If you are not reading the bible daily, there is a good chance you have turned to the right or left and you don’t even realize it. Recovery from backsliding is found in reading God’s word.
If you are not reading, studying and/or meditating on God’s word daily and continuously then you have made a turn off God’s path somewhere in your life.
***I base this on scripture listed below. I know that’s a bold statement, but if you can prove me wrong with scripture, go for it….and be careful not to be prideful about your perfectness, because then you’re just shooting yourself in the foot***
Throughout scripture we read of how important reading the Word, meditating on His Word and his works and studying His words keep us from falling away. In Deut 17:19, one of the commands to the king was that he read God’s words, decrees and commands every single day. In Joshua 1, Joshua is commanded to read continually, meditate on it day and night. In Deut 11, we are commanded to teach our children when we are at home when you are on the road, when we are going to bed and when we are getting up. We are to keep His words close to us at all times. These three verses hold the keys to living a life pleasing to God.
You may be thinking, wait a minute…. I’m not a king..and I’m not a warrior like Joshua, but wait! He made us kings and priests to God forever (Rev 1:6) and soldiers of Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:2-3) , we war in the spirit, not against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12) and we are given spiritual weapons. Weapons are not given to the bystanders, but to the warriors — like Joshua and you.
To Him who loved us and washed[a] us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Rev. 1:6
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Tim 2:2-3
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12
According to these verses and others cited below, reading God’s word DAILY:
- keeps us from turning to the right or the left
- keeps us from falling away
- teaches us the Fear of the Lord which is the beginning of all understanding
- keeps us from being disobedient to his ways
- keeps us from being proud and thinking we are better than others
- promises prosperity and success in all we do
- blesses our children
- comfort us
- revives us (Ps 119;25)
- keeps us humble
- makes us like the unshakable tree in Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17:7-8 that is not bothered by storms, drought, or famine
- encourages us ( Ps 119:28)
- guides us (Ps 119:105)
- our source of help (Ps 119:114)
- gives understanding (ps 119:130)
- keeps us pure
You see, if reading the bible keeps you from turning to the right or the left, then not reading the bible causes you to fall to the right or left. If reading the bible keeps you from falling away, then not reading it makes you fall away. If reading the bible teaches you the fear of the Lord, then not reading the bible makes you forget the fear of the Lord. If not reading the bible keeps you from being prideful and thinking your better than others, than not reading the bible can cause a slip of pride into your heart – and you know what? That pride is the first to slip into the heart, others can see it when we ourselves can’t.
SO, if you are not reading the bible every day, there is a good chance that you have strayed, you have taken a wrong turn, have turned to the right or the left, are living in disobedience, made you own ways, become prideful or have fallen off the narrow path AND you don’t even realize it. It’s clear that the only way we can stay on God’s path is to spend time daily in God’s word continually.
I’m not talking about a daily quick devotional, a feel good email or even watching a preacher on tv. All this is good, but nothing compares to the power of reading God’s word. Nothing can compare and nothing can take it’s place.
Just because a person shows up on Sundays, serves the church, reads daily devotions on facebook, has a church title, or maybe attends high hierarchy meetings – doesn’t mean they have stayed on God’s path or are on his path. If you are in a position of teaching or leading in the church, it is of utmost importance that you are in God’s word daily. I have heard so many misleading, but well meaning, words come out of the mouths of many leaders. I was so disappointed to hear a recent speaker at a bible youth assembly talk fluff for a 3 day retreat and less than 2% of her hours of lecture mentioned the Lord. It’s obvious the speaker wasn’t reading the word of God daily because if she was, her speech would be overflowing with God’s truth relevant to her topic.
I’m preaching to myself here too, it’s easy to fall off the path of righteousness. As I’ve read the bible this week, I was amazed at the importance of reading the bible every day. This is a command most important to leaders, it’s what God wants and commands you to do. I need to read it continually in my day in order for me to really behave myself. As I studied Exodus last month, I was reminded how I shouldn’t complain – about anything. I’m reminded to watch my words, not gossip and to trust in God in all things. These are reminders I need daily. As I read through Deuteronomy last week, I was reminded of God’s promises and His commands to always put Him first – to seek Him with all my heart, soul and mind, to commit myself to His words.
You are commanded to teach your children morning, evening and throughout your day:
So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land theLord swore to give your ancestors. Deut 11:18-21
- Teach them when you are at home
- when you are on the road
- when you are going to bed
- when you are getting up
You may think teaching your children about God’s word all day is difficult or impossible, BUT if you are in God’s word daily, you can talk about what you’ve learned or read. When I’m driving, I’ll share a scripture I read earlier that day. Sometimes, if I’m reading, I’ll stop and share something really cool I found in the bible. The other day we were discussing the Tower of Babel and in the car on our way somewhere we were talking about Esther. If you are reading God’s word daily, talking to your children all day about God’s word will come naturally, it won’t be a chore or something too difficult for you.
Hear the Word of the Lord:
Keep it with you always : He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. Deut. 17:19
Study it: During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. Daniel 9:2
Meditate on it day and night, study continuously : Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9
Be Determined: for the gracious hand of his God was on him. 10 This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. Ezra 7:10
IT MAY BE PAINFUL, BUT HELPFUL: Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them. The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly11 The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep. ECCl 12 :5-11 (like the Sword of the Spirit piercing soul, spirit, joints, marrow- a discerner of our thoughts Heb 4:12)
Never Forget! Never Forget! ; But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. 10 Never forget the day when you stood before the Lord your God at Mount Sinai, where he told me, ‘Summon the people before me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear me also.’ Deut 4;9-10
Day and Night, Day and Night: But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do Psalm 1:2-3
- Psalm 48:9 O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.
- Psalm 119:23 Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on your decrees.
- Psalm 119:27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
- Psalm 119:48 I honor and love your commands. I meditate on your decrees.
- Psalm 119:52 I meditate on your age-old regulations; O Lord, they comfort me.
- Psalm 119:117 Sustain me, and I will be rescued; then I wil l meditate continually on your decrees.
- Psalm 145:5 I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles
- Psalm 119:103 How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.
- Psalm 119:105[ Nun ] Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
- Psalm 119:114 You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.
- Psalm 119:130 The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.
- Psalm 119:162 I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure
- Psalm 119:67 I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word.
Okay, so you read the bible…. you want to become a disciple?
- You must lift up your cross and carry it :And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27
- Share what God has taught you with others : Then he added, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.”Matthew 13:52
- You must give up all the world offers you, not seeking fame, fortune, materials or people’s praise : So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own Luke 14:33
- You must become the least, humble like Moses, never exalting yourself “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. 11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”Luke 14:10-11
- Are you willing to pay the cost? “A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.”
- Make more disciples, teach them and baptize them: Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O Lord; teach me your decrees I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.Psalm 119 :12-16
If you think reading the bible is too difficult, start off small. It’s better to understand one verse than read 24 chapters a day without understanding. Some like to start with the book of John. When I first started, it seemed overwhelming so I would read psalms and proverbs when I first began. As you continue to read, God will give you more understanding. Don’t let anyone intimidate you making you feel less because another has read the bible and you haven’t. The more I read the bible, the more I understand how little I know and how much more there is to learn. It’s never ending treasure and the Lord reveals the treasure to those who seek Him. He is no respecter of persons.
For there is no partiality with God….Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. Romans 2:11 and Acts 10:34
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen Matthew 28:20
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