Many Christians neglect the reading of God’s word. Because of technology, the Bible is easily accessible to anyone with a smartphone, and numerous versions of God’s word are available. In most countries, even print versions of the Bible are readily available at very “cheap” prices. However, many Christians seldom read their Bibles. This is not only detrimental to their spiritual growth, many Christians are easily defeated because of biblical illiteracy and their lack of knowledge about God’s word. The child of God who does not read their Bible is often destroyed because of their lack of knowledge of God’s word.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from being My priest. And because you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children” (Hosea 4:6 MEV). Under the new covenant, God does not forsake his children; however, when a Christian does not know God’s word, God’s power in their lives will appear to be absent. You could have $10,000,000 in the bank and die from hunger if you did not know how to access your account. God has given his children many blessings, but many of these divine gifts will only be accessible to the child of God who has knowledge about them. Christians cannot afford to be complacent about God’s word. God’s word is powerful, and it can do many things in our lives.
“Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distress. He sent His word and healed them and delivered them from their destruction” (Psalm 107:19-20). God uses his word to heal his children. This healing could be mental or physical, but the point is that God sends his word into our lives to heal us. If we neglect God’s word, we can cut ourselves off from receiving God’s deliverance. When we meditate upon God’s word, God can speak his word back to us. The energized word of God, energized by the Holy Spirit, has infinite power. If you are not reading and meditation of God’s word, you limit God’s power in your life. God will not force himself on his children, the child of God who neglects the word of God can severely limit the power of God activating in their lives. God’s word also helps us to lead a holy life.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God’s word instructs us on holy and righteous living. Our state of righteousness comes from Jesus; but our righteous conduct is the result of our obedience to the holy scriptures. Christians must have a lifestyle that is godly, but in this day and age, it is sometimes difficult for the novice Christian to distinguish between right and wrong. However, the word of God shows us what is right and what is wrong. We should earnestly seek to conform our conduct to God’s standards, and we do this by learning from his word. If we fail to live righteously, we can actually block the blessings of God from coming into our lives. “For the one who wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from uttering deceit. And he must turn away from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer. But the Lord’s face is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:10-12 NET). Our eternal state is secure in the Lord; we are righteous because our righteousness is not our own, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to God’s children. However, God is aware of our conduct, and living a sinful lifestyle can hinder our receiving from God. If we do not take time to study God’s word, we will form a “code of conduct” that is based on our often-flawed perception of what is right or wrong. Reading and meditation of God’s word conforms our thinking to the mind of Christ. “Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2). We renew our minds by reading, studying, and meditating of God’s word. God’s word is important for prayer.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:7-8 ASV). Jesus promised that our prayers would be answered if we maintained close fellowship with him. And part of this relationship is staying in God’s word. God’s word contains supernatural power. As we stay united with God’s word we align ourselves in position to receive from God. The believer who fails to read the Bible is not abiding in Christ, and they will rarely receive answers to their prayers. Reading God’s word brings faith.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 NASB). This verse speaks of salvation, the message about Christ. However, the principle is applicable to most issues concerning faith. Faith is a spiritual substance, and it comes from the word of God. In fact, faith for a particular need or desire comes from scripture that addresses that need or desire. In other words, faith for healing comes from scriptures about healing, and faith for financial blessings come from scriptures about financial blessings. As a rule, you cannot have faith for something unless you have God’s word to back up your belief. It is hard for biblically illiterate Christians to receive from God because they have nothing to draw faith from. In a crisis, the biblically illiterate often rush to God’s word, but their prayers are not based on faith, they are based on desperation because the word of God is not rooted inside of them. Neglecting God’s word comes with a heavy price.
How can you tell others about Christ if you do not know God’s word? All Christians are not called to be missionaries or evangelists, but we are all directed to share the good news of Jesus with others. “But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 AMP). The biblically illiterate cannot present Christ or the gospel. If you are not able to use God’s word to share the gospel of Jesus Christ you cannot effectively work in God’s kingdom.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (1 Timothy 2:15). Christians must obey Paul’s directive to Timothy and study God’s word. God’s word will equip us to live successfully for his kingdom. Make Bible study a part of your lifestyle, and the blessings of God will begin to flow into your life.