Years ago I began the habit of reading a Psalm each day. After reading all 150 Psalms, I would then turn my attention to Proverbs for a month. But then it was always back to a Psalm each day.
As I started reading the Psalms in earnest I realized that this is the one book God gave us that shows in detail how we should relate to Him in praise, prayer, and petition. There are few books in Scripture that so profoundly teach us about God with such a broad range of emotional expression. Preparing for this series, I
opened up to Psalm 1 and read: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
We have two ways to live – trusting in the words, ways, and thoughts of humankind, or trusting in the words, ways, and thoughts of God.
How often does “delighting in the law of the Lord” inform my life? Not enough. Books and blogs I read, movies and TV shows I watch, conversations and interactions I have with others... all seek to inform my life. What they tell me may or may not line up with God’s Word. But if I don’t know well what Scripture actually contains, I won’t know the difference.
God couldn’t be clearer about the benefits of knowing, loving, and following His Word, and the corresponding pain, havoc, and judgment that accompanies those who don’t. Many people, however, are content with spending 5-10 minutes a day in the Bible, happy that they’re at least doing something. While SOME time is certainly better than NONE, it’s doubtful that it’s going to make much of a difference in our thinking. And if our thinking doesn’t change, neither will our lives. And if our lives don’t change, how do people distinguish us from those who do not believe?
Psalm 1:2 says the righteous person does two things in relation to his Word: He delights in it and meditates on it. Psalm 119:97 says something similar:
Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Do I love God’s Word? Do I look forward to reading it more than I might a good novel by my favorite author? Do I see time in the Bible as an opportunity to get to know my Savior and Creator better? Or do I see it as “moldy truth” that I eat only reluctantly? The attitude of delight marks the difference between the Christian who reads the Bible because they’re “supposed to” and the one who reads because they can’t be kept away.
So how do we nurture that kind of attitude and desire? It’s simple. Meditate on God’s Word. Feed on it. Think long and hard about it. Memorize it. Apply it to different situations. Study it. Compare and contrast different passages. Trace the use of one word through the Bible. Of course - all of these being with the simple act of reading it. Lots of it.
May God help us this year to increase our intake of and delight in God’s Word so that we might bear much fruit for the glory of our Savior.