This study you’re embarking on is all about learning to base and build our lives on the Word of life! You see, the Bible is the primary way God has chosen to reveal Himself to us. It’s the chief vehicle He uses to tell us who He is and to explain His heart, mind, character, nature, and will. I’ve heard it said before that when you engage with Scripture, not only are you reading the Bible, but the Bible is reading you! That’s why Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) tells us, "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Over and over, Jesus tells us if we know Him then we know God and have seen God. And the primary way we get to know Jesus is through the Bible. It’s His powerful, authoritative, enlightening, and life-changing self-expression. It’s the very breath of God on each page! Second Timothy 3:16–17 (NIV, emphasis added) declares, “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.”
In the same way that time spent and communication with my wife is essential for me to know her, so it is with the Bible as it pertains to knowing the Lord! My friends, without true devotion to the Bible, we will quickly lose sight of the true, genuine gospel of and of the real Jesus! Without hiding His Word in our hearts, we won’t be able to recognize His voice when He speaks!
It’s truly a remarkable thing, an incomprehensible gift from the Lord, that we even have a Bible we can read whenever we want! It’s a blessing beyond my ability to express it to you. Consider that for almost all of human history, dating back to the Old Testament and through most of church history up until a few centuries ago, and even today in many places around the world, Christians have not had their own personal copies of the Bible. They had to come together to hear someone read it to them. Some didn’t have a copy to read, but had to recite it from their memories: rabbis, scholars, priests, and Pharisees would literally memorize the Torah, the first five books of the Bible! It really puts Paul’s instruction in 1 Timothy 4:13 (NIV) to “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” into perspective, doesn’t it? Because the public reading of Scripture was all most believers had since the dawn of the Church!
But now, we have printed Bibles and Bible apps at our disposal. In fact, many of us have various Bibles in our homes and maybe even one or two different Bible apps on our phones and tablets. We have priceless access to God’s living Word and, sadly, we so frequently neglect it. I did a quick count, and found 14 Bibles in my house, and I’m pretty sure I have around five or six in my office, and three different Bible apps. And yet, despite having the Bible so readily at my disposal, despite how much I love the Word and try to engage with it in some capacity daily, I still take it for granted.
I pray that whatever season you find yourself in right now, that this study would inspire you to invest time into your relationship with Jesus; into a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with Him. I pray that you would soak your life more deeply in the voice of God that is revealed to us through the Word of God, by the Spirit of God. I pray we would no longer take His Word for granted, and instead develop a more profound love for it.
So, what does this look like practically? Well, there are a few time-tested, foundational practices that have helped strengthen many believers’ relationship with the Lord. And tomorrow we’re going to discuss where everyone should start!