Read, Reflect, Repeat
by Judi Clarke

Why We Need a Steady Intake of God’s Word

The Bible has many “nicknames.” It’s been called “The Good Book,” “The Book of Books,” life’s “Owner’s Manual,” and our “Sword” (from Ephesians 6:17). The Bible has been compared to food and bread and reading it to feasting and receiving our “daily bread.”

When Jesus endured Satan’s temptations in the wilderness, He quoted the Scripture in which God explained why He fed the Israelites with manna during their 40-year trek to the Promised Land:  We are not to live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (See Deuteronomy 8:3 and Matthew 4:1–4.) 

Life-giving words – that’s what the Bible is. 

A priceless gift

The Creator of all things, the One who designed each of us and the world we live in, has spoken to us. The Bible contains His words about life, who He is and who we are to Him. The Bible contains the secrets to living as spiritual beings in a tangible world. 

To be healthy, the body requires a regular intake of food, despite eating the day before. Likewise, spiritual health requires repeated “meals” of Scripture. We are forgetful people with an old nature set on our own ways and prone to listening to the wrong voices. (See Romans 7:14–25.) A daily, steady diet of God’s Word makes us spiritually strong.

A steady diet of God’s Word:

  • Keeps the best and most excellent things before our eyes
  • Prepares us to navigate life’s challenges
  • Keeps our ears tuned to His voice
  • Helps us experience what God has already given us
  • Equips us to help others
  • Increases our “big-picture” perspective of the Word and the world

 

Eyes set on the best things 

The Apostle Paul instructed us to think about the excellent, praiseworthy and lovely things in life. The Bible – full of God’s glory, beauty, goodness and love – certainly qualifies as such. The Bible is alive with the power to renew our minds and transform us. Reading it daily keeps us looking at God and seeing life through the lens of spiritual truth. (See Philippians 4:8, Hebrews 4:12, Romans 12:2 and John 17:17.)

Prepared to navigate life’s challenges

“Pre” means before. Being prepared is to be ready and equipped beforehand. Whether we’re soldiers training for battle or grandparents getting ready for a visit from the grandkids, we all prepare. Daily Bible reading prepares us spiritually.

We’re pre-ready for life’s surprises. Life throws surprises at us. Daily intake of God’s Word prepares us to face them with faith. It creates a storehouse of familiar Scripture ready to pop into our minds when we need it. Without this, we may falter, doubt, or spend hours in anxiety. Daily Bible reading pre-readies us for whatever lies ahead.

We have a guide for making decisions. Psalm 119:105 says God’s Word is like a lamp that lights our path. It shows us the way. Daily feeding on the Word develops a broader base of understanding of God’s will for us, which can make decision-making easier. 

We become trained to recognize truth from lies. The enemy does everything he can to make us stumble, and one of his trademark ways is through lies. Experts in identifying counterfeit currency were trained by studying the actual bills. Likewise, reading the Bible daily helps us spot the many lies clamoring after our belief.

We are armed to fight the enemy’s temptations. Jesus endured every one of the devil’s temptations by answering it with Scripture. When Satan tries to lure us into sin, large or small, having that stockpile of Scripture from our daily reading gives us ready weapons for the battle. (See Matthew 4: 1–11.) 

Ears tuned to God’s voice

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable. So says Paul in his second letter to Timothy. The Bible teaches, corrects, trains and even rebukes us (2 Timothy 3:16). The author of Hebrews says it judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12). God speaks to us personally through His Word. As we daily read it, we grow more familiar with His “voice.” When we hear something that doesn’t align with Scripture, we know it is not from God. 

Experience what God has given

Not many of us feel peaceful all day, every day, yet the Bible tells us Jesus already gave us His peace (John 14:27). Peter wrote that God has given us everything we need regarding life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Spending regular time in the Bible – reading, reflecting and re-reading – prompts us toward more consistent belief, allowing us to activate and experience what God has given us through His Spirit.

Equipped to help others

The Bible is full of encouragement and urges us to share it. It calls us to be ready to explain the hope we have in Jesus. It commands us to encourage and build up one another. It tells us to take the comfort God has given us and pass it on to others. (See 1 Peter 3:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and 2 Corinthians 1:3–4.) A steady diet of Bible reading fills us so that when we encounter others going through hard things, we know how to strengthen them.

Get the big picture

As we read the Bible day in and day out, year after year, we grow in our awareness that it is one cohesive communication. We learn to take confusing verses and hold them up to the remainder of Scripture for understanding. The Gospel message becomes clearer, and verses from Genesis to Revelation stand out for explaining it to non-Believers. We also gain awareness of “the big picture” – of this world, its events and the growing expression of evil – from God’s perspective. It assures us that He is in control, and we are secure as His children.

No matter what nickname we may use for the Bible, a steady diet of Scripture grows us into strong, mature Believers, resilient in trouble, steadfast in hope and able to serve others. “Faith comes by hearing,” Paul says, “and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV). Regularly feeding on the Scriptures fosters an ever-deepening trust in the Lord. And trusting Him, according to Jeremiah 17:7–8, makes us like trees planted by a river, with roots perpetually nourished by the water regardless of heat or drought.

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