How will reading God’s Word make your life better? You’ll be surprised!
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 pops up repeatedly in both the Old and New Testaments:
When Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,’” He was quoting Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3)
Job declared in his time of suffering, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12)
In Psalm 119–which, incidentally, is the longest chapter in the Bible and all about the importance of the Word–King David said to the Lord, “How sweet are Your Words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
The prophet Jeremiah said, “Your Words were found, and I ate them, and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” (Jeremiah 15:16)
The apostle Peter, writing to new Christians, admonished them to “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby.” (1 Peter 2:2)
A deeper relationship with Jesus and God.
When you received Jesus into your heart, you began a wonderful and fulfilling personal relationship with Him. He wants to be your Best Friend, Counselor, Teacher, Guide, and much more! The way to get to know Him better is through His Word. The Gospels, especially, reveal His nature, His personality, His power, and His love.
God wants His relationship with you to be a two-way, give-and-take affair. It is through reading the Word that you will find out not only what God has for you, but also what He would like from you.
Think of His Words as personal love letters from the One who knows and cares about you more than any other can. Someone once said, “In God’s creation we see His hand, but in His Word we see His heart.”
Truth and freedom.
It seems that everywhere you look today, someone is marketing “the truth” in the form of some new book, program, or product. Who are you supposed to believe-and how much will it cost you?
Well, Jesus has the real article. “If you abide in My Word,” He promises, “you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
You can rest assured that everything you read in the Bible is the truth. It’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Become familiar with its precepts, and you will have a standard by which you can measure all things. God’s Spirit through His Word will help you discern what is true and what is false.
Faith isn’t something you can try to have. It comes by hearing-or reading–the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) You have faith because you’re full of the Word of God. If you’re weak in faith, it’s because you’re weak in the Word. But the more you read and study the Word with an open mind and receptive heart, the more your faith will grow; it’s an automatic process. It’s that simple and that sure!
True happiness comes from following Jesus’ loving example, and you know how to do that from His Word. Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:10-11)
Contentment and peace of mind.
By studying God’s Word, you will come to understand His loving ways. This will give you faith that whatever your circumstances may be, He is in control and He has your best interests at heart. “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.” (Job 22:21) What greater peace of mind could you ask for than that which comes from knowing that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”? (Romans 8:28) When disappointments, obstacles, and setbacks wear on you, taking a little time to read from God’s Word will put things back in proper perspective.
Answers to your problems and questions.
When you’ve got questions, the Lord has answers, and when you have problems, He has solutions.-And they’re all in His Word! By reading God’s recorded Word or hearing Him speak to your heart personally-His spoken Word-you can find the answer to every question and every problem that you’ll ever have. When you are faced with a problem or difficult decision, look for the answer in a similar situation in the Word. Once you become familiar with the spiritual principles, divine wisdom, and practical counsel that are in the written Word, you will find that the Lord will show you how to apply it to questions and problems that come up in your own life. His Word will be like a light, illuminating the path ahead of you. (Psalm 119:105)
Finding God’s will.
God has a plan for your life. He knows what’s best for you and He always chooses what’s best for you, so if you can just learn to let Him direct your decisions, everything will work out great in the end. It sounds simple enough, but how do you find out what is God’s best for you in a particular situation? How do you find “God’s will”?
The Word is the known, sure, absolute, revealed will of God. So when you’re faced with a decision, look at all He’s said before. Pattern your decision on a similar situation in the Word, or on the foundation principles of God’s Word. When He shows you what to do right from His own Book and you follow it, you can’t go wrong. You can also ask God to speak to your own heart directly and show you what His will is for you in that particular situation.
God’s Word also has the power to change the way you see life’s problems. It will cause you to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove [know] what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Models for godly living.
The Bible is full of stories about otherwise ordinary men and women whose faith and love for God saw them through thick and thin, and made them great in His eyes. Much can be learned and much strength can be drawn from their examples. There are also many faith-building accounts of God’s love and care for His children, His protection, and His supply of their every need, as well as examples of what not to do and the consequences of violating His spiritual principles. “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition,” (1 Corinthians 10:11) and “whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
God’s promises and power at your disposal.
The Bible is full of promises that God has made to man-promises that He wants us to apply practically. Some of His promises are universal, like: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13) Others were originally made to certain individuals or groups, like “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14) –a promise that Jesus first made to His twelve disciples.
But God’s promises were not given solely for the sake of the original hearers. They are for anyone who has faith enough to believe that God will be true to His word-including you! God means exactly what He has promised, and He will fulfill His promises to the very letter if you will reach out with the hand of faith and claim them in a definite manner.
As you become more familiar with God’s Word, you will learn to recognize His promises and claim them as your own. When you do that, it shows you have faith. It’s a positive declaration of your faith and knowledge of the Word which pleases God and sets His power in motion to answer your prayers.
It is difficult to follow Christ’s injunction to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39) when your neighbors–or those you interact with on a regular basis–are sometimes the most difficult people to get along with, much less love. Where do you find the “Christian grace” to overlook the overbearing boss, the jealous co-worker, the noisy parties next door, or worse-and to love as Jesus loved? Only in God’s Word! “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble”–or “nothing shall offend them,” as it is translated in the King James Version. (Psalm 119:165) As you read and study God’s Word, you’ll acquire more and more of His Spirit and love, and that will help you be more understanding, compassionate, and tolerant toward others.
Many people struggle through life needlessly, when only a little more time spent with God’s Word would bring the peace, faith, and happiness they seek.
Do you feed your body but starve your soul?
