2002-06-28 - Staying in the Word
Encore from 1997-11-07
When we are struggling in our faith, or extremely busy, it is very tempting to stop reading the Bible on a consistent basis. After all, we may not feel we are getting anything out of it. We just don't feel like opening it. But a lesson most of us learned as children, and still learn as adults, is that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to or feel like. And there are consequences if we do not.
If we don't keep up with homework or study for tests, we might fail a course. If we don't pay our taxes, the IRS will find us and make us pay or charge us criminally. If we don't nurture a relationship, the relationship might die. There are consequences to not reading the Bible regularly, too; we just don't always readily see them. But they are there.
When we are having dry times in our faith, it is crucial that we read the Bible every day, especially when we do not feel like it. Otherwise, we drift farther from the Word and it drifts farther from our consciences, our hearts and minds. Also, I can tell you from personal experience, that even when I thought I wasn't getting something out of Bible-reading, I was. The effects may not show themselves immediately. But every time we read a verse from the Scriptures, it is pushed a little deeper into our hearts and minds.
And when our schedules are full, reading the Bible should be at the top of our "to-do" list. For one thing, it keeps us on focus. And there is never sufficient excuse to neglect the Bible.
Satan would be delighted for us to stop reading the Word when we don't feel like it. It fits right into his plan.
God wants us to delight in His word. We need to pray to Him to help us crave it.
(1 Pet 2:2 NNAS) Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.
We must read the Word every day. We will not grow close to God as long as we don't study His word, for He has provided this for our salvation and growth, and as a means for us to learn about His character -- as well as for encouragement, and helping us to live the life He wants us to live.
(2 Tim 3:16-17 NNAS) All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
God wants us to have abundant life. He wants us to have a joyful life.
(John 10:10 NNAS) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
We will never have the abundant life or the joy that God wants for us, if we do not digest His word on a consistent basis.
In summary, no matter what our spiritual state, nor the state of our schedule, we need to pray and study God's Word often. We need to associate with Christians who are strong in their faith. There is also much benefit from reading the testimony of such Christians, and from writing a journal during our struggles.
Dear Lord, help us to crave Your word, and may study of it become a natural part of our everyday lives.