This is the most important issue you will ever face. If you have no desire to faithfully read your Bible daily, that is a significant indicator that you do not really have the spiritual life in you that true faith in Jesus Christ brings.
Going to church faithfully is no substitute for feeding yourself spiritually through daily Bible reading and study. I am thankful for the many solid Bible-believing Christians I have met over the years in churches I have attended. They have been an encouragement to me in my spiritual life by their good example and instruction.
Nevertheless, the number of genuinely saved, born-again believers in any given church is likely a very small proportion of the whole. Just last week I heard a report that Chuck Misler believed late in his life that 98% of the members of Bible-believing churches are not saved.
Early in my Christian life I was taught that only about 5% of church-going Christians have ever led a person to faith in Christ. How different this is from the pattern we read in the book of Acts in the New Testament.
There are a number of Bible verses that have caught my attention over many years on these subjects:
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
When tempted by Satan, who urged Jesus in his hunger after forty days of fasting to “command these stones be made bread,” Jesus replied to Satan by citing from the Bible as follows:
Deut 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Here is another significant passage related to this theme:
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (KJV)
The Contemporary English Version translates this verse in part so as to read: “Never stop reading The Book of the Law he gave you. Day and night you must think about what it says.”
We now have the complete Bible, and each of us can easily own a personal copy. God in His providence has given us the wonderful privilege of learning from His Book daily for ourselves.
Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Notice that Job compared the word of God (which we now have in the Bible) more important than his daily food! The comparison is important. Just as we would suffer greatly if we had no physical food to eat, so we suffer just as greatly if we do not partake of the spiritual food. Failure to eat physical food would result in starvation and physical death. Failure to partake of the spiritual food God has provided in His Word in the Bible results in spiritual death.
Psa 17:4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. (KJV)
Psa 17:4 With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. (ESV)
David tells us in his prayer that God’s Word (“the word of your lips,” which we now have in our Bible) kept him from associating himself with the wrong friends and the wrong activities. We all, and especially young people, need this guidance even today.
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (KJV)
Psa 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (ESV)
David hid God’s Word in his heart in order not to sin against God. That can only be done by reading God’s Word until we know it. It is helpful to actually memorize selected verses from the Bible for this purpose.
Isa 38:16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live. (KJV)
Isa 38:16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. Oh restore me to health and make me live! (ESV)
Isa 38:16 Your words and your deeds bring life to everyone, including me. Please make me healthy and strong again. (CEV)
Isaiah recognized that God’s Word brings life to everyone, including himself. Isaiah prayed to God, “Please make me healthy and strong again.” Reading and studying God’s Word in the Bible brings spiritual life and restores us to spiritual health.
Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (KJV)
Jer 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. (ESV)
Jer 15:16 When you spoke to me, I was glad to obey, because I belong to you, the LORD All-Powerful. (CEV)
God’s Word became the source of joy and rejoicing of Jeremiah’s heart or inner being, because Jeremiah knew he belonged to the Lord God of hosts. As you and I regularly read and study God’s Word in the Bible, we will know for sure that we truly belong to God.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (KJV)
Anyone who will faithfully “search the Scriptures” will come to know our Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way. You can have a personal relationship with Him. You will come to the place in your life where you know that you have eternal life (John 5:24). By personal experience, I can recommend that you first read through the New Testament repeatedly. Also read individual New Testament books repeatedly, especially the Gospel of John and the book of 1 John. The Gospel of John was written on purpose to this end (John 20:31).
Joh 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (ESV)
As you read and study the Bible, especially the New Testament, the Holy Spirit will help you understand more and more of what you read. He will use God’s Word to bring you genuine spiritual life.
The example of the Bereans:
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (KJV)
Act 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (ESV)
Act 17:11 The people in Berea were much nicer than those in Thessalonica, and they gladly accepted the message. Day after day they studied the Scriptures to see if these things were true. (CEV)
The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily. They double-checked the validity of what they were being taught by the Apostle Paul by confirming what Paul taught from the Bible by turning to the Bible to see for themselves. Notice that they carefully studied the Bible daily. Notice that they checked up on the teaching they received by checking it out with the Bible. Acts 17:12 records what happened as a result: “Therefore many of them believed.”
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (KJV)
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (KJV)
Eph 6:17 Also take salvation as your helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies. (GW, God’s Word translation)
I accessed nearly all of the above passages by consulting the cross references in the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury as given for the key words “of God” at Matthew 4:4.
Please make the decision today to take time every day to read and study God’s Word, the Bible, for yourself. You will never be sorry for following through faithfully on such an important decision. Make time count for eternity. Read the Bible daily for yourself. You will be glad you did!
excellent points on bible study and growing spiritually! thank you