No matter where you are in your spiritual journey – whether you’re a seeker trying to figure out what you believe, or a full-fledged Jesus-junkie – nothing will be of more value in your spiritual growth than personal Bible reading and reflection on Scripture. And there is data to prove it too! Check out the book Move: What 1000 Churches Reveal about Spiritual Growth (Hawkins and Parkinson, Zondervan, 2011). 100,000 individuals from 1000 different churches were surveyed in an attempt to determine which of all the programs and activities offered at church delivered the greatest impact on personal spiritual growth. Here is what they discovered:
“We learned that the most effective strategy for moving people forward in their journey of faith is biblical engagement. Not just getting people into the Bible when they’re in church – which we do quite well – but helping them engage the Bible on their own outside of church.” (p. 10).
This shouldn’t surprise us. Listen to what the Bible says about itself: “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful…so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Every English translation of that verse uses either the word “useful” or “profitable.” Have you found the Bible to be useful and profitable in your life?If somewhere along the way you have come to view the Bible as impractical, theoretical, inaccessible, or even irrelevant, I challenge you to take another look. The Bible is of immense value, and the result of building our lives on its truth cannot be underestimated. Paul says we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Every good purpose of God for our lives will come to fruition as we cultivate the discipline of listening to God speak through his Word, thinking about what it means for our lives, and then implementing it.
Building our lives on the Bible starts by….reading it! Humbly, consistently, expectantly, and with the disposition to do what it says.
Unlike us today, Paul and Timothy did not have the advantage of carrying a Bible in their back pocket. Nor did the Psalmist. But notice his attitude toward God’s Word in these verses:
“I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” (Psalm 119:14-16)No matter who you are, or where you are in your spiritual journey, nothing beats the Bible.
No matter who you are, or where you are in your spiritual journey, nothing beats the Bible.