Jerry Kilgore is a "true blue" friend and a faithful Christian. Among his various e-mail logos is one that asks, "Have you read your Bible today?" That is a good questions and one that I recommend we always strive to answer in the affirmative.
I find time (several times!) every day to eat. I find time every day (almost) to read the newspaper. Most days I watch a little television – very little, I might say. Every day I work at my computer, send out e-mails, etc. Every day I try to read my Bible. I must confess, however, that in rare situations, for whatever reason (travel, schedule filled with numerous activities, lack of self-discipline), a day may occasionally go by when I don't literally pick up The Book and read directly from it. I am fortunate to have been able over the years to memorize large sections of scripture, and to call them up and reflect on them. So even on those days when I don't actually read from the Bible itself, I try to nourish my soul with passages from the word of God which "I have laid up in my heart" (Psalms 119:11).
Why is it so important to read and mediate on God's word every day? First, it is food for the soul, and without that food the soul will grow weak and die. Christ said, "I am the bread of life" (John 6:48). Only by reading God's word can we know of Christ and His teaching and partake of the life-sustaining bread. Second, the Bible is milk for the newborn child of God. Young Christians are to "desire the pure milk of the word, that [they] may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2). Third, God's word is solid food for the more mature Christian – "for those of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14). Fourth, the Bible is water to a thirsty, parched soul. To the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well Jesus said, "Whoever drinks of this water (the water from the well) will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life" (John 4:13-14). Fifth, the word of God is a delectable "sweet treat." "How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth" (Psalms 119:103).
What a rich and varied supply of food for our soul God has provided in His wonderful word! No wonder Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone [physical food, hf], but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). But how is our appetite? Do we "hunger and thirst after righteousness" (Matthew 5:6)? Or, are we feeding our bodies and starving our souls?
Most of us have a Bible. Within eyesight of where I sit here at my computer desk writing this article I can count nine copies of either the entire Bible or of the New Testament in various versions. In other parts of my office, throughout our house, and in my car are several other copies of the Bible. What an eternal tragedy it would be to never open them to read the life-giving and life-sustaining message they contain! But you need only one copy of the Bible – provided you will read it and let it nourish your soul.