
Verse 50 This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life.
Verse 56 This is my PRACTICE: I obey Your precepts.
Verse 72 Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Verse 81 I long for Your salvation; I put my hope in Your word.
Verse 97 How I love Your instruction! It is my meditation all day long.
Verse 101-104 I have kept my feet from every evil path to follow Your word. 102 I have not turned from Your judgments, for You Yourself have instructed me. 103 How sweet Your word is to my taste— sweeter than honey in my mouth. 104 I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every false way.
Verse 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
Verse 111 I have Your decrees as a HERITAGE FOREVER; indeed, they are the joy of my heart.
Verse 140 Your word is completely pure, and Your servant loves it.
Verse 147-148 I rise before dawn and cry out for help; I put my hope in Your word. 148 I am awake through each watch of the night to meditate on Your promise.
There is one more lesson from the tea leaves I would like you to ponder. The boiling water reveals what is in the tea bag much like the pressures and experiences of our lives reveal what we are “made of.” Without the power and presence of God’s Word in our lives what will be revealed in us?
Gotta go, the tea kettle is whistling and my Bible is waiting.
Dave “Big D” Bentley