“Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.”
Dwight Lyman Moody-
You know there is a reason why A Meeting at the Well tries to stay away from making one statement posts. Reading is GOOD for Christians. One of the reasons why many Christians do not have a stronger relationship with God is due to the refusal to read the Bible. You cannot expect to be a great player of the game, if you don’t read the playbook. Part of gaining a successful win is knowing how the game is played. Romans 5:4 explains how the Word of God provides support, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Modern day Christians expect to be great warriors of God, legends of the faith just you know without: reading, studying, memorizing and meditating.
How can you activate your spiritual power without the knowledge and wisdom to apply it? We’re suppose to be witnesses of Christ but how can we if we don’t know anything about the God we serve?
So let’s decipher the three simple components (there are other reasons) as to why Christians need to study the Bible:
In the Bible we acquire knowledge about the Enemy
On April 16, 2009, the American Punk rock group named Green Day released a single named “Know Your Enemy”. The song’s peak position hit the top at number one in the United States, and charts like Mainstream Rock, and US Alternative Songs. What struck me about the song were the super, charged lyrics blasting out of the radio:
“Do you know the enemy?
Do you know the enemy?
Well, got to know the enemy
Do you know the enemy?
Do you know the enemy?
Well, got to know the enemy”
Repetitive, yes but the word “enemy” is definitely stuck in your head. An enemy is a hostile person in direct opposition to another. This is a concept almost everyone can relate to, especially Christians. Children of God are in direct opposition to God’s enemy, Satan, the deceiver. Where God is astoundingly, and infinitely powerful, wise and blinding in holiness is where Satan is limited in power, crafty, and wicked. Satan takes pleasure out of seeing Christians become ineffective, watching us stumble in sin and fall for temptation. Thus, we must study God’s Word, so we can be aware about who our enemy is, his tactics and goals. The Christian life is an ongoing war. Daily we war against the flesh, the sin nature as our desires from within tempt us to sin. The world is another adversary. The world influences and pressures us to make ungodly decisions, slowly and unconsciously pulling us astray from God. Meanwhile, Satan and his demons are supernatural entities, once divine creations worshipping the One True God. Satan chose rebellion and took 1/3rdof God’s angels with him, now he is eternally condemned and roams the world seeking to lead Christians astray.
The battle is difficult but all three adversaries are defeated foes through Christ Jesus. Those who live in Christ, dwell in victory. We’re called to walk in victory and how we battle against Satan is not in our own power, but by the power of God’s Word. The very word Christ Jesus spoke to bind and defeat Satan in the wilderness. Without God’s Word, we’re sitting desks, guessing about Satan’s schemes and worst yet, taking fabricated knowledge from the very world under his influence (which God controls over him). Don’t be defenseless. Be ready. Know your enemy.
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Next, in the Bible we acquire Knowledge about our Father, God.
Some people, unfortunately, walk this earth plagued by the burden of having an absentee parent. Present one minute and the next moment, they vanish. Parents play a vital role in our development. They mold and shape their child’s identity. They’re the first hands a baby touches, they impart the warmth of affection or the cold front of neglect. Whatever the case, we belong to a new, heavenly family. The head of this family is our Father the Eternal God. He is the perfect father, void of all dishonest and unreliable ways. How wonderful is it that God is not human!
Mistakes plague our earthly parents’ steps yet God is free from guilt and shame. Never has He apologized or asked forgiveness, because He is never wrong. Humankind was made in the image of God and it is only right and true, we discover who we really are as we study His Word. Apart from God we are nothing, we would not exist without our Father. Like a father, God desires a relationship with us. His love language is consistency, communication, time, effort, gifts, and appreciation. A mutual relationship is where we present ourselves as willing, clean vessels and He in turn teaches us things about Who He is. What is more is that God is not selfish, He is a selfless father. He blesses without partiality.
To gain an authentic relationship is to learn any relationship is a two-way street. We cannot always tell God our hopes and dreams, but shut the front door, whenever the idea of spending quality time with Him comes up. Truths about God are hidden treasures more precious than any job promotion, child, good grade, or spouse. There is no person who will love us as deeply as God does. If we do not study the Word of God, we’re left defenseless, ignorant of our spiritual lineage and the benefits of having a relationship with God. This is the one relationship in our life that eternally benefits us and the one we desperately need to survive.
Lastly, knowing God creates within us the fear of the Lord. A healthy fear where we know we cannot control anything, but scripture consistently reminds us that God controls all. He longs to impart wisdom and guidance, and thereby we learn one of the greatest Christian lessons of all: complete dependency on the Lord God.
“My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Third, in the Bible we acquire knowledge about the benefits of Christian life.
Sometimes, the hardest movies to watch are the movies where we are smarter than the characters in the film. Not thoroughly thought out films frustrates us especially, when we know the protagonists are not aware of how much untapped potential they have. Fantasy films are a culprit of this crime, protagonists are always uncovering new powers and abilities they did not know they possessed, until they are in danger.
Well, guess what? The Holy Spirit does not want us discovering the Christian’s power at the last minute. Embracing the abundant life, is the calling of every saint. Profusely, God’s Word urges believers to study the Scriptures, applying the different truths to our lives. When we actually abide in Jesus Christ, His love submerges us, giving us the fruits of the spirit that we cannot humanly produce on our own. Love, peace, patience, humility, joy, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control are the spiritual fruits marking a child of God as a growing believer in Christ Jesus.
Abiding in Christ is the key to experience these spiritual fruits, however we cannot use them in our daily life if we are ignorant of them. Having the Bible, is like having a cheat code to the hardest game you’ll ever play. God promises prosperity to His children. Peace transcending all irrational fears and anxiety attacks. Innumerable, unstoppable joy as our life crumbles. Perseverance to stay focused when tragedy befalls us. These are genuine abilities promised to us as we grow in God’s Word, but so many of us have yet to claim the Holy Spirit’s power as our own.
Tragically we live divided lives, being torn apart, not fully accepting the glory and responsibility of being a child of God. Is reading God’s word always fun? Not always, but as Christians our spirit hungers for the living word the very words that will help us live successful, godly lives.
“8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Copyright © 2018 by A Meeting at the Well