Christian, Thrive on Daily Bible Intake
There was a time when I regarded daily Bible reading like a healthy person popping a multi-purpose vitamin. Vitamins are beneficial, and my body is fueled through its nutrients. But if I skip taking them, my general health isn’t compromised.
Contrast this with regular, necessary injections of insulin for a Type 1 diabetic. Our son battles this debilitating disease. Without taking insulin to supply the hormone his pancreas stopped producing, his body cannot process glucose in order to live. Insulin is imperative for life. Vitamins are not.
The longer I walk with God, the more I realize how desperately I need the Word of God to perform the work of God in me. Without fully being able to grasp it, I’ve come to recognize the serious error of underestimating the power and necessity of Scripture for life.
There’s a vast difference in swallowing a vitamin for an occasional energy pep and ingesting God’s Word as my very life.
“For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess” (Deut. 32:47, emphasis added).
My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! (Ps. 119:25).
Five Reasons We Need God’s Word Every Day
Psalm 119 highlights the magnitude and beauty of God’s inspired, inerrant Word. The psalmist names myriad reasons why Christians thrive through this priceless gift. Here are my top five reasons why God’s Word is vital to daily health, happiness, and holiness:
1. I want to know God and love Him more (vv. 10, 15, 18, 41, 57, 68, 104, 135).
The secret of knowing and loving God is knowing and loving His Word. One never surpasses the other. Through the language of Scripture, God’s undying love for His Son is imparted to His children. In the process, there’s a beautiful chain reaction. Hearts are inflamed to love Him above all rival loves. Then, the outflow of God’s love in us activates affection for people who bear His image. Something is amiss in our love relationship if we say we love the Lord but only casually fellowship with the Author and Creator of life. I’ve been there. Want to love God more? Fall in love with His Word.
2. I was made to worship rightly (vv. 7, 37, 62, 97, 147, 162, 164, 171–172).
Like the psalmist, I beg God to deliver me from the worthless things of life that are so enticing. How easy it is to worship the good gifts of God and allow them to consume me . . . my family, my ministry, my home, my good health, my security. But I was created for much more. Worship—true worship—is being consumed (absorbed, engrossed) not by things, people, or circumstances, but by the Person who loves me and redeemed me. When I’m in awe of Jesus, the centerpiece of gospel grace, my tongue will sing and my lips will spout praise throughout the entire day. I will rise before dawn and again at midnight to pursue intimacy with my Savior. When we worship anything or anyone else, we’re choosing a sickly, dehydrated soul.
3. I need hope and peace (vv. 28, 43, 50, 52, 76, 81, 89, 116, 147, 160).
At its best, the world offers fleeting hope and short-lived peace. Temporary relief from the ravages of living in a sin-sick world soon take a backseat to the next tragedy or crisis. God’s blessed Word endures forever and possesses peace-giving properties. The psalmist brazenly states that for those who love the law “nothing can make them stumble.” In sorrow, there’s strength. In pain, there’s comfort. In trouble, there’s peace. In despair, there’s hope. Jesus Christ stands guard to shield my anxious heart from fear and hopelessness when I cling to God with the Bible in hand (Phil. 4:6–8).
4. The Bible is given to me so I can give it out (vv. 13, 46).
We’re living in days of gross Bible famine despite the unprecedented accessibility to God’s Word. The world needs to hear the real truth, and I must be ready to share it with humility and winsomeness. It was noted of Anna in Luke 2:38 that when she met Jesus, she spoke of Him to all who were waiting to hear good news. When our hearts are warmed to the gospel (Luke 24:32), we cannot help but tell anyone who will listen. Giving it away (sharing, telling, teaching, praying, encouraging, and exhorting) has the power to magnify it in my own heart and mind. But I cannot give something out that I do not first possess. If I get the Word of God in my heart, then I can give it out liberally.
5. The Bible shows me Jesus, the living Word.
Every page of Scripture is telling the grand story of Jesus. It sets the stage for His glorious appearing that brought our salvation, and it prepares us to anticipate the return of our blessed hope (Titus 2:11–14). Jesus, the radiance of God’s glory, is the full embodiment of truth. The more I look into His lovely face as I pour over each word of Scripture, I am swept up into the heavenlies. I am captivated. I am changed (2 Cor. 3:18). I am being fit for my destiny in heaven. Others may even be able to note that I’ve “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13), because I’m becoming a distinctly different person.
Pressing In . . . Even When I Don’t Feel Like It
I wouldn’t be honest if I gave the impression that there weren’t seasons when I’m nothing like the writer of Psalm 119. I don’t delight in God’s law as honey or fine gold. I lack energy, attention, desire, understanding, and time. The logical response might be to turn away and wait for the passion to return. But counterintuitively, I know the better choice is to press in rather than draw back. Eventually, the dam waters break, flooding my heart again with renewed love and zeal.
Long ago, I made a decision that daily Bible meditation and prayer is the one absolute need in my life—just like a diabetic who relies on insulin. After the decision to place my faith in Christ as Savior, it is the best decision I ever made. No regrets. The transforming blessings of daily fellowship with Jesus over the years are too many to count. But because of the Word, and through the Word, I can recount that Jesus has become my supreme treasure. So when the winds of spiritual dryness blow, I hunker down and pray for hunger after the very thing I need most . . . Jesus, the incarnate Word. He is truly my life.
Written by Leslie Bennett
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