I mention that I once made a list of all the reasons I read my Bible every day. Some students at a Cru event last night asked for my list, so here you go!
50 Reasons to Read God’s Word
- Awakens and builds faith (Romans 10:17)
- Leads us to Jesus (1 John 5:13) “Thing things are written so that you may believe in the name of the son of God and that you may know you have eternal life.”
- Guides us (Psalm 119:105)
- Fills us with joy and gladness (Jeremiah 15:16)
- Arms us against Satan (Ephesians 6:17; Matthew 4:3-4)
- Prospers us (Psalm1:2-3)
- Strengthens us and comforts us (Psalm119:28) “Strengthen me according to word.”
- Trains and corrects us (2 Timothy 3:16-17) “All scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.”
- Dwells in us to produce praise (Colossians 3:16) “Let the word of God dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
- Penetrates our deepest thoughts (Hebrews 4:12) to help you understand yourself.
- Keeps us from temptation (Psalm 119:11) “I have hidden you word in my heart so I might not sin again you.”
- Blesses us (Psalm 119:1-2)
- Shows us how to praise God (Psalm 119:7)
- Reveals to us the path of purity (Psalm 119:9)
- Causes us to rejoice (Psalm 119:14)
- Contains wonderful things for us to ponder (Psalm 119: 18)
- Is our refuge when others slander us (Psalm 119:23)
- Is part of where we put our hope (Psalm 119: 43)
- Gives us freedom (Psalm 119: 45)
- Won’t bring shame on us as we speak God’s word even to important people (Psalm 119: 46).
- Comforts us in suffering (Psalm 119: 50-52)
- Stays with us no matter where we go (Psalm 119: 54)
- We find friendship with others who delight in God’s word (Psalm 119:63)
- God’s word is more precious than riches (Psalm 119:72)
- Other’s rejoice when they see us as we put our hope in God’s word (Psalm 119: 74)
- God’s word is completely trustworthy (Psalm 119: 86).
- God’s word is His communication to us (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- God’s word is eternal (Psalm 119:89)
- God’s word guards our life (Psalm 119: 93)
- Makes us wiser than our teachers (Psalm 119: 99)
- Stands up to the test of time (Psalm 119: 140)
- We meditate on God’s word when we cannot sleep (Psalm 119: 148)
- Brings us peace and keeps us steady (Psalm 119: 165)
- Is our nourishment and life (Matthew 4:4 and John 6:63)
- Comes with great power and authority (Jeremiah 23:29)
- Reveals God’s character to us (Colossians / Hebrews)
- Renews our mind (Romans 12:1-2)
- Is our final authority (John 17:17)
- Allows us to receive the desires of our hearts (“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).
- Gives us courage and success (Joshua 1:8)
- Helps us discern false teachers / teaching (1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”)
- To spend time with the Lord (Proverbs 2:6-7)
- Because it points to Jesus (John 5:38-39)
- To have daily encouragement (Romans 15:4-5)
- Is our daily nourishment (1 Peter 2: 2-3)
- Creates better fellowship for us (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Is at work in our hearts (1 Thessalonians 2:13) “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
- To defend the faith (1 Peter 3:14-16).
- Aids our sanctification (John 17:17)
- Is what we tell the next generation (Psalm 78:3-4)
With my flight delayed because of fog in Pennsylvania–and a resulting missed connection in Washington–I did the unthinkable for me:
I rented a car and drove to Baltimore to catch my flight to Raleigh for a speaking event. Yes! It was crazy, a race against the clock, and very uncertain, but here I am, at the gate in Baltimore, relaxing with my laptop.
Every time I do something I think I cannot do, I grow a little stronger and a little more ready for whatever comes next.
The best part: my husband cheered me on from afar with every threshold crossed: Rebooked your flight? You can do this! Found the rental car? You can do this! Made it to Maryland? You did it! Returned the rental car and took the bus to the terminal and made it through security in record time? You did it!
So for today, you’re either the one cheering on someone else, or you’re the windswept, racing one who lives in pure adventure.
I’m reaching the point in my life where I’m OK with more and more uncertainty. I can now reframe fear and anxiety into faith and curiosity about how God will arrive with His presence, power, and provision. I think about Hebrews 11:6 as I embark on any new thing: “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
When the anxious feelings come, I recognize them as signals that I’m moving into greater opportunities for faith-filled living.
I can now reframe fear and anxiety into faith and curiosity.
Psalm 18 has completely disintegrated in my Bible because of how much I’ve read it. I credit this Psalm–and the Lord’s promises in it–as saving my life in graduate school and beyond.
Now, I listen to an audio version or read it online when I’m at that point in the Psalms. As I listened this morning, I noted 10 amazing promises in this writing:
- The Lord is my strength (verse 1).
- The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold (verse 2).
- In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears (verse 6)
- He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters (verse 16).
- The Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place. He rescued me because he delighted in me (verses 18-19).
- You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop. With my God I can scale a wall (verses 28-19).
- As for God, his way is perfect. The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him (verse 30).
- It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights (verses 32-33).
- He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze (verse 34).
- You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way (verses 35-36).
I love thinking of God in all of these ways!
Two different students say, “I wasn’t gonna come. But I did. I showed up.”
Excuses abound: it’s too cold, too early, too embarrassing to read writing aloud in class, too much work, too soon after a night out, etc.
I know all the reasons. I felt the same. I think about the lure, the temptation, to stay in bed and quit. But every moment I showed up—despite everything—culminated into weeks and months and then years of choosing the hard thing. Showing up mattered; it bore fruit. It proved that God does empower. Those days taught me I could be more than my old, scared, tired self.
I could be more.
So I showed up.
And you did, too.