Anyone considering the Bible in an objective way would conclude it’s an extraordinary book. It’s filled with fascinating stories and the riveting history of God’s people over many centuries. It also contains deeply moving poetry, words that are a source of profound comfort and wisdom, and passages that convey the highest standard of ethics and morality.
This is reason enough for anyone to read the Bible.
But we believers treasure the Bible for much more than those qualities alone. We treasure it as the very speaking of God.
In this post, we’ll discuss just seven of the many wonderful ways we benefit from reading the Bible. We’ll look at key verses and notes from the Recovery Version that present compelling reasons to read God’s Word regularly throughout our entire Christian life.
1. The Bible nourishes us
By reading the Bible, we’re inwardly fed.
Just as a baby’s primary need is to eat, not to be taught, we children of God primarily need to be spiritually nourished rather than to learn many doctrines from the Bible. God gave us the Bible to feed us.
First Peter 2:2 says:
“As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation.”
God’s Word is guileless milk, our spiritual food, to nourish us. By being nourished, we grow as the life of God increases in us.
In Matthew 4:4, the Lord Jesus said:
“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.”
As a man on earth, Jesus lived this way, and He’s our excellent pattern. We need to live not just on physical food alone, but on the Word of God. This is how our inner hunger will be satisfied and we’ll be strengthened to live the Christian life, growing in the life of God.
2. The Bible gives us light
Have you ever had to walk somewhere at night when it was pitch black outside? Most of us would probably take along a flashlight so we could see where we’re walking. Otherwise, we could easily trip over something or lose our way.
Even though we’re saved, we’re still surrounded by the darkness of this age. Many things can cause us to stumble in our Christian walk or leave the path of following the Lord. How can we know which way to go? In the midst of so much darkness, we need divine light.
The Bible is that divine light. Psalm 119:105 says:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Every day we need the Word of God to be our lamp and light to direct our walk and show us God’s way.
Second Peter 1:19 also says God’s Word is a lamp to us:
“And we have the prophetic word made more firm, to which you do well to give heed as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
Note 2 on lamp in the New Testament Recovery Version provides helpful insight:
“Peter likened the word of prophecy in the Scripture to a lamp shining in a dark place. This indicates that (1) this age is a dark place in the dark night (Rom. 13:12), and all the people of this world are moving and acting in darkness; and (2) the prophetic word of the Scripture, as the shining lamp to the believers, conveys spiritual light that shines in their darkness (not merely knowledge in letters for their mental apprehension), guiding them to enter into a bright day, even to pass through the dark night until the day of the Lord’s appearing dawns. Before the Lord as the sunlight appears, we need this word as light to shine over our footsteps.”
People in the world are moving and acting in darkness. We see this in all parts of society, all over the globe. How can we not lose our way? God has given us a wonderful provision: the Scriptures.
Daily we need to read the Bible so it can shine on us as divine light, saving us from moving and acting in darkness. While we wait for the Lord’s second appearing, we need to read the Bible every day so it can shine on us and light our way until the day dawns.
3. The Bible waters us
Have you ever noticed how green and fresh plants are after it rains? That’s because rain gives them a much-needed bath, washing away the dust, dirt, and debris that has accumulated. It also clears out the minute pores on a plant’s leaves, improving its ability to take in nutrients. And rain also contains certain nutrients plants need to thrive. It’s no wonder plants are revitalized after a rain shower.
Dew is also beneficial to plants. It forms a protective barrier on a plant’s leaves so the plant can retain more moisture in its cells. And in a hot environment, dew cools the plant down to reduce heat stress.
What does this have to do with reading the Bible? Well, did you know we believers are likened to plants? Colossians 2:7 says:
“Having been rooted and being built up in Him.”
And did you know that God’s Word is the heavenly water we need?
Deuteronomy 32:1-2 says:
“Give ear, O heaven, and let me speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop like the rain; let my speech distill like the dew, like raindrops upon tender grass, and like abundant showers upon herbage.”
God’s Word is like heavenly rain, dew, and abundant showers to us.
Sometimes as we read the Bible, we have a sensation that God’s Word is like rain, washing off the dirt of the world we’ve accumulated in our daily life. As we read, we’re revitalized, and our hearts, like a plant’s pores, are opened anew to Him. At the same time, the spiritual nutrients in His Word are conveyed to us in a refreshing way.
And sometimes reading the Bible is like being moistened by gentle morning dew. When we first come to the Lord, we may feel as if we’re totally dry. For instance, our difficult job situation may be a “hot” environment to us that stresses us out. But the words of the Bible water us in our parched condition, soothing and cooling us down like dew.
Whether we experience it as rain, dew, or abundant showers, God’s Word is our heavenly water. It refreshes, invigorates, and renews us.
