Over the last week, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in Psalm 119. Reading it through slowly, taking notes and simply meditating on the words of the Psalmist. As a result, I’ve been reminded to persevere in the discipline of Bible reading.
I’m guessing many of you use a Bible reading plan and you may have started one in January. The New Year often stirs in us the desire to set goals for Bible reading. But then, around February or March, we lose our resolve and our daily reading becomes a chore. Why bother? Why persevere in plugging away to read the Bible? As I’ve been thinking about this, I’ve come up with a few good reasons to discipline yourself to read the Bible every day. Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m being legalistic, hear me out:
The Bible is filled with practical wisdom for your life. Life is complicated and you need wisdom. Right? God’s word, lights your path and gives direction both for daily decisions and long term planning. It provides wisdom for your profession, your family, your personal and spiritual life. The Psalmist writes, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). And, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).
As I look back on my journey of reading through God’s Word, I am astounded at the notes I’ve made in the margins, with dates, of times when I cried out to God for wisdom and He answered me through His Word. Honestly, if you need wisdom, there’s no better source! Human wisdom will eventually disappoint. God’s wisdom is a sure thing and the source of His wisdom is His word.
The Bible builds your faith in the goodness of God. It’s easy to doubt God’s goodness when life feels difficult. That’s quite normal. Reading your Bible on a regular basis re-establishes toppled over faith. (Romans 10:17).
When you read your Bible, I recommend reading with a pen and highlighter in hand. Mark verses that apply to your situation. If a verse echoes the cry of your heart, circle it and date it. Borrow the words for your own prayer life and then mark in the margin of your Bible how God answered. This discipline will pay off in the long haul. On days when you doubt God’s goodness, look back through the margins of your Bible and see the evidence of how He’s answered. It’s an amazing faith builder!
The Bible is God’s love letter to you. All of us long to feel loved, accepted and cherished. When you read your bible regularly, you’re reminded that God is passionately in love with you. He continually pursues your heart and loves spending time with you. Jeremiah 31:3, teaches that He has loved us with everlasting love. I John 3:1, teaches that God lavishes his love on us. When you’re experiencing rejection from others, it’s easy to feel you’re un-loveable. Nothing could be farther from the truth! God adores you. When you read your Bible you give His Spirit the opportunity to remind you!
The bottom line is this. We don’t read our Bible to earn grace from God. He’s accomplished that already through His Son, Jesus Christ. We read our Bibles to connect and invest in our friendship with God.
I’d love to hear from you on this topic. How has reading God’s Word given you wisdom, built your faith or increased your awareness of God’s love for you? What practices do you use to stay faithful at reading your Bible?
I find that reading my Bible on a consistent basis helps me to grow closer in relationship to God. If I spend time away from His Word, I sense more distance between my Lord and me, and that is not what either of us desires. To stay faithful and accountable, I have found that being part of a Bible study group has been very helpful; we are also able to have healthy discussions about Scripture passages and their application to our lives.
I agree that the Bible is filled with practical things to apply in our lives. I think that you can practically open up to any proverb or psalm and apply something new. I like reading it because the meaning changes depending on where I am in my life. This helps me feel like the Bible can apply to anything I am doing.