Texas Baptist Voices

Jeff Johnson: For a really smart ‘pill,’ open your Bible

The founder of Memory Pharmaceuticals, Eric Kandal, firmly believes within a few years a pill will be available to improve memory dramatically. My dad is an Alzheimer’s patient and takes memory-improvement medication. In a frightening turn, these “smart drugs” now are being sold illegally to students for better memory focus on exams.

jeff johnson130Jeff JohnsonI dusted off an old volume of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s sermons for my devotional time this past week. He describes studying a beech tree one afternoon. Like a skilled naturalist, he noted the color of the leaves, the texture of the bark and the intricacy of the branches. Such study was, for him, a form of grateful prayer to God as rich as any study in the library.

On this particular day, he noticed a squirrel running up the branches, leaping from one to the other, playing in every nook of the great tree. The squirrel moved among the branches as if the trunk were Main Street and the smaller branches country lanes or alleys; somewhere among the branches were his house and daily food.

As Spurgeon reflected imaginatively on this inquisitive, frolicking squirrel, so wonderfully at home in the beech tree, he drew this analogy to our relationship with Scripture. “Well, now, the way to deal with God’s word is not merely to contemplate it, or study it, as a student does; but to live on it, as that squirrel lives on his beech tree. Let it be to you, spiritually, your house, your home, your food, your medicine, your clothing, the one essential element of your soul’s life and growth.”

I chose to be a Texas Baptist for a number of reasons—one being we believe in and study the Bible. Phil Miller leads the way for Texas Baptists in our Bible study/discipleship ministry. Phil and his team exist to “provide consultations, training, special events, tools and resources to help Texas Baptist congregations develop Acts 1:8 believers.”

texas baptist voices right120Does your Bible study time need a “smart pill?” The Texas Baptist Bible study team has it—for all ages. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and our Bible study team as you and your church strategically prepare for implementing a plan for transformational Bible study in your community.

Being “at home” in Scripture certainly is an alternative to the seemingly endless quest for a new philosophy that is going to fulfill my every desire.

A daily smart pill might increase my memory, but a day spent studying Scripture with an open heart and a searching mind increases my love for God, makes me a wiser person, and enables me to discern false teaching the next time it comes to the box office, Twitter, text, YouTube or bookstore.

Now that’s a really smart “pill.” (Check out 2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Jeff Johnson is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and pastor of First Baptist Church in Commerce.

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