Your life as a Christian can be both exciting and overwhelming at times. Centering your responses in line with God's Word assists you in either of these positions.
The Bible is the absolute guide for living life to the fullest and a road map for our journey in life. It is a storehouse of true stories for children and adults, emphasizing the triumphs and failures of ordinary people and how God responded. It is a place of safety in times of trouble. When you are in pain, suffering, imprisoned, or mourning, the Bible reveals how God responds to you during those times. Most importantly, it is a treasury of insight into who you are in your relationship with God. You are not a meaningless robot, destined to fail or succeed. You are God's very own child, and He delights in you.
There are many benefits to reading God's Word daily. While they are numerous, the following nine can be the most beneficial in deepening your relationship with God.
Reading the Bible:
1. reveals God's character.
The Bible is your most reliable source to answer your questions about who God is and how He relates to humanity.
"In the past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in many various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, ..." (Hebrews 1:1-3)
2. teaches you to imitate God.
When you read how God lovingly responds to people, you can learn to respond like Him.
"Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children." (Ephesians 5:1)
3. helps you discover your next steps.
The Bible is full of teaching both in the Old Testament and in the New about how God wants His people to live.
"Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path." (Psalm 119:105)
4. can keep you from sin.
When you read the Word of God and meditate on it, treasuring what you have learned, it becomes part of you. This revelation can allow you to respond properly to the temptation to sin.
"I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You." (Psalm 119:11)
5. helps TO renew your mind TO know God's will.
You become what you consume. If you make time to place God's words into your mind and heart, you can flood yourself with what God says about life. Changing your thoughts to His thoughts can result in a life full of freedom and victory.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- His good, pleasing, and perfect will." (Rom 12:1-2)
6. ALIGNS you to receive the desires of your heart.
When you read the Bible and learn who God is and what He loves, your prayers and desires should line-up with His best plans for your life. At NCC, we believe that God honors His Word, and our desires should be grounded in that truth.
"If you remain in Me and My Words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7)
7. is how you learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This Gospel is good news; it's the best and most important news that any human being will ever hear. It declares that the only way to know God in peace, love, joy, and eternal life is through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the central message and theme of the entire Bible.
"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed ... For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. .... And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
8. gives you courage.
Courage is more easily accessed when you study and know what God's promises are. God does not disappoint you because He promises never to leave you. Knowing that you can face anything in life because the Creator of all life is constantly with you brings great comfort and courage.
"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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged; for the Lord, your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:8-9)
9. helps you to be fruitful.
Reading and applying the principles in the Word of God helps you to develop the character and nature of God known as the "fruit of the Spirit." These characteristics are displayed so that the world may witness God in you. Also, God's Word teaches you the very principles of how to have a successful life - a life full of God's peace and a living out of His character in you.
"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the Law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither -- whatever they do prospers." (Psalm 1:1-3)
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)