Reading the Word

Scripture Reading: Deut. 6:6-9; 11:18-21; 17:18-20; Josh. 1:8; Psa. 1:1-2; 119:11,147; Exo. 16:12-21; Job 23:12; Matt. 4:4; John 8:31b; Eph. 6:17-18; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Rev. 1:3

I. We need to see the importance of reading the Bible:

A. God’s speaking to man today is based upon what He has already spoken in the past:

  1. Even though a person may be quite advanced in his spiritual walk, God’s revelation to him will still be confined to the words that He has spoken in the Bible; God’s speaking today is merely a repetition of His own word.
  2. If a person does not know what God has spoken in the past, it is difficult for him to receive His revelation in the present because he lacks the basis for God’s speaking.
  3. If God wants to speak something to others through us, He will also do it on the basis of what He has spoken in the past; if we do not know what God has said in the past, He cannot speak through us to others, and we are useless in the eyes of God.
  4. This is why we need to let the Word of God dwell in us richly; by letting His Word dwell in us richly, we know His past ways and hear His present speaking; only then can God use us to speak to others—Col. 3:16.

B. “I regard reading the Bible to be more important than anything else…We should not
consider reading the Bible as a pastime or think that other things are more important. Reading the Bible is indispensable and cannot be put aside.”—The Sufficiency, Pursuit, and Learning of the Lord’s Serving Ones, p. 103 (cf. Job 23:12b).

II. We need to see how to read the Bible:

  1. The best way to read the Bible is to read it daily:
    1. Since the Bible is food for our spiritual life, we must receive spiritual nourishment from it daily; just as we need to eat physical food every day, we need to read the Bible every day; we are healthy when we eat food every day, and we are healthy when we read the Bible every day—Matt. 4:4; cf. Job 23:12.
    2. We should not eat food one day and then fast for three days; likewise, we should not read the Bible in fits and starts:
      1. Just as our food should be apportioned to us throughout the day, our Bible reading should be apportioned in a measured and daily way.
      2. We should not receive too much or too little, reading too much one day and very little the next.
    3. Eating at specific times is the most healthy way to eat; similarly, we should set aside specific times to read the Bible every day; it is best for our spirit to read a specific amount of the Bible at specific times every day.
  2. The morning is the best time to read the Bible—Psa. 119:147:
    1. 1. It is best to read the Bible in the morning when our heart has just awakened, our spirit is clean and quiet, and there is no noise, people, or events to disturb or worry us—cf. Exo. 16:12-21
    2. 2. If we come to the Lord’s Word and read the Bible in the morning, it will supply us to meet our needs throughout the day.
  3. We should read the books of the Bible sequentially:
    1. Some new believers read the Bible randomly; the Bible must be read consecutively and not randomly.
    2. We need to read the easy portions as well as the difficult ones; even if we do not understand a portion of the Bible, we still need to read it; read book after book without selection, choice, or preference.
    3. We should read the Old Testament and the New Testament simultaneously; we should not wait until we finish reading the Old Testament before reading the New Testament.
    4. Every Christian should allocate two different times to daily read the Bible; one time should be in the morning and the other can also be in the morning or in the afternoon or evening; we should read a consecutive portion during both times.
    5. A believer should read the whole book chapter by chapter, consecutively over and over again; the reading should neither be too fast nor too slow; it should be regular, continuous, and general in nature.
  4. We must not only be spiritual to read the Bible, but we must turn our heart to the Lord— 2 Cor. 3:15-18:
    1. If our heart is not turned to the Lord, there will be a veil on our heart that prevents us from seeing the light in the Bible; once our heart turns to the Lord, however, the veil is taken away.
    2. If we want to know the Bible, we must turn our heart to the Lord; that is, we must turn away from every person, thing, and matter outside of the Lord and return to the Lord.
  5. In reading the Bible, we should receive inspiration and turn it into prayer—Eph. 6:17-18:1. The moment we receive inspiration, we should stop reading and turn the inspiration into prayer; however, there is no need to pray for a long time; we should simply pray briefly and then resume our reading—cf. Psa. 27:8; Rev. 22:20.2. This is the most beneficial way to obtain nourishment from reading the Word.
  6. We should not seek a thorough understanding when reading the Bible:1. We should read according to our level, receive as much as we can understand, and let go of the things that we cannot understand; this is the simplest and most spontaneous way to read the Bible.2. This is the same as eating a meal; when there is a piece of bone with our chicken, we simply put the bone aside; although everything that is presented in the Bible is meant for us to eat, there are some things that we cannot eat now; they must be saved for later.

III. We need to build up a habit of spending time in the Word:

  1. It is important to build up the habit of reading the Word; if you build up the habit of reading the Word, you will be healthy spiritually and you will grow.
  2. “To live we have to keep some legalities. We must be legal about four things: eating, drinking, breathing, and sleeping. Do you think it is too legal to eat three meals every day? Without such a legality you will soon be ready for a funeral! In order to live in a healthy way, you must eat, drink, breathe, and sleep…I encourage you to build up a habit of reading the Word daily, preferably in the morning. Make this a legality.”—Life Messages, Vol. 1, p. 34.

Spoken October 16, 2016

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