In my last post I introduced how setting goals can have a huge impact on your spiritual growth. Today we look at the second principle for growing in your Christian faith. Today’s principle emphasizes reading and understanding Scripture.
Principle 2: You cannot grow in your faith without regularly experiencing God’s word.
The Bible is central to the Christian faith. We are a people of the book in the sense that what we know about God and his plan to rescue us through Christ comes from our Bible. Reading Scripture is fundamentally important for the Christian, particularly in the sense that is God’s word to us. Consider that. God specifically ordained these words to guide and shape us. Through His Word we understand our place and purpose in the world. Consider 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness,17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
It is important to note, however, that simply reading the words on the page will not necessarily bring transformation. It is so important to read the Bible with purpose, asking questions about the text and expanding our understanding of what we are reading.
If we simply glance at a few verses and consider our daily reading done, we are missing out on the blessing of experiencing God’s word. The text of the Bible has many layers. That is why I feel like it is typically better to use a study Bible or read with an easy to understand commentary on the text such as the Wiersbe Commentary. These tools help you glean more from the text such as how the original languages give meaning or how the verse fits in a larger context. Reading devotionally does not need to exclude reading for understanding. In fact, we can make some serious errors when we make uninformed interpretations or applications of the Biblical texts.
Consider how you might approach this area of spiritual growth. Are you a read the Bible through kind of person? Do you prefer a reading plan based on chronology, topics, or familiar passages? There are so many resources now that are available to you. Whatever your preference, dig in, experience God’s word, and see the ways that you grow in your faith.