For those of you who have read any of my previous posts or follow my blog, you already know that I ALWAYS circle back to the benefits of learning the bible as my point of reference.
I love God and I love His Word!
But, unfortunately, we live in a world today where there is little to no interest in learning the bible.
The bible is depicted as being outdated, fictional, having little value, and to some, completely irrelevant. The sad part, is that those of us who profess to be Christians are adapting to that same line of thinking, without even realizing it.
The bible is the written word of God. Our true mirror to life. Without looking into it regularly, we miss out on so many things.
I will even boldly say, that we will NEVER truly enjoy life the way God intended us to, without spending time in His Word.
So many of us literally just want to accept Jesus and reap all the benefits of a relationship with Him, without ever having to really get to know Him. What we fail to realize is that we can't truly get to know Him or reap any true benefits of knowing Him, apart from learning the bible.
I created an online course called Learning the Bible 101: Benefits, Methods & Hindrances. It teaches what the bible is and how you can have a ton of fun learning it in the process! In this post, I want to take an excerpt from that course to look at the 10 key benefits that Christians get by learning the bible. Or shall I say, what they forego by NOT learning the bible.
#1 - It shows us how to obey and live for God
Its one thing to make the decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It’s another thing to live for Him after you make that decision. Some people believe it happens overnight due to your newfound faith. Others believe they can change themselves on their own. Both are wrong.
The truth is, Scripture teaches, that in order to obey and live for God, a transformation MUST occur from within. And that transformation comes ONLY by the power of the Holy Spirit within us and by learning the bible.
John 14:15 says: "if you love me, keep my commands".
I love this verse because its so simple and plain. We profess to love God, but Jesus clearly told his disciples in this verse that if we love Him we will keep his commands or obey his word. Question: how can we keep his commands if we don’t even know what they are?
Just a little food for thought.
In the verse above, the bible again, clearly states that we need God's Word to learn how to live for God in the first place. It is the ONLY way we will be thoroughly equipped to live for Him and do His work.
Once you start reading the bible, you start learning to obey and live for God. As a result you start to grow spiritually.
In Matthew 4:4, “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
In other words, as a Christian we don’t only live on physical food to nourish our bodies. But, we should also live on the Word of God for spiritual nourishment.
I Peter 2:2-3 says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
A great analogy is used here. Just like babies need and crave milk to grow, so we as Christians should crave His Word (our spiritual milk) so that we can grow in our walk with God. After all, the bible also says:
That’s the beauty of God’s word – spiritually it will always satisfy us – it won’t even matter if you overeat! There is no such thing as spiritual obesity!
On the contrary, I guarantee that by staying away from His Word you will see the opposite effect. After all, if you stop eating physically we know you become malnourished and can even die. In the same way, if we stop eating spiritually, we starve our spirit. Then our Christian walk with God starts to become stagnant and can even decline.
Ever wonder why there are so many “Christians” who don’t act, talk or resemble anything “Christ-like”? Hmmmm, just more food for thought.
#3 - Wisdom and guidance for life
Psalm 119:105 is a popular verse. However, it has become more of a cliché than an actual truth to live by:
After all, if the Bible is ‘the source’ of wisdom and guidance, then why wouldn’t we want to make decisions in life based on that very wisdom and guidance, especially if it comes from God?
#4 - Peace and Comfort
In some of the most challenging times of my Christian walk, peace is one of the things I prayed for most! When everything going on around you makes you feel lonely, worried, stressed, frustrated, depressed and anxious, there is nothing like the peace that only God can provide to calm your mind.
Trust me, even the pleasures of this life such as alcohol, smoking, and other “substances” pale in comparison as they all ONLY provide temporary relief on a physical scale. But, none of that helps on a spiritual scale. Which is why, when sobriety hits or the “high” fades, we still feel empty.
Let’s look at a few verses.
Psalm 119:50 says: “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”
Sometimes, the promises of God’s word may be the ONLY thing that can provide comfort when you’re going through things.
This why Psalm 119:165 says: "Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble."
That renewed strength that comes from reading His Word can give you that extra push you need to keep moving forward in whatever situation you may be facing.
We’ve all had times when we were hurt, or even grieving. Where we’ve been surrounded by family and friends, but no one could say the right thing to encourage us. But the Word of God provides encouragement no matter what the situation may be.
Psalms 119:28 says, “I weep with grief; my heart is heavy with sorrow; encourage and cheer me with your words.”
Just as the writer did here, we can literally cry out to God and ask him to encourage and cheer us up with His Word!
And then there is one of my favorite verses:
No explanation needed! You want more peace in your life? Yoga may help relax your body and mind temporarily. However, staying in God’s Word will keep you in state of “perfect” peace!
Why? Because learning the bible and His promises builds your faith and trust in God. And if you fully trust in God, no matter what life throws your way, you will have a peace that helps you endure anything because you will know that He is always with you.
#5 – Hope and Healing
All of us have experienced times where we did not see immediate results. Whether it was for a change in a situation at home, a prayer for a new job, new car, or new home, getting over a relationship or just waiting on God to answer a prayer in general.
Its in these times of waiting where we really have to place our trust in God and the fact that He knows what is best for us. He will therefore, answer our prayers or change our various situations at just the right time, in accordance to His will for our lives. His Word gives us this necessary hope when we start to doubt or even lose faith.
Psalm 130:5 says: “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”
Psalm 119:43 says: “Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.”
In times when we start to feel “hopeless”, the best thing to do, is go immediately to His Word for hope.
Psalm 119:147 says: “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.”
This same crying out to God provides “healing” in the sense that the Word heals our souls/minds from the stressfulness of the situations we face, as well as physical healing.
Psalm 107:19-20 says: “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”
Psalms 119:114 summarizes it for us in a nutshell: “You are my refuge and my shield; your Word is my source of hope”.
The Word of God is our “true source” of hope! Anything else is only a temporary fix.
The Bible is “Powerful”
Hebrews 4:12 is one of many verses that tells us about how “powerful” God’s Word can be.
I have sat through many amazing motivational speeches in my day and read some very inspirational books by some very successful leaders. However, no book has ever changed my life the way the bible has. No book has the authority or power to dig into the depths of our soul and spirit and convict Christians towards life-altering changes the way the bible does!
These benefits that we get from learning the bible are an exact demonstration of God’s power and what His Word can do in our lives!
Check out Part 2, where we’ll look at the other 5 key benefits of learning the bible.
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