Over the next few weeks, I want us to think together about the following Spiritual Discipline: the importance of making the Bible an essential part of our daily lives. To do so will require diligence and discipline.
No Spiritual Discipline is more important than Bible intake; that is, the intake of God’s Word. Nothing can substitute for it. There simply is no healthy Christian life apart from a diet of the Holy Scripture. None of the needed eternally essential information can be found anywhere else except in the Bible. Therefore, if we would know God and live Godly lives, we must know the Word of God – intimately. We need to honor God’s Word by taking it into our lives.
The easiest of the Spiritual Disciplines related to the intake of God’s Word is simply hearing it. Obviously, hearing the Word of God on a regular basis is important for our transformation and growth in godliness. For most of us, disciplining ourselves to hear God’s Word means developing the practice of steadfastly attending a church where the Bible is faithfully preached and taught.
Jesus said in Luke 11:28, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Merely listening to God-inspired words is not the point. The purpose of all methods of Bible intake is obedience to what God says and the development of Christlikeness. The method Jesus encouraged in Luke 11:28 was hearing God’s Word.
Another passage emphasizing the importance of hearing God’s Word is Romans 10:17: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Often our initial faith in Christ comes from hearing the inspired Word of God. Likewise, much of the faith we need for day-to-day living comes from hearing the Bible’s message. Gifts of faith are often given to those who discipline themselves to hear the Word of God.
There are a variety of ways to hear the Word of God preached and taught. Audio and video tapes are available. All types of preaching and teaching can be heard on the radio or TV.
Notice how the Apostle Paul instructed his young friend in ministry in I Timothy 4:13, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” It was important to the Apostle Paul for God’s people to hear God’s Word. Likewise, it must become a disciplined priority for us to hear it.
Taking time to prepare to hear the Word of God is important. We are not there to listen merely passively. We are there to be transformed by hearing the Word of God. Prepare yourself to be transformed.
Blessings, Bill Duke