I don’t have to read in the Bible every day

I don’t think we should have a legalistic drive to read Scripture (Yet, remember, a train is most free when it is where it should be; on the tracks). But Scripture is very very very important. Jesus said sanctify them in truth. Then He said, “Your Word is truth” (Jn. 17:17 cf. Ps. 119: 9, 11, 165 and beginning of Prov. 7 in context). God has also, significantly, chosen to reveal Himself through Scripture. God does do all sorts of stuff for us outside of Scripture (common grace, restraining grace, outside of countless other graces). He give us friends. He gives us beautiful “blood moons” to enjoy. And that should make us weep in appreciation. But that does not mean that we act like the man stranded on top of the roof in a flood who prayed for God to rescue him. In heaven he asked, “God why didn’t you rescue me?” God said, “I sent the Marines, I sent a helicopter, I sent…” God has revealed Himself! He has revealed Himself most pointedly in His Word. We should not neglect it.

I do think it is interesting to think that the majority of the writers of Scripture could not have had ready access to Scripture. Of course, the OT writers would not have known of the NT and likely had very little of the OT ready at their fingertips. Psalm 119 was composed about the OT, that’s kind of an obvious but wild thought.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, who wrote Scripture, didn’t themselves read Scripture every day; or, not likely. Paul also would not have likely read the Word every day (cf. 2 Tim. 4:13). Though, through his vast quotations of it, he clearly had hidden God’s Word in his heart.

So, no matter how we cut it, I don’t think we have to read Scripture every day. And, yes, I do believe in the Holy Spirit (though, sadly, not as I should). The Holy Spirit can and does speak to us. But, the Holy Spirit did already give us a book. And that book is supposed to be used to interpret what He says. So, it is very vital. Paul reminds us that Satan is tricky and parades himself around like an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15; cf. 2 Thess. 2:9-12; Acts 17:11). We need God’s Word to interpret reality for us. We need God’s Word to interpret our emotions to us. His Word cuts deep (Heb. 4:12).

We don’t have to read the Word every day. But it is a huge privilege to be able to (Matt. 13:17)!

For me, recently, less has been more. I spent one day really just thinking hard on God’s restraining grace and it was powerful. I spent another day just thinking about the fact that we live coram deo, before the face of God. I think I would do well to feel less strained in my pursuit of God.

God does not love me more if I consume more of His Word. However. I do want to know Him more. Yet, that may mean less intake and more savoring.

About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 10 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

One response to “I don’t have to read in the Bible every day”

  1. H Wiseman says :

    This is so good! I had struggled with this as well and would often think “I never get enough” (in the sense of this is “too good for my soul and i wish i could spend so much more time” and in the legalistic way “if i dont have a devotion then I am not pleasing to God” or “Surely id be more holy if i spent more time in scripture”.

    A sermon by Doug Wilson was VERY helpful to me. It was spiritual disciplines series: Breath, Eat, Work. One of the most freeing sermons ive had concerning this topic.



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