I want to take a few minutes to emphasize the importance of spending time in God’s Word. From the time that we become Christians we hear people telling us to read the Bible. But what we often do not hear is the reasons why reading God’s Word is so important. So, I want to outline four reasons why every believer should spend time in the Word on a regular basis:
The first reason that we should be in the Word is to get an accurate understanding of God. The Bible is God’s revelation to mankind. God desires to communicate with us, and the primary way that He does it is through His Word. When we read the Bible we should ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us and open up our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Reading the Bible is not an end in itself; it should lead us into deeper knowledge of God, and should draw us into a closer intimacy with Him.
The Word of God is compared to milk (1 Peter 2:2), bread (Matthew 4:4), and solid food (Hebrews 5:12). The analogy is clear: the Word is to our spirit what food is to our body. How healthy would you be physically if you ate food the same way that you read the Bible? If we want to grow and be nourished spiritually we must spend time in the Word. A sermon on Sunday is not enough…try eating once a week and see how your body would react!
In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus tells the story of a wise man who built his house on the rock, and a foolish man who built his house on the sand. In the story, the wise man represents the person who hears the Word and obeys it, while the foolish man hears the Word and does not obey it. God’s Word is meant to be a solid foundation upon which to build our lives. When our lives our built upon the rock of the Word (by hearing and obeying) we will be able to withstand the storms of life and will not succumb to the various “winds of doctrine” floating around that seek to derail us.
When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, he answered all three temptations by saying “It is written” and then quoting a Scripture. This is the same way that we can overcome temptation, by using the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (see Ephesians 6:17). But how can we use God’s Word like a sword if we do not know it? We must hide the Word in our hearts, so that when the time of temptation comes we can use it as a weapon against the enemy.
I could name other reasons why it is important to read the Bible. But the main point I want to make is that it is not out of legalistic duty that we are supposed to read the Bible, but because our spiritual lives depend on it. We need the Word! “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). I encourage you to take time every day to meditate on God’s Word.