You could feed your body and lose your soul, like the man in the Bible who stuffed his barns full of grain, only to have God say to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” ( Luke 12:16-21 NIV)
Having a full stomach and a full purse and a full head cannot give you a full heart. If you put the desires of the flesh above the needs of your spirit, then you will find that nothing ever satisfies. You will become as the world-famed poet, Lord Byron, when he despaired at the height of his fame, “I have drunk of every fount of pleasure and quaffed every cup of fame, yet, alas, I die of thirst!”
Just like you have to eat in order to have physical strength, you have to feed from the Word to have spiritual strength. You’ve got to feed your soul or you will never fully develop or mature spiritually. And if you really want to grow in spirit you will feed from the Word every day!
“Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16) with the life-giving nourishment of His Words. Is yours?
If your faith is founded on solid fact, God’s Word, it doesn’t really matter how you feel. God’s Word is still just as effective and unchanging regardless of your feelings. It is your faith in the Word that counts, and that’s what will pull you through in times of severe trials or tests-like the message of the old Sunday school song about three men on a wall:
Three men were walking on a wall:
Feeling, Faith and Fact.
Feeling took an awful fall.
Faith was taken aback.
Only Fact remained,
So Fact pulled up Faith,
And Faith pulled up Feeling,
And they walked on the wall again.
The Word of God is the foundation of faith!
How do you get faith? It is a gift of God and it’s available to you or anyone else who wants it. The problem is, people don’t usually want it until they need it, and then they suddenly find they don’t have the faith they need because they have no background of faith or trusting God’s Word-no foundation. After all, how can they have faith in something they know little or nothing about?
Just as no good building is without a good foundation, there is no faith without the Word, because faith in God is built on His Word. So if you feel like you’re weak in faith, there’s a simple cure: God’s Word will increase your faith.
Faith comes, it grows, by hearing the Word of God. As you faithfully read and study the Word, as you meditate on it and even memorize it, every word will inspire, strengthen, and increase your faith. Fill your mind and heart with positive, encouraging, strengthening, faith-building thoughts from His Word, and you’ll soon be amazed at the faith you’ll have-true faith, the kind that can stand any test, the kind that works miracles, and the kind that lasts, built on the solid-rock foundation of His truth!
Charles never stopped worrying. He worried every time he thought about the rent. He worried for his children’s safety every time he sent them off to school. Concerns about his business kept his stomach in knots. If he thought of something he wasn’t worried about, then he worried why not!
One day he confided in his friend Bruce, “I just can’t stop worrying. It consumes me day and night. I don’t sleep well for fear of what the morning may bring, then all day long I fret about this and that. I wish there was some cure for worrying!”
Bruce thought for a moment, then took Charles to look at a large painting that hung in Bruce’s office. The painting depicted a raging storm, with dark and turbulent skies. Everything about the picture was gloomy, violent, and destructive-except for one thing. In the foreground was a white lily that seemed to be totally unaffected by the storm. There it stood, in total peace, with not a single petal out of place. The reason was not immediately apparent, but upon closer examination Charles saw that there was a glass jar over the lily, which protected it from the stormy gusts and torrential rain.
“This,” said Bruce, “is the protection of faith which comes from God’s Word. The storms of life may beat about us ferociously, the rain may come down like a flood, but because of one thing we are safe-faith in the Word of God. If this lily had eyes to see the storm and ears to hear the wind and the rain, it could still rest in peace, knowing that God is in control. The lily, though small and frail on its own, is at peace because the glass shields it from harm.”
Then Bruce picked up a Bible from his desk and handed it to Charles. “This is the source of peace. Read it for a few minutes each day, and you will soon find a protective bubble of faith to retreat to when the winds of adversity blow and the storms of life come. Faith will remind you that you are in the hands of God, who cares for and lovingly protects His children.”
Why waste time on complicated, confused theories and thoughts of man, when the Bible is right there, so simple, direct and to the point?
A young man once visited an elderly friend. While she was in the kitchen fixing him some tea, he picked up her well-worn Bible and was rather absent-mindedly flipping through its pages when he noticed here and there in the margin two letters-T.P. When his friend came with the tea he said, “I was enjoying looking at your Bible, but what do these letters that you have written in so many places mean? T.P.-and here it is again, T.P.- and here.”
“Oh,” she said, “that means ‘tried and proven.’ In some time of need I have claimed each of those promises as my very own. They are the ones that I have tried and proven true.”
-Virginia Brandt Berg (V.B.B.), adapted
God’s Word and His guarantees have no restrictions, no limitations, no qualifications except our faith.
God’s promises are like life preservers: They keep the soul from sinking in the sea of trouble.
God never promises more than He is able to perform.
God’s promises are like the stars-the darker the night the brighter they shine.
The promises of God are the currency of Heaven: If you’ve got a lot of verses in your heart, you’re really rich! You can cash them in at the bank of Heaven and get back answers!
You should no more try to find your own way through life than you should try to take a trip without a map.
While traveling along a road, you can only see what’s around you moment by moment. But if you’ll look at the map and have faith in it, you can also see where the road came from, regardless of where you started out yourself. And even if you’ve never been to your final destination or traveled that road before, you can know where the road ends. But if you don’t take time to study the map, you could waste an awful lot of time or maybe even ruin your chances of getting to your destination at all!
Just as you must look at the map, believe it’s true and follow it to get where you’re going, if you will read God’s Word, believe that it is for you and follow it, you’ll come out at Heaven. Absolutely! Without fail!
Just follow the Map Book and you’ll know where you’re going. God can see it all! He not only knows where you are right now and where you came from, your past, but He knows where you’re going, too!
Secret of success…
“His delight is in the [Word] of the Lord, and in His [Word] he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”
-Psalm 1:2-3 (See also Joshua 1:8.)