The Holy Bible (God's Word)
by Lynette Schaefer
The more I read about or witness what's happening to Christians
in these last days before the Rapture, the more I cannot help but see that
there is a real crisis in Christianity in terms of last days apostasy, deception,
lukewarmness, worldliness, compromise, immorality, lack of wisdom and so
many other things. These spiritual conditions have many causes, to be sure.
But I believe one of the biggest reasons for this spiritual darkness is
because too many Christians are not spending any time or enough time in
the Word on a daily basis.
Here's what I mean. We allow Satan to make inroads into our
lives when we do not fortify ourselves with God's Word. We become vulnerable
to his attacks. 1 Pet. 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may
devour:" Ephesians 6: 11-18 advises us to "put on the whole armour
of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against
spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore
take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand
in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on
the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your
feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench
all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take
the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word
of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints". Here we see the vital importance
of protecting ourselves from Satan's lies and worldly deception through
the use of the various pieces of God's armour.
God intended for us to treat His Word with respect. That is
to seek it every day as our spiritual food. I would suspect that the vast
majority of us don't forget to eat physical food every day, right? So why
do we neglect the spiritual food? Jeremiah 15:16 says, "Thy words were
found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing
of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." Psalm
42:1 says, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth
my soul after thee, O God."
We need to yearn for God and to know Him. We know Him through
His Word. John 17:3 says, "And this is life eternal, that they might
know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
Here are some misconceptions or false excuses I hear for why
Christians don't read their Bibles:
1. I'm too busy and don't have time. Boy, isn't that
a lame one! Listen, all of us are "too busy", but are we too busy
to put God first? Priorities, folks, priorities!
2. I'm too tired to read. Yeah, but yet we're not too
tired to do other things, like watch TV until midnight. Another lame one!
Find a good time during the day when you're not tired (such as in the morning
or during lunch break) to spend 20 minutes in the Word.
3. That's for preachers and missionaries. Another cop-out.
Listen, God's Word is for ALL GOD'S CHILDREN! God intended for each of us
to learn to discipline ourselves a little each day so we can truly KNOW
4. I do devotionals every day. That's enough! Sorry,
but no it isn't. A few verses a day is not enough to sustain or grow in
our Walk with God. Why? Because God is so vast, and His ways are much higher
than our ways (Is. 55:9). We need to dig into the Book and take a big bite
out of it, not a puny nibble! If you're used to puny nibbles as your daily
spiritual diet, then at least start by reading a chapter or two.
5. I like to read some parts of it, but other parts I don't
relate to. Again, in being respectful of God's Word, we need to look
at it as the Whole Counsel of God. So then, why do we practice "Burger
King Theology" and pick and choose what we will read? We need to discipline
ourselves to read ALL OF IT, even the parts we have difficulty with. That's
how we learn.
There are many benefits to daily study of God's Word, which
are vital to Bible-believing Christians if we are to enjoy a satisfying
relationship with God and a quality Christian life. It might be wise to
study the passages below:
1. We discover the Mind and Heart of God more each day (John
2. We are comforted and encouraged (John 14:16)
3. We learn how to be discerning in many things and how to tell the Truth
from a lie (John 8:32; John 14:6)
4. Our faith is alive and meaningful (John 7:38)
5. We share our faith with others (Matt 28:18-20)
6. We are obedient to God's commands (Micah 6:8)
7. We have God's resources to draw from instead of our own human, bankrupt
resources (2 Cor. 3:5)
8. We can bask in the many promises of God (Jer. 29:11)
9. We know God's plan and purpose for our life and how we fit into it. (Is.
11:9; Hab. 2:14; Matt. 6:9-10)
10. God will be glorified by our desire to be close to Him and respectful
of His Word. (Psm. 42:1)
There are probably many other benefits I could list, but you
get the picture.
So, if we have been out of the habit of studying, how do we
cultivate good study habits? Here are some suggestions:
1. Start by opening the Word and meditating on what God
would reveal to you that day. Ask Him to speak to your heart.
2. Follow a yearly Bible reading plan and diligently stick
to it each day. It only takes about 20 minutes to a half-hour tops to
do the daily Bible readings, so if you're diligent and purposeful in your
reading, you can learn to get into the habit of reading every day as part
of your Christian walk. You can find a yearly reading plan either by going
to your local Christian bookstore to obtain one; you can go to a number
of websites on the Internet and do your daily reading (such as Crosswalk.com);
or, if you are "hands off", you can even purchase the whole Bible
on tapes or CD-Roms. Also, following a daily reading plan helps us in seeing
the continuity of each chapter as we continue to read.
3. Bible Study helps, such as concordances, lexicons, dictionaries,
etc. can aid us in searching for meanings in root words, original languages,
contexts or what is called "hermeneutics". Using these aids
can help us find out what God really means in a given passage. Any number
of these works can be found in Christian book stores. You can add these
study tools to your library, or you can now use the Internet to do the same
kind of research.
I can tell you from my own experience that I have been very blessed from
my many years of reading and studying God's Word. As a result of my studies,
I can truly say that I know God and He is AWESOME! For me, reading and studying
The Holy Scriptures daily is something I really want to do, instead of a
legalistic regimen I have to follow. And in these last days of Apostasy,
false gospels, lukewarm Christianity and Satan on the prowl, we need to
be very sharp in keeping these problems at bay. Very soon we will stand
before a Holy God and He will ask us how we treated His Word. What are we
going to tell Him?
Questions or coments? E-mail
the author, Lynette Schaefer