God is inexhaustibly rich, and His word is an expression of who He is. That’s why, although we posted Five Reasons to Read the Bible earlier this semester, we’re continuing here with five more reasons to read the Bible.
6. For enlivening: Sometimes we may feel full of spiritual life and have no problem loving and seeking the Lord. Other times we find ourselves in spiritual doldrums, adrift and struggling to go on. When we’re in such down situations, we can turn to God’s word for a breath of spiritual life. Psalm 119:50 says, “This is my comfort in my affliction, / That Your word has revived me and given me life.” Second Corinthians 3:6 tells us that there are two ways in which we can take God’s word: “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” We can come to the Bible as a book of precepts—rules and regulations—or we can approach it with an attitude of seeking after God. When we do the latter, we are enlivened: the Spirit gives life!
7. For washing: If you’re a believer, then you should know that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin (1 John 1:7). But Ephesians 5:26 speaks of an additional washing, telling us that Christ is preparing the church as His bride by “cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word.” As we read the Bible, the water of life in the word works within us to cleanse away every defect in our fallen, natural life and transform us to Christ’s glorious image (see v. 27).
8. To discern spirit from soul: We have decisions to make all the time in our daily life, both big and small, and as Christians we have a sincere desire to follow Christ and do what He wants us to do. We may have the habit of bringing our decisions to the Lord in prayer—that’s excellent. But sometimes, even after praying, we’re still not clear whether we’re inclined a certain way out of self-interest or because that’s the direction the Lord is leading us. The word of God can help! Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
9. For equipping: It’s normal after receiving the Lord to have a desire to serve Him. Just as a tradesman wouldn’t head off to work without being properly equipped with the skills and tools of his trade, we shouldn’t think that we can serve God without knowing His word. God’s word prepares and equips us. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (Actually, there are five reasons to read the Bible in these two verses…but maybe that’s a different blog post.)
10. For constitution: When we believe in the Lord Jesus, He comes into our spirit and regenerates it (gives it new birth) immediately (1 Pet. 1:3). And, at the Lord’s return, our body will be transfigured in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52). But in between these two events, the Lord works within us day by day (2 Cor. 4:16), little by little (Deut. 7:22), to transform us by His life (2 Cor. 3:18). As we contact the Lord through prayer and through His word day by day, we accumulate experiences of Christ, and these become our new makeup, our constitution.
In his book The Experience and Growth in Life, the 20th century expositor Witness Lee said, “We must realize that any time we spend with the Lord is never a waste. The more time we spend with the Lord, the more we learn, and the more a treasure is accumulated within our being. Therefore, we must continue to pursue the Lord according to a good routine….In spite of all our failures, we should still keep such a routine. This kind of exercise before the Lord will never be a waste.”
Be assured that any time you give to seek the Lord in His word is time well spent!