“My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)
Hi Beloved! I hope that you are having a blessed week! Things are getting a bit cooler in my neck of the woods, so it’s time to swap out the A/C for the heater and bring out the sweaters and boots! The crisp air also drives folks to the fireplace with a cup of coffee (or tea) and a good book. So, I thought I would write about the importance of reading “The Good Book”, as the bible is called. 🙂
Beloved, how much of the bible would you say you’ve read? It can definitely take time to read. It has 1,189 chapters and it is an amazing story! I think this is an area where most Christians greatly differ. Some have read the bible cover to cover (perhaps even twice, I know people who have done it!). Others have read only the New Testament or only the Old Testament. Others have followed along with their church study group, read a random chapter here and there, or gave up after selecting the King James version and getting a headache after reading a verse like, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Pardon? Can you please repeat that one?
I fall somewhere in the middle. I haven’t read the entire bible. I have read the entire New Testament and am working on the Old Testament. Currently, I am reading 1 Samuel. Years ago, when I first started reading the bible, I started with Genesis 1:1. That works for some, but it didn’t work for me. I started to lose steam after a few chapters and stopped reading for a while. When I decided to get back to reading, I prayed about it first. I said, “Lord, I desperately want to read your word, but it can be so overwhelming! I don’t know where to start and sometimes it is hard for me to understand. Please give me wisdom and an open, hearing heart.”
When I prayed this prayer, I got the message to “see Jesus”. So, that is what I did. I went to the New Testament and I started reading all the chapters that had text in red. In most versions, the words of Jesus are in red. Reading about His grace and His miracles really motivated me. I started reading more and more and then I read the whole New Testament. I even started to truly understand and this kept me going!
Why is reading the bible so important? What are the benefits? Reading the word of God gives us hope, wisdom, strengthens our faith, improves our physical health and can be used as a weapon against the enemy.
Gives us hope: Romans 15:4 says, “For 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.” The word has many beautiful promises from God for both this life and after. When we read the word, our hope is renewed as we remember how much he loves us, that he will never leave us or forsake us, and that he is always on our side.
Gives us wisdom: 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” The word of God teaches us and trains us in the way we should go. It gives us knowledge and wisdom to see and understand things differently than the world.
Strengthens our faith: Romans 10:17 says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” When we keep hearing the word of the Lord, we are encouraged by stories of David, Elijah, Elisha, and the Apostles. We remember that we can accomplish all things through Christ who strengthens us!
For our physical health: Matthew 4:3 says, “The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Food alone cannot sustain us. The word of God is nourishment to our bodies. It’s life and health to our spirits and our flesh.
As a weapon: Esphesians 6:17 says, “..and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” When we know the promises of God, we can stand firm against the enemy’s attacks. He is the Father of Lies, but with the word of the Lord in our arsenal, we have the power to speak life and completely shut him down.
Beloved, I encourage you to increase your bible reading for the rest of this year. Make a commitment, through the end of 2019, to read more. If you aren’t reading it at all, start by reading ten minutes per day. If you are already reading 30 minutes, increase to 45. If you are reading an hour, increase by 15 minutes. If we focus on the word, I believe we will see miraculous things happen in our lives. Our long-awaited prayers will be answered, we will see healing, and any mountains in our lives, will become mole hills.
I’m going to challenge myself as well. I have been falling behind lately. I have a reminder on my phone that says, “Read Your Bible” everyday at 9:00 pm. Usually, I snooze it because I am “busy” and promise to get to it later. Sometimes, later never comes. Then the next morning, I think, “Well, I just didn’t have enough time yesterday”. But then I remember the 45 minutes I spent on YouTube…..oops. The truth is that there is always time! We can wake up a little earlier, spend a little less time on social media, or go to bed just a little bit later. Spending extra time with the Lord in prayer or in His word, is never time wasted and something you will never regret. If you don’t have a bible, download a free app. If you don’t know where to start, pray for wisdom. If you can’t quite understand the language, switch to a more modern version. So, are you with me!? Let’s do this!
Beloved, I am always here to pray with you, for you, or even just to chat! Please feel free to reach out at any time. Remember, you are deeply loved, richly blessed, and highly favored.
Jesus Loves You,