Q. What's the point in reading and studying the Bible every day? Shouldn't we work on how we act - not how we study? Shouldn't we work on being a Christian - not reading "about" being a Christian?
To Read&Study God's Thoughts
We live in a world ruled by Satan (1 Jn 5:19, Jn. 14:30). We live in bodies of flesh ruled by sin (Ro. 3:10-18, 5:12). Therefore, God tells us we need to constantly renew our minds and take every thought captive to Christ to counter negative forces within and without (Ro. 12:1, 2 Cor. 10:5).
To put it another way, we are genetic misfits tainted by evil - it's in our genes. So we desperately need to replace man's thoughts with God's thoughts. How do we do this? By reading the Bible daily, we study and read God's thoughts and replace our warped thinking with His Word.
Present Yourself Approved to God
2 Timothy 2:15 says that we must "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (NKJV).
Deuteronomy 17:18 tells the leader, "When he sits on the throne as king he must copy these laws on a scroll for himself in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep this copy of the law with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of this law. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way" (NLT).
This verse explains the following:
1. Read daily.
2. Reading helps us to fear (respect) God and to obey Him.
3. Daily reading prevents us from becoming proud and conceited.
Joshua 1:8 says we should "meditate on it (the Word) day and night…" To meditate means to think deeply about what you read.
The Word is with us Forever
Some verses tell us that the Bible will be with us forever:
"The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the Word of the Lord remains forever" (1 Peter 1:24-25, ESV).
"Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens" (Psalm 119:89).
"For You have magnified Your word above your name" (Psalm 138:2, NKJV). (Think about this - God esteems His Word even above His name)!
Finally, the Lord advises us that "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away" (Matthew 24:35, NASB).
We learn the Bible "precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little" (Isaiah 28:13, ESV).
This means that we learn by building upon one thing or concept after another. Reading through the Bible verse by verse is one way to do this. The popular One-Year Bibles present chapters from the Old and New Testaments arranged by date to enable readers to read through the Bible in one year. Or use bookmarks and read the Bible at your own pace.
For those who have difficulty reading there are weekly tapes available from Chuck Missler at Koinonia House, John MacArthur through Grace to You Ministries, Joyce Meyer at Enjoying Everyday Life, and other ministries. You have the world's finest scholars available to you. Chances are that your pastor records his sermons, too.
Memorize Rhema Verses to Change Your Life
Memorize Rhema verses to change your thoughts and your life. "Rhema" verses are passages that apply directly to you and your specific problems.
Yeshua used Rhema verses against Satan in Matthew chapter 4. For forty days and nights Jesus had eaten nothing and had become very tired and hungry. When the devil tried to tempt Him he fought back with his own "Rhema" verses noted in Matthew 4:4-10:
"People need more than bread for their life. They must feed on every word of God" (from Deuteronomy 8:3).
"The Scriptures also say, 'Do not test the Lord your God'" (from Deut. 6:16).
"Get out of here, Satan," Jesus told him. "For the Scriptures say, 'You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him'" (from Deut. 6:13).
How could our Lord have fought against Satan had He not read, studied, and memorized Scripture?
Reading the Word Transforms Lives
Therefore, we may conclude that working on "how we act" and on "being a Christian" comes through transformation and renewal of our minds through reading and studying the Bible. God makes it clear to us that His Word transforms our lives. As He says,
"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think" (Ro. 12:2, NLT).
Arthur, Kay. Precept Ministries International. Available from: www.precept.org.
Meyer, Joyce. Joyce Meyer Ministries. Available from: www.joycemeyer.org.
MacArthur, John. Grace to You Ministries. Available from: www.gty.org.
Missler, Chuck. Koinonia House. Available from: www.khouse.org.