God began speaking to man even before man existed. He revealed his words of Creation to us in Genesis 1 through Moses who wrote thousands of years later. Dozens of times the Bible says “God said…” The entire Bible is a revelation of God’s mind given through the Holy Spirit.
God’s word is truth. Jesus said so in John 17 as he prayed in Gethsemane (John 17:17). The Holy Scriptures are from God and are given by him to men so that those men might have truth (2 Timothy 3:16). Indeed, Paul’s statement to Timothy declares the usefulness of the Bible for a variety of uses including teaching and training. In a time such as ours when so little truth seems to be known, it is comforting to know that there is a place where real truth can be found.
The Elders at Eastern Shore have challenged us to read the Bible daily. They know the importance of Bible study and of a relationship with God based in the truth of his own words. But daily Bible reading is more than just checking off an item on a to-do list. When done well, daily Bible reading will almost always bring change into the life of the Christian.
You should approach your reading with the expectation that you will discover something you have not seen before. Some new application to your life can be uncovered; some new fact that gives deeper meaning to the Scripture. We have often said Scripture is like an onion. As you peel away layer after layer deeper meaning is found and understanding grows.
Begin your reading with preparation. An organized plan of reading is always useful. Tailor your reading plan to the needs in your life. For example, if you are striving for a deeper relationship with Jesus spend your time in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If you seek comfort or deliverance from trial you might read the Psalms. A desire to walk wisely is suited to a study of Proverbs or James. Whatever your need is it can be served through Scripture.
Part of preparation is having pen and paper nearby. Jot down questions you have or unknown words. These items provide a “hook” for future Bible study. Make use of Bible dictionaries or encyclopedias available in the library to complement your efforts.
Do your readings with dedication. Hopefully you are developing a lifelong practice of daily Bible reading. Some passages are more difficult than others and may require more time to unravel and appreciate than others but with dedication comes reward. A prospector panning for gold may come up empty many times before finding that small nugget. But his find is a great reward for his effort.
Expectation, preparation and dedication are the keys to this challenge set before us. Let’s all grow together!