“If you abide in My word,” Jesus said, “you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”1 We all know that consistent time reading and meditating on God’s Word, along with prayer and hearing God’s still small voice, is critical to our spiritual health and fruitfulness. But sometimes we aren’t as consistent as we would like in doing those things. We skip our Bible reading, we hurry through prayer time, and we put off seeking God’s counsel on important matters.
How will reading God’s Word make your life better?
Food for spiritual strength and growth. Just as your body needs food to survive and grow strong, your spirit needs spiritual nourishment from God’s Word. This little analogy crops up repeatedly in both the Old and New Testaments:
A few years ago, it came to me that I had a superficial relationship with the Bible. I was a bit taken aback, since I had spent my entire life as a follower of the Bible. I knew many verses, stories, and interpretations like the back of my hand, but I realized there was a whole lot of stuff I had no idea about.
The first time I ever held a Bible was as a little girl sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. I opened the first pages and read until the story of Cain and Abel, the first murder in history. Oh, this is scary! thought my little grade school mind. Then as a teenager, I picked up the Bible again and decided to start from the end this time! So I began reading the book of Revelation. This is some really weird stuff! I thought, and once again, I closed the book, no more enlightened than I had been.
Recently I’ve been trying to read my Bible more. I’ve read through it cover to cover before, but something inspired me to read it again as part of a daily reading plan.
It was my Swiss Army knife.
You do well to take time with Me first thing in the morning, for without Me, you wouldn’t go far. I am wisdom, I am strength, and I am love.
As I told My disciples, you can find rest for your spirit and strength for the day in Me.1 It can be a temptation to carry on in your own energy rather than taking the time to pause and enter into the realm of My Spirit, but that’s not how you will be the most effective. I have promised to renew the strength of all those who wait on Me.
One day, while browsing in a bookshop, I came across an encyclopedia with a section of Bible-related articles. I was curious to see how a secular scholar might depict the great men and women of the Bible, so I began to read some of the short biographies—the prophets Daniel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah; King David; Samson; the apostles Matthew, Peter, and Paul.
A friend of mine asked the manager of a supermarket if he had ever cashed a bad check for a stranger. “No, I never did,” he said, “because I never look at the check—I look at the man. If I can trust the man, I take his check.” What a lesson in faith!
Four friends sit around the kitchen island. Each of us has jobs, schedules, responsibilities that pull us in different directions, and it isn’t often that we have the opportunity to hang out together. But on this evening we sit together and share life.
I thought I had my life together. I had a loving husband, four wonderful children, and a fulfilling life as an aid worker. We had moved to Indonesia to work with a sheltered workshop for disabled children under the sponsorship of the International Council on Social Welfare and were truly enjoying our experiences.
However, after the birth of my fifth child, things took a different turn. I began struggling with nightmares and depression that overshadowed every aspect of my life. Then my marriage fell apart.