Did God give us his word, so we could have information? Did he give us His word, so we could know the correct way to believe? Do you follow a “through the Bible reading plan in one year” for the purpose of checking a list? While you will gain information and you will certainly learn the correct way to believe; you will even feel accomplishment as you check off your reading plan, but God’s primary reason for giving us his word was to bring us into a life changing transforming friendship with him. To limit it to gaining mere information, or to just learning the correct way to believe, or to simply reading an organized plan is to add to our many other ‘how to books’ on our shelf. Eventually, these reasons will collect dust like the rest of them.
We must read the word for the right reasons; only then will you and I find revelation, insight, truth, healing, freedom and ultimately – a trustworthy exhilarating friendship with God Almighty! When we read to develop our relationship with Christ, we find excitement to keep reading the word of God. We won’t need to set an alarm to get up to read it; our internal clock of excitement and hunger will wake us to read it. If you love something, you don’t need a forceful push to go after it, you do it because your love for this propels you to it.
The funny thing is this; we will even find ourselves reading a few verses here and there all day long. Why? Because we have fallen in love with the One who wrote the book! When we love someone, we want to be with them all the time. We want to know what they think of us; what word they have for us; how they love us, encourage us and instruct us. We want to tell them how much we love them, what we think of them, what our life is like, and how much we appreciate their presence. I find that when I have missed a reading in the word of God, I miss my God! When I have to be at an early meeting or get somewhere early in the morning, my time with God is shortened. Oh, how I miss Him when this happens! I have to find more time that day with Him, whether in a parking lot, in a waiting room, or the car…I have to be with him; I have to hear from him and listen. Why? Because I love Him!
Our love for Jesus is our fuel to live this life as a relationship with Him through the love letters of His word. When we read his word we do more than gain knowledge! Hallelujah! We gain tangible, material, transcendent experiences! It’s hard to explain, but nonetheless very real!
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me. My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times….Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts…” (Psalm 119:17-20; 97-100).