Begin a practice that nourishes your spiritual life and makes you useful to God
Written by GodLife on 07/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Bible, Reading, Peace, Faith, Wisdom
Be like newborn babies who are thirsty for the pure spiritual milk that will help you grow and be saved.
1 Peter 2:2
When Peter compared the Bible to the milk which feeds a newborn baby, it was a picture we can all understand. Have you ever seen a baby hungry for food? Every attitude and action comes from intense desire. This is how God wants us to approach His Word.
But the Bible is a big book! It can’t be read in one sitting. How is a new follower of Jesus supposed to get the nourishment he or she needs for growth? Read on for practical encouragement to get you started on a lifetime of growth.
To Fuel Your Desire for God’s Word:
Think of the many benefits the Bible promises the reader. Within its pages, you can read the confirming stories from those who read and treasured it while it was still being written. They experienced:
Growing faith (Romans 10:17)
Clarity for knowing and following God’s will (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Knowing God’s character (John 1:18, 16:14)
Better insight into their own nature (Hebrews 4:12)
Instruction from the successes and failures of others (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11)
Increasing peace (Psalm 119:165)
Growth in purity (John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26)
Here’s How to Make Reading the Bible a Habit
First, know the benefits of doing this. (See the list above.) “By your teachings, Lord, I am warned; by obeying them, I am greatly rewarded.” (Psalm 19:11). Meditate on these things. Appreciate what is to be gained. Do you want to know God and experience His guidance? Do you want to be instructed in how to avoid pitfalls? Do you want purity, inspiration and peace? Committing yourself to daily time in the word is the first step toward making real gains in these important areas.
Go public with your commitment. Knowing your friends, your spouse, children or parents want you to succeed can make you rethink any thoughts of simply giving up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Set aside a time each day, in a quiet place where you can focus on the most important thing — hearing from God. (Luke 10:41-42) For many, that time is first thing in the morning.
Have a plan. (Proverbs 21:5) We already mentioned that the Bible is big: 66 books, with 1,189 chapters containing over 31,000 verses. It may seem too much at first, but it isn’t hard to manage with a good plan. And there are many good ones. For example, reading about three chapters a day will allow you to read the whole Bible in a year or you can read through the New Testament in a year if you read only about five minutes a day. Whatever you choose, make a decision to eventually get to it all. As Paul advised Timothy: “Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Take notes. (Jeremiah 30:2) If you had the opportunity to spend the day with an honored mentor, would you take a notebook with you? Of course. Why not make notes about what God shows you each day? If you do, you’ll get more lasting benefit out of it.
Don’t have an all-or-nothing attitude. (Matthew 21:28-31) Set modest goals, but take them seriously. Forgive yourself when you miss a goal, but don’t give up.
Physical growth can only happen when a child has plenty of nourishment. It’s the same with our spiritual lives. Followers of Jesus need a good diet of God’s Word. Otherwise, our spiritual lives begin to suffer. If you read the Bible and pray daily, you will be surprised by how much you grow in your knowledge of God and His will for you.
And just as activity as well as nourishment are necessary for healthy growth, Jesus challenges His followers, “You know these things, and God will bless you if you do them.” (John 13:17) It is when you put what He shows you into practice that “what you know about our Lord Jesus” makes your life “useful and meaningful.” (2 Peter 1:1-8)
Pray this week:
God, I thank You for these invitations to appreciate the value of Your Word. Please open new ways for me to consistently read it so that I can be more in step with You.
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