What are you reading? Textbooks for class? A friend’s blog? On line news, sports, or entertainment updates? Do you read for pleasure, comprehension, enrichment, or advancement?
What is your pattern for reading the Bible? A few verses a day? A chapter or more a day? Do you follow a Bible reading plan? Do you read through the Bible quarterly? Annually? You do not regularly read the Scriptures? You rarely open the Bible, even on Sunday?
If you compare what you read to how much of the Bible you take in, what would you find? I love to read because my parents modeled it on our home, but I have learned to make discriminating choices in how and what I read. Why? I am convinced the Bible is the most important book that I need to know and master while I am on earth. God wrote two books for the health and betterment of mankind: The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments and the book of Nature. Psalm 19 says the created order describes the character and work of God.
The Bible claims to be a “living and active” Book that give us the guidance we need to live lives that are pleasing to God (Hebrews 4:12). One reason we should read through the entire 66 books of the Bible is to become familiar with the treasure within its pages. Consider the following examples of the guidance and wisdom available in its pages for your growth and maturity.
- If you want to learn about God and His power: Genesis 1, Exodus 1-15, Isaiah 40
- If you want to know where the Ten Commandments are: Exodus 20
- If you are afraid: Psalm 27 and 139
- If you are facing tough circumstances: Psalm 23
- If you are feeling guilty: Psalm 51
- If you are happy: Psalm 99-101
- If you need help making decisions: Proverbs 3 and James 1
- If you are running from obedience from God: The Book of Jonah
- If you want to be sure of eternal life: John 3 and 1 John 5
- If you want to know what real love looks like: 1 Corinthians 13
- If you are thinking about death: 1 Corinthians 15
- If you need help fixing a broken relationship: The Book of Philemon
- If you wonder about holding steady amidst trials: James 1 and 1 Peter 4
Our spiritual life needs regular nourishment just as our physical bodies need rest, water, and food. When Jesus spent 40 days in the desert without food, the devil came to him and suggested, “If you are the Son of God, tell theses stones to become bread.” Jesus replied, ““Man does not live (or survive) on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). Like Jesus, we also need God’s “food” not just to survive, but to grow and thrive.
As you examine your reading pattern, what needs to change? What will you do to make reading the Bible a priority? How about a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year version? Download the YouVersion app for a variety of reading plans and challenges? Use an audible version to hear the Scriptures read to you? Ask a friend to be a reading partner for mutual encouragement? Read Psalm 119: 129-136 each day for the next week and reflect on it for a few minutes a day.
Grow devotionally. Be intentional about your Scripture intake. What you read matters to God.
Love is a verb,