Brother Michel Lolo
Joshua 1:1-9 and 1 Timothy 4:12-13
The Bible is essential for every believer because it carries what is needed to live effectively on earth, thus, it is important for Christians to consistently and regularly read the Bible. The Bible reveals God’s nature, the revelation of who He is to his people. Reading from Joshua 1:1-9 and 1 Timothy 4:12-13; it is worth noting that Joshua and Timothy were the successors of Moses and Paul respectively who were great contributors to the Bible – the former is from the old testament and the latter is from the new testament. In the book of Joshua, God tells him to obey all the instructions written by Moses and to study this book of instructions continually. On the other hand, in Timothy, Paul instructs Timothy to focus on reading the Scriptures and teaching them to the church. Both these leaders placed great emphasis on reading and meditating on the Word of God. What can be extracted from here is that studying God’s Word regularly allows the mind to be constantly renewed and readjusted, thus, being aligned to God, which allows for growth in Him and a fulfillment of purpose.
The word “Bible” literally means “book”, which was derived from Latin and Greek. The Bible was not written by one person but by multiple people (35 named authors to be exact), who all had one message, that is God’s Word. All these authors were inspired by the Author Himself, God, hence there is cohesion and no contradictions even though many of these authors did not cross paths. Moreover, it is a book that contains books and can therefore be perceived as a library of God’s knowledge, containing God’s thoughts, ideas, and ways. This means that He is the content of the writings, so it is a spiritual book; but not only is it spiritual, it is a book that contains historical accounts that have been proven accurate.
Upon opening the Bible, there’s a choice you need to make when reading it. You can either see it as just a book that contains fables, a book that contains philosophies, principles, and theories of life (with a fictional God) and you interpret it as you see fit. Nonetheless, there is a better approach to take when reading the Bible as compared to other books, and that is; it is the WORD OF GOD, and that it carries life.
The way you approach the Bible is important as it sets you up to encounter God which then makes the writings beneficial. The right attitude to approach the Bible starts with believing that it is the Word of God, thus, receiving and believing that it is true. Believe that all scripture is God-breathed. This goes to say that the Spirit of God lives in it and it has life. 2 Timothy 3:16, tells of this inspiration and further tells of its usefulness for “teaching, rebuking, correcting and for instruction in righteousness” (NKJV). Furthermore, Psalm 12:6-7 says that the word of God has been refined, having been purified seven times over, therefore, there is no impurity or faults found in it.
When you believe that it is true, there needs to be reverence, that is, to regard the Bible with awe and respect. For this to take place, it requires humility. Without humility, it will be easy to miss what God does and says, therefore, one needs to humble themselves before God. Isaiah 66:2, speaks of God looking to the ones who tremble at His word. “Tremble” in this context means to be reverently responsive (MSG). Moreover, to be responsive, the Bible has to have influence over your life.
This influence is in the form of authority – let the Bible be authoritative over life. Since God’s Word is established in heaven [see Psalm 138:2 and Psalm 119:89], then it should be established on earth; therefore it should be consulted when making choices – allowing it to have the final say.
It is not about having an opinion or choosing what you think is appropriate for you and discarding the rest. With that, there needs to be value attached to His Word – giving and treating the Bible with value. This is by giving yourself fully to the word of God; that includes your heart, your mind, and your time.
When something is valued, time is spent with it and when it lives in your heart, there’s a transformative power that takes place, compared to just having “head” knowledge of it. Psalm 119 is a good start to understanding the value and importance of God’s Word. In this chapter, 176 verses were dedicated to emphasize how important the Word of God is. Be like Peter when He chose Jesus (The Word) above everything, he told Jesus [John 6:68], “You have the Word of life, where else can I go?”
To avoid misinterpretation, misapplication, or confusion, it is important to note how to read the bible; begin by reading the Bible with the great Author. It should be about God and exactly what He wants you to think, feel and know and from there, the Holy Spirit will be the one to reveal, convict and lead you to all truth. 1 Corinthians 2:11 says that “no one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit”, and to add, John 16:13-15 speaks on the Spirit of truth guiding you into all truth, bringing Christ glory through His words. When reading the Word, it is of great importance to look for Jesus with an open heart. Many times, we look for ourselves in the Bible and what tickles our ears, but that can lead to being narcissistic.
Although the Word of God is a mirror, it is best when Jesus is the one who you see in the mirror. When you find Jesus, that’s when you’ll find who you truly are and you’ll be drawn away from selfishness. Jesus teaches this in John 5:39-40 and emphasizes that the Scriptures point to Him and that He is eternal life.
Pay attention to how you read the Bible because you can be a scholar who knows the scriptures back to back and still miss the essence of God’s message. God is revealed to you through your relationship with Him. Furthermore, humbly exposing yourself to the written word of God (known as ‘logos’) and being open to Him, allows for revelation from Him (known as ‘rhema’). Also note that everything (revelation) that He will show you, is based on the principles found in the Bible.
The Bible is also very practical and not abstract or farfetched, therefore, live out the word of God. Do not only be a hearer of the word of God, but be a doer; keeping your Bible open, helps you apply it in all areas of your life. God gives us a certain lifestyle to live because He not only wants to bless us, but He wants to protect us as well.
So much emphasis is placed on the Bible because it is the Word of God and thus a platform to encounter Him; if you look for Him, you will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13). It is the Word of Life, meaning, it is the foundation of living (see Matthew 7:24). A life built on His Word will not be shaken but will withstand all winds that the world has to offer. The Word of God can be used as a measuring stick for prophecies [see 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21] and helps verify doctrines like the Bereans did when Paul preached to them [see Acts 17:11-12]. The Word also gives you the wisdom that you need for everyday living, with God’s wisdom you always have an upper hand in the world.
Acts 20:32 states that the word of God can build one up and it gives one an inheritance in Christ. So, if you do not know what is reserved for them, the devil will take advantage of you. In John 15:1-17, Jesus tells us that we should remain in Him and have His Words remain in us, and guarantees that if we ask Him anything, it will be granted. That is why it is important to keep your Bible open.