With this article, we begin a series with special interest to young believers.
Your beliefs determine your behaviors. If you believe that brushing your teeth is necessary for good breath and good health, you will develop the habit of brushing at least twice a day. If you do not believe school is important, you will likely find it hard to do your homework.
So what do you believe about the Bible? Do you view it as…
A Meal or a Snack?
You eat a meal three times a day whether you feel like eating or not. Why? Undoubtedly, you believe that you must eat to maintain your health, not suffer hunger pangs, and not lack in energy. On the other hand, you do not believe (hopefully not!) that you absolutely must eat Twinkies or chips. You may enjoy them now and then, but they are generally not part of the everyday diet. You eat them because they are enjoyable, not because you have the conviction that they are necessary.
So what is your attitude towards the Bible? Look over the last week. Did you treat God’s Word like a daily meal you had to have or an optional snack you only consumed when you “had time” and “felt like it?”
Sometimes we are good about reading books about the Bible or listening to music about truths in the Bible. That is good, but would you be able to survive physically by reading books about food or listening to your favorite musical group singing about the virtues of vegetables? You must personally take in the Word of God. That is why Peter said, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).
Speaking of growth, if you had grown physically as much as you have spiritually, what would you look like? A 14-year-old lying in a crib crying for a bottle? A 17-year-old just learning to walk? If you do not eat, you do not grow.
The writer to the Hebrews wrote to older Christians and rebuked them because they were “become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat” (Hebrews 5:12). They had never gotten off the spiritual bottle after all those years. Why? Perhaps they never developed the habit of eating healthy and eating daily. Have you?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could say about you (note the order), “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 1:2).
A Textbook or a Letter?
At the beginning of the school year, the teacher drops a textbook on your desk with a thud. It is thicker than a dictionary and weighs enough to be a boat anchor. Will you read it? Yes, but only if you have to prepare for a test. Textbooks are often boring, full of information you will never use, and are written by some unknown person. This is why very few people ever go to a library to check out a textbook.
But what a difference when you read a letter from a friend, especially if it is from your girlfriend or boyfriend? You read every line of the letter and often reread it many times to squeeze out every ounce of meaning. The difference? You know the writer and you want to get to know this person better. Also, they may be telling you something personal or extremely critical for your life.
So is your Bible more of a textbook or a letter? Is it a drudging assignment that makes you feel guilty if you don’t complete it or is it a vibrant personal communication from a person you love and respect?
So often, we get accustomed to having the Bible around. We do not think of it the way we should. Through its holy pages, the God of the universe personally wants to communicate with you. He wants you to get to know Him better and He has information in His book that is vitally important for your life. Paul was convinced that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
A Floodlight or a Flashlight?
The world looks dark with all its problems and the future looks dark with all its uncertainty. How will you ever see what God wants for your future?
If you see the Bible as a flood lamp that broadcasts general light for everyone, you will be grateful to God for illuminating us as to the broad principles of salvation for the world, God’s general plan is for all believers to be baptized and gathered in an assembly, and for His universal instruction for every Christian life. Yes, every believer gets the same light that we should read, pray, avoid sin, and seek to please God. This general light for all should be sufficient motivation to read the Scriptures.
However, if you view the Bible as a flashlight, with specific beaming rays illuminating each step of your personal pathway, suddenly, the Scripture becomes a book that you must and will want to read. The Psalmist said, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Everyday, you can walk in the fog of uncertainty and go with what you “feel” is right, or you can open your Bible and ask God to give you clear direction.
That is how the Lord Jesus lived. He could say, “Morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back” (Isaiah 50:4, 5). Every day, He let God speak to His heart and fill His mind with verses, principles, and truths that would guide Him in what He did and said.
Isn’t it time to stop stumbling in the darkness, and get on the path God has chosen for you. Read your Bible every day and ask God to guide you. Perhaps you should get a One-Year Bible to read consistently and regularly. Read to know, to grow, and to go! Now the choice and the challenge are yours with the Bible that you Read!