By Pastor Royston Smith
Instructions are a part of our daily lives. There is a manual for driving, cooking, gardening, sewing and for every other task imaginable. These instructions must be carefully followed in order to achieve the desired outcome – fellow DIY enthusiasts I feel your pain. Spiritual Growth is no different. God has given us the manual – the Holy Bible. Abraham Lincoln once remarked, “Take all that you can of this book upon reason, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a happier person.” The Bible must be read, lived and shared.
Manuals are often updated, and instructions are modified, but the word of God is timeless. The Bible provides insight into the life and character of Jesus Christ. As we read, Jesus becomes our focus. Reading the Bible daily is an excellent habit to develop. God’s promises of peace and contentment are found in His Word. In order to experience lasting peace, even in these times of uncertainty, God has given us the simple instruction: “Read and trust my word”. It gives hope, happiness and direction. King David said in Psalm 119: 105, “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” (Message Bible).
Eleanor Schmidt wrote in Reader’s Digest: ‘My doctor had recommended surgery and referred me to a specialist. Arriving early for my appointment, I found the door unlocked and the young surgeon, deeply engrossed in reading, behind the receptionist’s desk. When he didn’t hear me come in, I cleared my throat. Startled, he closed the book, which I recognised as a Bible. “Does reading the Bible help you before or after an operation?” I asked. My fears were dispelled by his soft, one-word answer: “During.”’ This surgeon knew the value of Bible reading.
The Bible calls for in-depth study. In Deuteronomy 6:6 ,7 (NIV) it says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” In order for God’s word to be such an integral part of our lives, it needs to be carefully studied. Understanding the Bible requires in-depth study. Pray sincerely and God will provide clarity.
Memorising scripture is a very good practice. As we repeat and meditate on God’s word, we enjoy a sense of peace. It empowers us to handle any challenge we face. Jesus our chief role model, read, lived and shared the Holy Scriptures ceaselessly. It was his ultimate source of inspiration and defence. When facing his chief enemy, Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4, KJV). Memorising the Holy Scriptures provided all Jesus needed to resist temptation. However spectacular Jesus’ miracles were, studying the scriptures was His priority.
The Bible has been compared to solid food, milk, water, honey, gold, a sword, an anchor, a mirror, a lamp and a light shining in the darkness. These different symbols demonstrate how applicable Scripture is to our daily lives. It provides nourishment, protection, guidance, security and it is priceless! The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV). Anyone who is serious about victorious living must read, study, memorise and meditate on God’s Word. Saturate your mind with God’s Word, for there is no other way.
Dear Lord, thank you for providing your Word. Help me to develop the habit of daily reading. Let me to follow its instructions. Lead me to a deeper spiritual experience as I grow to know you more. In Jesus’ name. Amen.