A-poe-la-pi is an elderly Akha, a member of a hill tribe people who live on some mountain ranges in China. During a missions trip, my friends and I visited A-poe-la-pi. He said to us, “Due to the downpour last night, I couldn’t make it to the gathering. Could you share with me God’s Word?” You see, A-poe-la-pi is illiterate, so the weekly gathering is the only way for him to take in Scripture. As we shared, he listened intently. And his earnest attitude reminded me that when we listen to or study the Bible to gain the wisdom of God, we honor Him.

In Deuteronomy 4, Moses called the Israelites to “listen carefully” to the “decrees and regulations” that he would teach them (Deuteronomy 4:1). He reminded the people that the source and inspiration behind the teaching was none other than God Himself: “The LORD spoke to you from the heart of the fire” (Deuteronomy 4:12); “He proclaimed his covenant” (Deuteronomy 4:13); “The LORD commanded me to teach you his decrees and regulations” (Deuteronomy 4:14).

Mahatma Gandhi, though not a believer in Jesus, gave us a wake-up call: “You Christians have in your keeping a document with enough dynamite in it to blow the whole of civilization to bits, to turn society upside down, to bring peace to this war-torn world. But you read it as if it were just good literature, and nothing else.”

Instead, remembering that all Scripture is “inspired” by God (2 Timothy 3:16) can help us approach studying it with a sense of urgency. It can draw us to truly want to know what it teaches and to seek to carefully follow its instruction. That’s the attitude A-poe-la-pi exhibited—an example for us all to imitate.

Today, may we seek the wisdom found in Scripture and the God who inspired it.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Mark 4:1-29