4. The Bible is God’s way of speaking to us
God wants to speak to each one of us personally. But what is that like?
God doesn’t speak to us in a supernatural or spectacular way. He speaks to us directly and clearly in the words of the Bible. Second Timothy 3:16 says:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
When we read the Scriptures, God speaks to us. Many times we’re taught, convicted, corrected, or instructed, not by the black and white letters on the page, but by God speaking to us through those words in a personal and direct way.
For instance, as we read the ten commandments in Exodus 20, we’re convicted in our conscience, and we realize we fall short before God in many areas of our lives. That sense of conviction comes from God’s speaking to us in a personal and direct way while we read those words.
God can also speak to us even after we’ve read something in His Word. As an example, let’s say one day you read Matthew 6:12:
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Later on, someone says something that offends you. You feel annoyed and even resentful toward them. Then seemingly out of nowhere, those words from Matthew 6:12 rise up in your heart and convict you about your hard feelings.
His Word makes you realize afresh how the Lord has forgiven you so many times for so many sins, and that you should forgive this person. This was the Lord’s instant and living speaking to you in your situation. By the Lord’s grace, you turn to Him and pray, “Oh Lord, forgive me for being angry. I also forgive.”
This kind of experience actually doesn’t come “out of nowhere.” It issues from our reading the Bible. His personal speaking to us always corresponds to the written words of the Bible. So reading the Bible consistently allows the Lord to speak to us in a regular way. The more we read it, the more He can speak to us personally.
5. The Bible is the source of our faith
We’re accustomed to living in the visible, material realm; sometimes we may doubt the invisible things of the spiritual realm. We may even doubt that God exists.
When we experience doubt in our Christian life, should we try harder to believe? Should we employ positive thinking? None of that helps. Whenever we’re discouraged by doubts, we don’t need to despair. Reading the Bible strengthens our faith.
Romans 10:17 says:
“So faith comes out of hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Faith and the word of Christ go together. If we don’t hear the word of Christ, we simply can’t have faith. This was certainly true before we were saved. We needed someone to speak the gospel of Christ’s salvation to us. As we heard them speak about Jesus, we spontaneously believed in Him.
Having faith by hearing the word of Christ continues to be true throughout our Christian life. When we hear the word of Christ by reading the Bible, faith is imparted into us. The more we read, the more we believe.
6. The Bible sanctifies us
In 1 John 2:15 we are commanded:
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.”
The earth was created by God, but the world referred to in this verse was devised by God’s enemy, Satan. The world is an elaborate system designed to attract, usurp and keep mankind from God. The devil has utilized every aspect of human life to develop this system. It has a myriad of departments with something for everyone. So how can we escape loving the world? How can we be separated from it?
To be separated from the world, we need to be sanctified.
In John 17:17, the Lord Jesus prayed to the Father:
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
Let’s read note 1 in the Recovery Version to understand the meaning of sanctify:
“To be sanctified (Eph. 5:26; 1 Thes. 5:23) is to be separated from the world and its usurpation unto God and His purpose, not only positionally (Matt. 23:17, 19) but also dispositionally (Rom. 6:19, 22). God’s living word works in the believers to separate them from anything worldly. This is to be sanctified in God’s word, which is the truth, the reality.”
This verse tells us that the truth, God’s Word, can sanctify us, that is, separate us from this world. The more we read and take in the Word of God, the more we’ll be sanctified. Instead of struggling on our own not to love the world, we need to read and absorb the Bible, the Word of God. His Word can do the sanctifying work in us and for us.
7. The Bible equips us to defeat the devil
Reading the Word also equips us to defeat the attacks and temptations from the devil.
Matthew 4 tells us that after the Lord Jesus was baptized, He went to the wilderness and fasted there for forty days. Then the devil came to Him and tempted Him three times. But each time the Lord, who had been living on the Word of God as His food, defeated Satan and overthrew his devilish propositions by quoting the Scriptures to him.
The devil also comes to us to tempt us, discourage us, and propose certain things to us. The more we read the Bible and have the Word of God stored up in our being, the more we’ll have something to speak to the devil to defeat him and escape temptation.
For example, let’s say your colleagues or classmates invite you to join them in a sinful activity. You know it’s something the Lord disapproves of, but their persuasive words give the devil a way to tempt you.
As you consider what to do, you remember the words you read in 2 Timothy 2:22:
“But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
This word makes you clear that this invitation is the devil’s temptation, and it also strengthens you to resist. Being fortified by the Word of God, you decline their invitation.
Reading the Bible benefits us in incalculable ways. From this post, it’s easy to see that taking the time to read the Bible daily is more than worthwhile. What other book can feed us, enlighten us, water us, convey God’s speaking to us, strengthen our faith, sanctify us, and defeat the devil? Reading God’s Word does so much for us! If you live in Europe, you can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version here.