I have not always done so without struggle, but I believe in the importance of Christians reading their Bible every day. Here’s why, as my friend Bill Cook and I have said in our new book, Victory over the Enemy:*
- We need nourishment every day. The Word of God is “sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb” (Ps 19:10), and we need its nutrition every day (1 Pet 2:2). Yesterday’s reading is not always enough to carry us through another day.
- The enemy attacks us every day. He doesn’t say to us, “You know, you haven’t read the Bible today, so I’ll back off since you don’t have the sword of the Spirit ready.” He is not that nice—so we need to be wielding the sword (Eph 6:17) every day.
- We need to put ourselves under God’s teachings every day. Every day will bring new challenges, new temptations, and new threats to God’s Word and His standards. It is far too easy to listen to the clamor of the world when we’ve not put ourselves in a position to hear the Lord’s voice that day.
- Temptations return every day. Jesus spoke the Word when the devil tempted him on the mountain, and the devil left him—but only for a while (Luke 4:1–13). Temptation often hits us unexpectedly, and we’re seldom thinking about reading the Bible at that moment. We should be daily reading to be ready for any temptation—as it’s by knowing and obeying the Word that a young man keeps his way pure (Ps 119:9).
- We’re different today than we were yesterday. You might question whether that’s the case, but all of us change and grow in different ways each day. That means that a teaching of the Scripture that may not have caught our attention yesterday somehow drives us to our knees today. The Spirit of God knows when we have ears to hear.
- Daily reading is an indication of our love and dependence on God. That’s what spiritual disciplines are: a cry for relationship with God and a confession of our dependence on him.** When we read the Word, we’re saying, “God, I love you enough that I want to hear from you, and I need you so much that I must hear from you.” Our hearts ought to reverberate with those words every day.
- The Word is our way to counter the ongoing, incessant voices of the world. Let’s face it—it’s hard to find a quiet place where we don’t see and hear the world’s ways. It is almost as if temptation stares us in the face the moment we wake up . . . every day . . . all the time. The best way to counter those voices is to let the Word truly be “a lamp for my feet and a light on my path” (Ps 119:105). Our feet need that guidance every day.
- Reading the Word reminds us to keep our focus on God—not on the devil—every day. From “In the beginning God” (Gen 1:1) to “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20), the Bible’s story is about God and the hero is Jesus. When it’s easy to let evil around us overwhelm us and convince us the devil’s winning, we need to turn our eyes again on God. The enemy is not winning—and daily Bible reading helps us keep our eyes on God who is the victor.
- The Bible directs us daily to the things that really matter. The older I get, the more I realize how much I’ve often worried about stuff that amounts to nothing. In fact, I have sometimes stepped into idolatry when I have focused more on the temporary than on the eternal—and I have needed God to redirect me to him. He uses the Word to get me there.
- If we truly love God, we will want to hear from him each day. Just as I long to hear from my wife, Pam, each day, I want to long to hear from God daily. I want everything to feel a bit out of whack and incomplete any day I do not set aside time to be with him. If we truly love him, we will miss him when we do not spend time together.
*William F. Cook III, Chuck Lawless. Victory over the Enemy (pp. 196-198). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
** I use this phrase to describe spiritual disciplines in general and individual disciplines in particular. See Chuck Lawless, The Potential and Power of Prayer (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2022), 25.