The Importance of Reading Earnest(ly)

I tried to be creative/clever in that title, and I’m not quite sure it worked…oh well.

I’ll be honest: My Bible reading, over the last two years, has been embarrassingly awful. It’s been downright terrible. I was supposed to read Matthew in the month of January/early February this year. It’s August 21. I’m still in Matthew. Like I said…it’s embarrassing. I’m ashamed of how little I’ve read in the Word. Sure, I’ve read through the entire New Testament for class. I’ve read a few Old Testament books. But due to the fast-paced nature of classes, I’ve read through them the same way I read through CNN’s homepage: What’s happening; what do I need to know; OK, I’m done. I haven’t reflected like I should on what God is saying through His Word.

I must do better. And I’m writing this post because if you’re like me, I want to help both of us see the importance of reading God’s Word earnestly, zealously, daily.

The people I trust the most are the people I know the best. There are some people that I know, but that I’d never trust with anything significant, simply because I haven’t spent enough time with them.

So if we’re struggling to trust God, whatever that looks like for you, part of the answer lies in spending time with Him. How can we ever expect to trust someone that we don’t know? Read the Word.

We know that Jesus is Lord. By the grace of God, we’ve turned from following ourselves to follow Christ as Lord. We trust His wisdom and His authority.

But how will we learn what it means to live life in loving submission to Jesus if we don’t read the Word? Jesus instructs us on how to live a life pleasing to God in His Word. Read the Word.

We want to share our faith. After all, we know that it is through faith we enter into a saving relationship with God through Jesus. We want others to know what it means to put their faith in Jesus. We want to, as 1 Peter 3:15 says, be prepared to “make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”

But how can we show and teach someone else what the Word says if we aren’t in it ourselves? Read the Word.

We struggle to see the beauty of God, the glory of the gospel, and because we fail to see God as we should, we turn to other things. We fail to grasp how awesome God is. Why? Because we aren’t looking. We, I, get so distracted, by so many other things. But nothing holds a candle to the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The greatest Iron Bowl in history was played last November. But it doesn’t begin to compare to the indescribable glory and beauty of Christ on the cross for sinners. It doesn’t begin to compare to the joy of being in the presence of God, taking in all that He is, and resting in His love.

I make so many excuses. And in making excuses, I’m really making other “gods.” Because sin is not just the actions we take that dishonor God by disobeying Him (lust, selfishness, unrighteous anger). Sin is putting anything in the place of God that’s not Him, which extends to those good things we often turn to “God things.” This includes, on my part, things like: Social media, sports, miscellaneous entertainment, relaxing (which becomes laziness if we’re not careful), news, and the list goes on and on. Things that are not sinful in and of themselves. God has granted us the ability to communicate with people all around the world. He grants us times of relaxation and enjoyment of things like sports. We should be aware of what’s going on in our world. But when those things take up most of our time, most of our thoughts, and most of our affection–we’ve fallen into sin.

The God of the universe has spoken to us. We don’t have to wonder whether or not God has something to say to us. He’s given us the Bible to show us that He does. But we have to open it. We have to read it. We have to believe it. And we have to submit to it. Outside of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, I believe the Bible is the greatest gift God has given His people.

We have put our faith in Jesus for salvation. We are trusting Him to be Lord of our lives and lead us to joy in God and Christlike character as we live our lives for His glory. So let’s read His Word, see what He has for us, and trust that through the reading of His Word, we will be blessed, have a deeper faith, have a greater love and submission to Him, grow in our holiness, and be prepared to serve others and share our faith.

Lord, may we not forget the gift of your Word. May we read it daily. May our desire and hunger for your Word grow. Let us see you. We want to see you. Forgive us for not treasuring you and all your Word as we should. Thank you for the cross.

God bless,
Neal E.

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