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Going beyond bible reading as a duty

Christians are encouraged to read the bible regularly, to study it and to memorize it.  But often we do it just because we are supposed to - and then we struggle with reading less regularly than we think we should etc.

A way to help with this is to think more deeply about the underlying reasons and benefits from engaging in reading, study and memorization.  Here are two thoughts that have helped me recently:

Jesus, when He was being tempted quoted Deut 8:3 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on evey word that comes from the mouth of God'.  As I think about this I come to realize that what Jesus is saying is that engaging with God's word is more important for living than eating food - and I manage to do that 3 or more times a day!

Isaiah 55 is a great passage about God's word and listening to God.  In verses 12-13 it describes the effect that God's words are designed to have:

You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.

This is a passage I have been working on memorizing recently and through that process I have come to realize that the intention God has for His words are that we be filled with joy and peace and that when we go out the door all of creation will be glad to see us. 

Bible reading, study, and memorization isn't just a chore or duty - it is about sustaining life, joy, peace and recreation!


David Wanstall, 21/05/2013