Read your Bible to grow. Anything that has been born must consume the right things to grow. No one grows without nutrients. I Peter 2:2 reads, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.” To grow there must be a desire for the Word. What kind of Bible student are you? Howard Hendricks says there are three types of Bible students.
- Castor Oil Bible Students – These people see the Word as bitter and they only read it when something is ailing them. They see it as something to be studied when it is convenient or they are desperate for answers.
- Shredded Wheat Bible Students – These people see the Word as nourishing but dry.
- Strawberries and Cream Bible Students – These people can’t get enough of the Word. They acquire a taste for it by continuing to feed on it.
Read your Bible so you can help others. We are all counselors – on some level. Most of us are going to be asked questions like, “What do you think I should do when ______________?” What will you tell a teeanger who comes to you and says, “My mom and dad are getting a divorce. Why me?” Or what will you say when a family member calls you and says your uncle is dying of cancer and wants to know what to say to him? How will you encourage and counsel those types of people? What words of encouragement will you share with friend at school who loses their brother in a war overseas? Let me tell you that the words of encouragement that people cling to during times of difficulty like that aren’t your clever thoughts you come up with, but God’s perfect, divine Words. Peter reminds us, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15). You must be able to articulate what you believe and the only way you do that is by reading the Bible.
Read your Bible to increase your joy. The happiest believers are the ones who spend time in the Word of God – “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). The Hebrew word for “blessed” can be translated “happy.” In other words, “Happy is the man who doesn’t listen the advice of evil men, but listens to what the Word of God tells him.” Happy is the man who meditates or studies the Word of God. And when believers are happy, they are content. They realize they need nothing else but God’s Word for satisfaction and joy. If you do not study the Bible, you will not be spiritually happy.
Read your Bible to enable you to have victory over sin. It has been rightly said that the Bible can keep you from sin or that sin will keep you from the Bible. One of the biggest reasons we don’t defeat sin is because we are using the wrong weapon – our own “strength.” What was the 1st thing that came to Jesus’ mind when He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan? Scripture. In the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-10), Jesus battled the temptation to sin by quoting Scripture to Himself. The psalmist reminds us, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9-11). How do you know something is sin? Because the Word of God says it is or isn’t. And how do you know if the Word of God says something is sin or not? By reading it.