“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
We should read and study the Bible because it is literally “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). In other words, it is God’s very words to us. There are so many thought provoking questions people have that God answers in Scripture. What is the purpose to life? Is there life after death? How do I get to heaven? Why do I struggle to do good? In addition to these “big” questions, the Bible gives practical advice in areas such as: How can I have a successful marriage? How can I be a good parent? What really matters in life? How can I handle the unfair circumstances and bad events of life? And how can I have victory over my appetites?
Most people would agree that the Bible is an indispensable tool for the Christian. Most Christians understand that it is both required and good for them. But unfortunately, we are so busy we have a tendency to put reading and studying the Bible on the back burner. This lands us in that strange place of knowing about, but not consistently taking advantage of a powerful tool in our walk with God.
Reading and studying the Bible helps us see beyond the attractive “bait” to the painful “hook” in the harmful appetites and cravings we all have. Experience is a great teacher, but when it comes to learning from wants and desires, it is often a very tough lesson. It is so much better to learn from other’s mistakes. One thing the Bible makes clear is that although the appetite is always for more, it never really does satisfy. Habakkuk 2:5 says the ungodly appetite is for more. “indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied…” Davids giving in to the temptation to commit adultery with Bathsheba reveals just how long-lasting and terrible the consequences of an appetite for pleasure can be (2 Samuel 11). We all know of examples in our own lives or the lives of others on how uncontrolled appetites never satisfy. You try to feed those appetites with more and more, but it is never enough.
You will not find the solutions you seek by reading the Bible; you read the Bible so it can be applied. The Bible is God’s Word. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough just how important the Bible is to our lives. Studying the Bible can be compared to mining for gold. If we make little effort and merely “sift through the pebbles in a stream,” we will only find a little gold dust. But the more we make an effort to really dig into it, the more reward we will gain for our effort. And the more our lives will be enriched.
- When studying the Bible, ask yourself these questions: When I do my personal Bible reading, I am going to regularly ask if God might be 1) teaching me something, 2) telling me to stop doing something I am doing, 3) correcting some wrong thinking or behavior, or 4) preparing me to live more effectively for him.
- What is a good amount of time to spend in the word each week?
- What do I need to change this week to spend more time in God’s word?