Lighthouse at night

Read the Word! Part One

Read the Word!

Read the Bible

Maybe you’re wondering…what’s the big deal about the Bible? What makes it so special? Why should we bother to read it? This post covers just two of the many awesome things that happen to us when we spend time in God’s book. Read on to see what they are!

Knowing Him

Increasing in our knowledge of Him is the happy result of opening the pages of the book! O the joy of getting to know Him, to see His nature, His personality, His grace revealed.

Peter got it. In fact, he greeted his friends in the faith with this blessing:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

2 Peter 2:2

Peter understood how increasing in our knowledge of God (both heart-knowing and head-knowing) multiplies grace and peace in our lives. It really does!

Reading God’s words helps us to know Him better. To love Him more. Like lovers who want to spend more and more time together, followers of Christ are eager to know their Savior better, deeper, dearer.

In the Old Testament, and then again in the New, God revealed what He wants from His people more than anything. Do you know what it is?

He wants us to love Him.

Isn’t that beautiful? He wants us to love Him, with all of our selves. Our strength, our minds, our energies, our focus, our actions, our attitudes — the entirety of who we are. It’s the most important instruction, the greatest commandment. It’s what we do first: love God.

Sometimes people get this idea that God is just interested in us obeying lots of rules, and not having a good time, and being super rigid and strict. That’s too bad. Of course he has “rules”; of course he issues commands. Like any good father, He wants us to live within the confines of that which is best for us.

As we read His book, we find out that obedience to His directives is just another part of loving Him. But our obedience is not burdensome, because our primary motivation is meant to come from adoration, willing obedience — from love.

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

This is the first and greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40 (NIV)

Illuminating the Dark

Did you ever go inside a cave, or try to navigate a trail in the woods in the dead of night? Did you use a flashlight, or stumble along in the darkness?

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalms 119:105

I’ve done it both ways. One time my youngest child and I were up for adventure: we ventured into an enormous, dark cave. About halfway through, where we could see neither end of the spacious cavern we were traversing, we shut off our lights.

We stood in that chilly, black spot, waiting for our eyes to adjust to the blackness. They never did. There was no light. There was nothing to see–nothing to adjust to. At that moment we experienced utter darkness.

If we had tried to continue our journey without our lights, I’m not sure how long we might have stumbled along, before finding our way out.

But there was no need for that. After several minutes, we had experienced enough of the palpable darkness, and we switched on our lights. Zhamo!

Our lights penetrated that deep coal-black darkness, and our way out was easy; soon we emerged into the brightness of day.

Walk in the Light

Jesus is the Light. He is the Light of the world. He said so:

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”

John 8:12

We are naturally drawn to light. We bask in it; grow in it. By it we are changed: light shines into our darkness, illuminating the things that ought not to be. God knew that we would need the power of that illumination in our lives. And that brings us the long way round to the second awesome thing the power of the Word of God brings into the lives of those who read the Book.

Our Cleansing

God, through His Word, convicts us of the sin to which we all are prone.

Light is purifying. Have you ever put a dingy towel outside in the bright sunlight? After a while, the sun cleanses it, purifies it, and makes it shiny white again.

We humans can get pretty comfortable with our sin; in fact, without the Word and the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, it’s easy to not even notice just how much cleansing work needs to be done! But God knows, and He is faithful to reveal through His Word those things that we need to bring to Him, to emerge from out of the darkness, and into the light of Christ’s redemptive work.

Most of us are pros at justifying our besetting sins, those sins that entangle us so naturally. “That’s just the way I am!” we intone.

Thank God for His correction! Reading the Bible impacts us by convicting us, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, time in the Word can often lead us toward confession and repentance.

In this practice, we humbly present ourselves to God and to His cleansing work. We read a passage, and the Holy Spirit illumines the Word to us, and we stop short. Conviction. Confession. Repentance. Forgiveness. Cleansing. Restoration. Joy.

This is so powerful, and such a beautiful thing! God in His kindness and wisdom assists His beloved children in this ongoing purification, ever onward toward greater growth in Christ.

We need the purification which light brings. And He knows. He’s known it all along.

Good Reasons, Yes?

So those are just two reasons to spend time today with God, in His Word! We get to know Him. Then, coming with a humble heart, a teachable heart, one that is eager for correction and growth, He can do His cleansing work.

Want more reasons to get into the Bible? Head on over to Read the Bible! Part 2.