(Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.)
Daily Bible reading is an excellent habit that can benefit every Christian in many ways. We’ll discuss three main benefits in this post.
We’re fed by the Word
When we read the Bible, we’re fed by God’s Word and supplied for our Christian life. Jesus mentioned this in Matthew 4:4 when He said,
“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.”
Other verses in the Bible also make it clear that God’s Word is nourishment to us. For example, 1 Peter 2:2 says,
“As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation.”
And in the Old Testament, Jeremiah 15:16 says,
“Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart.”
When we eat physical food, we’re supplied with the nutrients we need to live and be healthy. We get the energy to go to work, exercise, and spend time with family and friends. Conversely, when we skip a meal, we feel weak, tired, and even grumpy. And if we keep missing meals, we become susceptible to even greater problems, like illness.
Similarly, when we eat spiritual food we’re supplied to live our Christian life. But when we’re away from God’s Word for a while, we can become spiritually weak, tired, and “grumpy,” or, unable to handle difficulties well. We become more susceptible to temptation, doubts, and other kinds of spiritual sickness. We simply don’t have the means to cope with the many challenges that come into our lives as believers.
It’s very important, therefore, that we’re supplied by reading and feeding on God’s Word every day. To maintain a healthy and even joyful Christian life, we need daily Bible reading to receive the spiritual nourishment in God’s Word for us.
We’re washed in the Word
What if we don’t understand what we’re reading? We may wonder whether we should keep reading the Bible. Or maybe we’re discouraged because by the afternoon we’ve forgotten what we read in the morning. Should we keep on reading, even when we don’t remember much?
The answer is, yes, definitely. This is because a great benefit of reading God’s Word is that it washes us.
Ephesians 5:26 says,
“That He might sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word.”
The “her” here is the church, which is composed of all the believers in Christ, and “the washing of the water in the word” here indicates something different from the washing of our sins by the Lord’s blood. So what is this washing?
Here’s what note 3 on this verse in the Recovery Version says about the washing of the water in the Word:
“The washing of the water here is different from the washing of the redeeming blood of Christ. The redeeming blood washes away our sins (1 John 1:7; Rev. 7:14), whereas the water of life washes away the blemishes of the natural life of our old man, such as the ‘spot or wrinkle or any such things’ mentioned in v. 27. In separating and sanctifying the church, the Lord first washes away our sins with His blood (Heb. 13:12) and then washes away our natural blemishes with His life. We are now in such a washing process, that the church may be holy and without blemish (v. 27).”
We may understand that we need the washing of our sins by the Lord’s blood, but we also need to realise that we need the washing away of our natural life by His life. How do we get this washing of life? The washing water of life is in God’s Word. So even if we don’t remember or fully understand what we read, our daily Bible reading still washes us from so many negative things.
We’re educated with the Word
Our faith is based not on our imaginations or concepts but on the Word of God, so it’s critical that we as Christians all know what God’s Word says. By reading the Word regularly, we’ll eventually read through the entire Bible and gain a basic knowledge of God and the things of God. Gaining this basic knowledge is like learning our ABCs. If we don’t learn the letters of the alphabet, it’s impossible for us to read or write. To understand even the simplest book or write a letter, we first have to learn our ABCs.
Knowing what’s in the Bible is like knowing our spiritual ABCs. Becoming familiar with the words, facts, stories, and expressions in the Bible forms in us the building blocks the Lord can use to show us more of the truth in His Word. This helps us to know Him in a deeper way and allows Him to speak to us more and more through the Word.
God has given us a powerful and wonderful gift in His Word. By reading it, we’re not only spiritually educated but also washed and nourished within. If you’d like some help with reading the Bible regularly, take a look at our post on building up a habit of daily Bible reading.