This post was originally featured on the Anthem Blog and written by Lizzy Harford.
So often we’re told to read our Bibles, but why? What is it that makes Scripture so important? For some, scripture can be viewed as stuffy and archaic, for others it’s too theoretical and conceptual, and for many of us, it’s a rule book waiting to bash you over the head at the first sign of sin. We need to understand what it is that makes Scripture worthwhile, we need an explanation to it.
Here are 8 reasons what Scripture is and the benefits that are waiting for you.
Scripture is Intimate
The Word is God, and though God spans beyond the ink on the page, His essence is held within the spines of our Bibles. When we crack open our Bible’s and dig into the Word, we are having a relational experience with the Lord. We come into close spiritual contact with Him. We learn the intimate thoughts and feelings of our heavenly Father, as He shares His character, His plan, and His desires for us through His Word.
Scripture is Alive
It breathes and moves alongside you throughout life. A verse might mean something wildly different to you now than it did in the past, and it will evolve alongside you in the future. If we’re not reading our Bibles daily, we disallow the Word to breathe into our lives. It’s like putting a creature into a box and poking holes into the sides and leaving it. Eventually, it will wither and die. So too will the hold Scripture has on your life wither, and subsequently, your relationship with our Heavenly Father will wither too.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
Scripture Reveals Our Identity
Reading your Bible not only lets you dive deeper into intimacy and understanding of God, but it also allows you to better understand who you are. Who you are is described over and over and over again. Countless times we are explicitly told who we are and how we should live in light of it. So, when we quit reading our Bible, take a break, lapse into a pattern of moving throughout our day without reading a single verse, we not only cease to continue our flourishing understanding of God, but we cease to know and understand ourselves. And it’s in that dis-communion that we lose track of who we are, and we lose track of God. It all becomes forgotten. And it is easier during this forgetful state to slip into the darkness, to retreat to old ways, to unearth the sin that has been dead and buried because of Christ.
Scripture is Restorative
Our God is in the business of restoration, and His Word is restorative. Scripture imparts new life and vigor to your soul. It recuperates you, it’s a medicine that strengthens and invigorates your being. Like a tonic, it heals, corrects, invigorates, and renews you. Without it, we fall into sickness, weakness, and sin. Often when we’re feeling out of sync, it’s because we’ve been neglecting our Bible.
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; (Psalm 19:7 ESV)
Scripture is Directive
How we’re to live and navigate this world is laid out in scripture. While much has changed in the last 2,000 years since Christ walked this earth, the way we are to interact with one another is still very relevant today. If you’re looking for life’s answers, it’s all there on the page. The key is absorbing it and knowing it and practicing it.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 ESV)
Scripture Equips You For Battle
Battle against sin, against loneliness, against anger, against whatever it is you are fighting. The author of Hebrews tells us that the word is sharper than a two-edged sword. Ephesians says we must take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Swords are meant for battle, for defending, fighting, and killing.
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11 ESV)
Scripture Ignites the Holy Spirit
Someone once told me that the Holy Spirit is like a fire. It’s so powerful and it can grow and grow and spread until it has consumed everything in sight in a glory filled blaze. But, like fire, the Spirit needs to be given fuel, and without that fuel, it will shrink into nothing but coals and eventually be snuffed out. Scripture is fuel for the Holy Spirit and it will ignite a flame within you to be more sensitive to his promptings and bold in carrying them out.
Scripture Quenches Our Thirst
The moment you realize you’re thirsty, your body is already telling you it's dehydrated. In order to avoid that, we have to constantly be drinking water to prevent this. It’s the same with our spiritual thirst. Scripture quenches our thirst for intimacy with God, Spirit, and Son, but if we come thirsty, we haven’t been taking care of ourselves. The Bible is a deep well just waiting to be drawn upon, and drinking from it daily is refreshing to your soul.
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107:9 ESV)
Scripture Was Given By the Spirit
Scripture was authored by God and written by men who were led and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit, the Bible is nothing more than empty words on a page. The Word is wholly inspired, from beginning to end. There is no power, no benefit to be reaped from Scripture without the Spirit.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
It’s easy to look at reading your Bible as a daily action item to be checked off a list, but it’s so much more than that. Scripture is our life force and an integral part to our Christian walk. Neglecting to read and meditate on it is robbing ourselves of the richness that awaits us, and the deepening of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. It isn’t a rules book or a historical account of Christianity, it’s complex and layered with mysteries waiting to be revealed to you.
To further meditate on the value and richness of scripture, spend some time reading and praying through Psalm 19, Psalm 25, and Psalm 119.