“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7
How often do you read the Bible? Do you set aside time each day to read the Bible or do the distractions of everyday life interfere with the attention you give to God’s Word?
As a new Christian, I realized the Bible was an important book to own, but a book I knew very little about. Yet, contained within its pages were words of hope, encouragement, and insight from my Heavenly Father to me––if I’d only taken the time to look. Little did I know, the answers to many of my questions and prayers were right within my reach –– right within its pages.
Why read and study the Bible?
#1 –– The first and most important reason to study God’s Word is to know God.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105 (NASB)
When we first surrender our lives to Christ and accept Him as Lord and Savior, our primary focus is often our eternal destination –– heaven. But, quite often, we stop after entering the door of salvation and neglect to realize there’s more to be explored, a transformed life to be lived –– if we would simply nurture and grow our personal relationship with God by reading and studying His Word.
I became a Christian as a teenager, but my closeness to God didn’t grow until just over 12 years ago when I was introduced to the in-depth study of His Word. Since that time, I’ve studied the Bible, book by book and gained a greater understanding of who God is, how deep His love and mercy run, and how He desires to be an integral part of my everyday life.
By nurturing our relationship with God, we establish a foundation that strengthens our ability to maintain a hopeful attitude and persevere in trying times.
Author and pastor Warren Wiersbe puts it this way,
“The better you know your Bible, the better you will know yourself and what God wants to do for you. Also, the better you will know your Savior and what he can do to help make you a conqueror. Your Bible is God’s gift to you (John 17:14) and, next to the gift of eternal life, it is the greatest gift you possess.”
Through the work of the Holy Spirit and our growth in the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, we are continually transformed into the women and men God calls us to be.
#2 –– The second reason to study God’s Word is for wisdom and guidance.
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
James 1:5 (NASB)
The Bible provides the single greatest source of wisdom and guidance for every life circumstance. I don’t know about you, but I have to begin each day with a healthy dose of wisdom from God’s Word just to keep me from veering off track and falling prey to the distractions of my busy lifestyle.
By beginning each day in God’s Word, we establish a foundation of hope, encouragement and truth that motivates us to fix our focus on glorifying God throughout our day.
#3 –– The third reason to study God’s Word is to protect our hearts and minds.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 (NASB)
By reading and studying God’s Word for daily inspiration and guidance, we are reminded how to live in such a manner that glorifies God and are strengthened to resist temptation and attacks from the Enemy.
Today, having studied, written, and taught an in-depth study of the Bible for more than a decade, I am convinced more than ever that it is impossible to fully embrace God’s character, love and protection if we don’t read, study, and strive to understand His Word on a regular basis.
How often do you read and study the Bible?
Warren W. Wiersbe, A Gallery of Grace, 12 New Testament Pictures of the Christian Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1988, 2002) 118.