And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
Question: If you could do one thing to make a real difference in your entire life, what would it be?
Answer: Assuming you are already trusting by faith in Jesus Christ, the answer is to be regularly seeking out the Word of God.
If you’re a Christian, you pay at least lip service to the idea that God’s Word is important. But do you understand the riches available to us daily through God’s Word? Some of you are thinking, “oh no, not another exhortation to read my Bible.” But I tell you this not to be legalistic or to turn you into a Bible nerd. I tell you this because of my love for all of you. Anyone who has made a daily practice of seeking God through the reading of Scripture will echo the words of Job, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12b) Yes, it really is that good! If you’ve made a regular and enduring commitment to reading the Bible, you will immediately understand what Job is saying.
Even on our busiest of days, we never forget to eat, providing the necessary, life sustaining fuel our bodies need. Yet, many of us neglect to feed ourselves the meal that strengthens, nourishes and sustains our inner person. I can say without hesitation that a morning started in the Word of God will change your entire outlook on the day ahead. It makes even the worst of days completely bearable and grounds us in reality. This is not because the Word of God is full of helpful sayings or encouraging platitudes. It is not Chicken Soup for the Soul or the best of Norman Vincent Peale on the Power of Positive Thinking. It is because the Word of God is like no other. It is the very Word of God. Its pages work themselves into us through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is as Paul says in1 Thessalonians 2:13, “at work in you believers.” When we earnestly read the Bible, we are receiving the life changing Word of God Himself.
So if you really want to do the one thing that will have the greatest impact on your life, start reading the Bible daily. If you don’t own a Bible or need a new one, take one of the free ESV Outreach Bibles at the back of the sanctuary. If you would like a serious study Bible, I recommend the ESV Study Bible (see separate review in this issue). If you need a resource to get you going and keep you motivated on a daily plan, consider purchasing D.A. Carson’s companion book to the Bible, For the Love of God.
Put the Lord’s book in your hands and expect to see your life transformed.