Not By Bread Alone

December 20 2018
December 20 2018

With 2019 just around the corner, this is a great time for every follower of Jesus to start (or recommit to) a pattern of daily Bible reading.  And don’t just read.  Reflect, meditate, re-read, make notes, journal, use study helps (the ESV Study Bible is excellent), pray the Word, and apply what you learn personally and in community.

And that means being intentional:  If you don’t plan to dig into Scripture, it will not happen.  So mark out quality time in your daily rou­tine to get into God’s presence in this way, and ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your heart to see the beauty of biblical truth.

Now as I exhort you, my church family, to practice focused daily Bible reading, it’s just possible that someone’s thinking, “That sounds to me like law-keeping, religious rules, rigid legalism… I prefer a more spontaneous and organic approach… I want my time with the Lord to arise naturally, not from some religious edict…”

If that’s your mindset, let me say (with all due respect):  “Baloney.”

How many of us think about daily meals that way?  “It’s so legalistic to follow rules, and it’s so rigid to talk in terms of daily intake and daily nourishment and all that daily stuff!  I’d rather just ‘let it be’ and ‘go with the flow’ and ‘see what comes.’”  More likely, you think about daily food intake as a real priority.  You need to eat; your body requires nutrients.  Without a decent diet, we grow weak and sick.  Survival depends on physical nourishment.  We get that.

Well, so too with our spiritual health:  “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,” says Jesus (Matthew 4:4).  Physical bread is good, of course.  And spiritual food is absolutely essential:  God’s Word is our “soul food”!  A com­mitment to daily spiritual intake is a basic health regimen.  So don’t fall for the nonsense that the discipline of thoughtful, frequent Bible reading is “legalism” or “rigidity” or the like.  Eat and live!

Plus, God’s Word not only nourishes your soul, but it is really good! “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).  Feed and thrive!  And pick up a Two-Year Bible Reading Plan in the lobby as you get ready for 2019!


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