Every week, I have the exciting opportunity to sit across the table from a young Christian and study God’s Word during our church’s discipleship time. At the end of each lesson, I usually ask the lady I’m studying with what stood out to her the most and if she has any questions we didn’t already answer.
I’ll never forget the time when, after our lesson on the Bible itself, the new Christian across from me answered my first question with, “I didn’t know God wrote the Bible.”
She came from a background that accepted religious tradition for truth, so, in one sense, her answer wasn’t surprising. But still…
A few days later, I relayed the conversation to a friend. Her response struck me with as much food for thought as the young Christian’s. “Sometimes,” she said with tears in her eyes, “I think we forget that too.”
She’s right. We who have already been grounded in the truth of where the Bible came from don’t think that someone else wrote the Bible. We just forget that God wrote it. At least, we apparently do. Or we’d read, study, love, and meditate on it a whole lot more.
I read quite a few books from a wide variety of authors. But there is only one book I’ve ever read that is written by God Himself. And that book has changed my life like no other.
Please understand, to say that the Bible will change your life is not an overstatement made for effect. It is simple fact. Real exposure to God’s Word will change your life.
How? Here are fifteen ways, listed in no particular order:
- It gives a firm foundation for truth. It tells us the life-changing truths of who God is, our sin, God’s love, Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, and salvation. It tells us about God, about life, about ourselves. And it is a reliable source in every area.
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.—Proverbs 30:5
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.—John 17:17
- It nourishes your soul. There is no substitute for the Word of God in developing spiritual growth. It feeds and nourishes spiritual appetites and growth.
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:—1 Peter 2:2
- It brings peace. The true promises of God’s Word have the power to assure your heart and stabilize your emotions like nothing else.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:7
- It brings conviction. I can’t tell you how many times (although I could tell you many specific instances) when the Word of God has convicted me of sin which I was either unaware of or complacent about. Responding to that conviction has brought helpful change and freedom.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.—Hebrews 4:12
- It provides help for change. The Bible isn’t descriptive only; it is also prescriptive. It convicts us of our sin and points us back to God. Furthermore, it’s more than a self-help book. It is authored by the One who made us and knows our need for Him.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:—2 Timothy 3:16
- It provides assurance of God’s character. Not only does the Bible tell us what is true about God, but even when our feelings tell us otherwise, it holds a reliable record of the eternal character of our God.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.—Hebrews 13:8
- It assures us of God’s presence. When we feel desolate, alone, or abandoned, we have the written promises of God assuring us that God is near.
…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper…—Hebrews 13:5–6
- It renews our minds. Whether we’re weary, self-focused, or carnal in our thinking, God’s Word has the power to renew our minds in truth and thus change our lives from the inside out.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.—Romans 12:2
- It provides comfort. There is no source of comfort like the Word of God. Broken, empty, shattered hearts find healing, strength, and hope in its pages.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.—Romans 15:4
- It increases our faith. Our faith to obey and follow God is based on the truth of who He is and the promises of what He will do. Hearing God’s Word both births and bolsters that faith.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.—Romans 10:17
- It gives words to prayer. Using the inspired words of Scripture, particularly the Psalms, to voice your worship and needs to the Lord can revitalize your prayer life. And using the words of the epistles can revitalize your prayers for others.
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;—Psalm 63:1
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…—Ephesians 3:14
- It gives direction and clarity. God’s Word brings perspective to our thinking and direction to our decisions.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.—Psalm 119:105
- It imparts wisdom. The Word of God gives wisdom to understand our problems, to deal with others, to accomplish God’s purposes for our lives.
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.—Proverbs 2:6
- It allows us to help others. Without the wisdom of God, our resources to help others in major life needs are reduced to mere sympathy and human logic. But the easiest way to mislead friends in time of need is to encourage them to do what feels good in the moment. The surest way to help them is to use the all-sufficient Word of God in your advice or counsel.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.—Psalm 19:7
- It brings delight. To the Christian who loves the Lord, the Word of God brings joy like no other source. It’s like hearing the voice of a very dear friend. For indeed, the Bible is the Word of God, and we hear His voice through His Word.
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.—Jeremiah 15:16
And this is just a partial list!
Which begs the question: With a source like this as close as our fingertips, should we not saturate our minds and hearts with it?
Make no mistake: Scripture is not magic. It is divine. That is, the benefits we gain through it are not by mere exposure. They are by the indwelling Holy Spirit of God who uses His inspired Word in the heart and life of the Christian who exposes her heart to it.
So read it daily.
Meditate on it constantly.
Apply it faithfully.
Share it regularly.
Love it passionately.
It is the very Word of God!
In a follow up post, I plan to share several ways we can purposefully increase our appetite for God’s Word. But for now, in the comments below, what did I miss in the list above? And how has God used His Word to bring change in your life?