Daily Bible Reading

Why should we read the Bible every day, with regularity? Because it is God’s Word and has power to change our lives by the power of His Spirit. It’s that simple.

Life becomes much more complex when we go after it on our own, when we don’t seek God daily. We can give it our best effort, then get discouraged when we fail, all apart from spending time with God. Then we are deceived by thinking it’s harder than it is, that God isn’t our help, when God has so much for us. But we must stay in the way of truth so He can lead us in the way to go.

This, of course, does not mean we will never struggle. Part of the Christian walk, as we see in the life of Paul, is the struggle of what our flesh wants and desires against what we desire to do as those who know Christ (Romans 7:14-25). There is a war within us it seems at times! As Jesus said when he found his disciples sleeping instead of praying, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” – Matthew 26:41.

But we begin to have victory when we know God’s Word, the Bible. Jesus gives us a solution in that same verse, Matthew 26:41, for when our flesh is weak: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” And Romans 8 tells us how to be free from this sin by not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit and setting our minds on things of the Spirit. We find these truths in God’s Word.

When we spend time in God’s Word, we find out about ourselves and our weaknesses, but we also find out about God who is our strength and gives us strength! We can be encouraged through our time in the Bible as we come to understand these things and how to live in a way that pleases God and blesses us for our joy and good!

When we don’t know the Bible, then when the world comes with its different messages – and it does! – those things can look and sound so appealing, and we may not be able to discern what the difference is, what the big deal is, why it matters, and how it is actually against God and his ways. This is not to be judgmental of the world – God will do that – but to be aware and alert and awake and sober and able to understand spiritual things. The temporary thrill of the world will not last, but sets people on a path to destruction. Don’t let the world or Satan rob and steal by believing these lies.

Remember that lies will always look and sound good – otherwise, how could they deceive us? Lies will also be subtle and not direct – because of their very nature as a lie, not as truth! Satan didn’t come right out and tell Eve to take and eat of the fruit so it could condemn all mankind and break her fellowship with God, right? Because if it’s obvious and direct, you will turn and run from it. Satan offered the subtle suggestion with this question, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'” So sin starts to creep in when we begin to question what God has said.

Then Satan lied with telling Eve something that sounded really wonderful: “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” And the Bible records the result. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” And we’ve been living in the devastating consequences ever since.

But when you are in the Word, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

So I encourage everyone I can to read the Bible every day. Even if it initially seems dry or boring, make it your practice, pray and ask God for help, and give it time. As I heard a lady (Nancy Guthrie) recently say, “Day by day, as I was in the Word, the Word did a work in me.” Our spiritual growth happens little by little as we continue in the Word. We grow more and more as we come to the table for this daily bread and eat of the food God has prepared for us in His Word. You will not be disappointed to spend time with the living God in His living Word each day. You will be rewarded.

Verse for the Day – Psalm 119:105

Yesterday I had lunch with a dear friend to celebrate a milestone birthday! During our conversation, she shared with me that she had just finished reading through the entire Bible for the first time in her life. I also had read through the Bible in a year during 2013 for the first time in my life, and it was so fun to share what we had learned. I loved listening to her takeaways, from thinking about the Babylonian captivity, seeing God as Sovereign Lord and the Lord of hosts, sharing about God who answers our cries, etc.

It was exciting to see again what time in God’s Word does for us. This verse came to mind this morning:

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 (ESV)

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and focused on God’s word, law, testimonies, etc. They are beautiful and life giving and light our way. Truly His Word does provide light to our paths and is a lamp to our feet giving us much-needed direction in our daily walks of faith and life.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please help us to prioritize time in your Word each day. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, showing us the way to go. Thank you for giving it to us and for the freedom we have to access it and read it here in our country. Let us not forget this gift and let us look for ways to give it to others and encourage others by it. Thank you that it is living and inspired, able to change us and guide us by the power of your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A New Year’s Resolution

The new year. A time to begin again. New hopes, new goals, new plans.

Yesterday, I turned the last page and closed the book it took me a year to read. The Bible.

I used the NIV One Year Chronological Bible. It was the first time I had ever read the Bible in a year, the completion of a goal I set for 2013. It was a blessing to see the full scope of God’s Word, how it all ties together. I encourage anyone to do this and take time to see what God has spoken to us through the Bible.

For those of us craving to hear from God, this is the place we find Him speaking. It’s worth the time to daily read, reflect, and pray.

I could come up with a whole list of goals and resolutions for 2014 (i.e., exercise, eat right, limit distractions such as social media, etc.). Perhaps like last year, though, I should pick one main thing and find joy at year’s end when it’s achieved. Instead of many resolutions that end up broken, I name one that is attainable and that can produce growth through that one action. And then commit it to the Lord, asking for His strength to do it, dedicating the new year to Him.

What are you resolving to do this year?