Most Christians have been taught to culture a daily devotional time consisting of Bible reading and personal prayer. In order for them to accomplish this task more effectively, they should have a Bible-reading plan and a prayer list. Or something like that. Right?
“What’s wrong with that?” you might ask. And, for the record, my short answer would be, “Nothing.”
But it is relatively easy and subtly dangerous to systematize one’s approach to fellowshipping with the Lord. Indeed, if we are not careful, He will become little more than the aggregate of line items we check off before we embark upon our real life day.
Would it surprise you if I told you that the Bible contains no direct command for a person to read it? Pretty shocking, huh? What are we to make of that? Does that mean we can lay the Bible aside and pick up the remote control? Is the Bible less important than we’ve claimed it to be? Should we read it?
The point is that reading the Bible is assumed within the context of the much more important ways by which we should be related to it. Get the idea? Essentially we disesteem the Bible when we merely read it.
Its truth must be digested in thoughtful meditation. Its validity must be demonstrated through faithful obedience. Its message must be propagated through ongoing communication. Its transforming power must be experienced by a humble submission to it.
Unwisely we often make the Bible an end in itself. It is not an end. It is the revelation of our wonderful God! It is a supernatural resource by which we may know Jesus Christ and partake of His divine nature.
Don’t be guilty of simply reading the Bible. Mine its pages to discover the treasures of God’s character. Search its contents for the mind-transforming truths it contains. Study its words. Insert yourself into its narrative. Dig. Memorize. Apply. Consider.
Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly!
So go ahead and read a novel. Read the newspaper. Read another blog or two. But when it comes to the Word of God, don’t just read it. Discover truth. Experience God!