These instructions are not empty words — they are your life! — Deuteronomy 32:47
When I was younger, I saw the Bible as a book of rules, a long list of dos and don’ts. Although I was saved at a young age, my view on God’s love was severely skewed. I thought I was a “good” Christian if I did what God said, and “bad” when I failed.
During my first year in college, I was introduced to the concept of having a quiet time, a daily “appointment” with the Lord. I started reading Scripture, praying, and journaling regularly. As I did, the Bible became alive to me! No longer did I see it merely as a set of instructions; I began to view God’s Word as a powerful, life-changing letter of His love for me.
Now, more than twenty years later, I still start my day with the Lord. When I sit down to study the Bible and pray each morning, I know God is waiting. Words cannot express how special that time is. It truly is the best part of my day.
Do you want to know God in a deeper way and hear His voice more clearly? If so, make the commitment to become a student of His Word. Read the Bible every day, and let the Lord speak to your heart. Your joy will overflow as you think about God’s goodness. You’ll say along with the psalmist,
Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long. – Psalm 119:97
Why Should I Read the Bible?
The Bible is a sacred writing, a gift given to us by our Creator so we can know Him in a personal way. In his bestselling book Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Henry Blackaby says, “God speaks through a variety of means. In the present God primarily speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church.”
Although we can hear from God in a number of ways, we most clearly discern His voice through reading His Word. Tragically, though, this priceless treasure is often overlooked and undervalued. Instead of being opened with enthusiasm, the Bible often sits untouched on a shelf, collecting dust. Its pages remain in pristine condition, rather than worn and torn from frequent use.
If the Bible is supposed to be our handbook for holy living, why do so many believers neglect it?
Following are five of the most common reasons people give for not reading God’s Word on a regular basis.
• Excuse 1: “I don’t have time.” Truth: We’re all given twenty-four hours in each day. You do have time.
• Excuse 2: “It’s boring.” Truth: The Bible is anything but boring! It contains stories of miraculous healings, supernatural events, and people being raised from the dead. Pretty exciting stuff, if you ask me!
• Excuse 3: “I can’t understand it.” Truth: The Bible can be intimidating at times. It speaks of events that are unexplainable, in language that isn’t always easy to decipher. However, when you approach the study of God’s Word with a true desire to learn, the Lord will give you insight and understanding.
• Excuse 4: “It’s not relevant to my life.” Truth: Even though the Bible was written thousands of years ago, it still speaks to our circumstances today. Its truth is unchanging and eternal.
• Excuse 5: “I don’t get anything out of it.” Truth: To get something out of the Bible, you have to read it with an open mind and heart. You have to be willing to listen to what God is saying, then learn to apply His truth to the specific situations in your life.
If your relationship with the Lord seems stagnant, it’s probably because you aren’t increasing your knowledge of the Bible. You can’t grow closer to the Lord apart from his Word. Wayne Cordeiro, author of The Divine Mentor, makes this observation: “Neglecting devotions will cause you more problems, more quickly, than just about anything you can name.” He also says, “Spending unrushed time alone with God in His Word releases a fountain of refreshment from the very core of your being.”
It’s time to stop making excuses and start studying the Bible. The pages of Scripture have the power to transform your life.
This is what God’s Word can do:
• Save you.
Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. – James 1:21
• Help you grow in wisdom.
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey His commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise Him forever! – Psalm 111:10
• Teach you how to live.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
• Protect you from being deceived.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. – Colossians 2:8
• Develop your faith.
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. – Romans 10:17
• Keep you from sin.
I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. – Psalm 119:11
• Fill you with hope.
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. – Romans 15:4
• Bring you joy.
How I delight in Your commands! How I love them! – Psalm 119:47
• Give you peace.
Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble. – Psalm 119:165
• Prosper your life.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. – Joshua 1:8
Moses was a man who revered the Word of God. As leader of the Israelites, Moses devoted his life to instructing people in the Lord’s ways. When Moses was an old man and about to die, he gathered the Israelites together for his farewell address. He said,
Take to heart all the words of warning I have given you today. Pass them on as a command to your children so they will obey every word of these instructions. These instructions are not empty words — they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land you will occupy when you cross the Jordan River. – Deuteronomy 32:46-47
A person who is near death usually shifts his or her focus to what really matters. That’s exactly what Moses is doing here. He’s saying, “If you don’t remember anything I’ve taught you all these years, remember this.” He wants the Israelites to understand that nothing is more important than knowing God’s Word and living according to his commands. He also assures the people their obedience will result in God’s blessing. What was true then is still true today. Give yourself to diligent study of the Bible, and you’ll experience the victorious life God has for you and know his favor in a special way.
To love God is to love His Word. You can’t do one without the other.
Watch the Spiritually Strong Video
Excerpted with permission from Spiritually Strong: The Ultimate 6-Week Guide To Building Your Body And Soul by Kristen Feola, copyright Zondervan.
* * *
Are you ready to dig into Scripture like you never have before? Maybe you’re already reading every day but you hear God calling you to dig deeper. Maybe your Bible is dusty and you feel dusty, too. Maybe you’ve never cracked open a Bible before in your life. Today’s a brand new day full of new mercies and a new invitation from the Lord to meet Him in His Word, written for you, His very personal love story! Come join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear from you!