Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 1: 22 [NIV]

 

The Bible is a wonderful book. On the one hand, its message can speak clearly to children; on the other, its pages hold all manner of riches for those who devote their lives to its study. Its attraction is inexhaustible.

Some people follow a plan to read the Bible from cover to cover in a year; others read a small portion every day. Some commit themselves to learning Hebrew or Greek so they can understand the text more accurately. Others immerse themselves in studying the context in which the Bible was written so that they can better understand its meaning.

 

All of these things are valuable. We all ought to be students of the Bible – reading it, studying it and knowing what it says. But none of this will be of any use unless we put its message into practice.

 

Knowing all about the Bible without following its teaching is like knowing all about the recipes in a cookery book without ever making a meal: interesting, no doubt, but ultimately worthless.

 

Reading the Bible is a two-way process. We want to find out what it is saying; but the Bible speaks back at us, challenging us. It is, after all, living and active [Hebrews 4: 12].

 

The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote,

 

When you read God's word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, "It is talking to me, and about me."

 

So read the Bible expectantly. Listen to its voice. Do what it says.

 

Heavenly Father, thank you for your word. Help me to be regular in my reading of it, careful in my study of it and diligent in my application of it, for your glory’s sake.

 

David Long
m2o Church Rugby - St. Matthew & St. Oswald

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