If you feel like reading the Bible,
go pick it up and read it.
If you don’t feel like reading the Bible,
go pick it up and read it.
On awakening in the morning, if I feel like reading the Bible, I open it and begin to read. Sometimes, I feel I can concentrate better if I have a diet coke to drink as I read. On my way to get the coke I notice that I forgot to check the mail from the previous day, and stop to do that as well. In the mail there may be something that has to be taken care of by a phone call or E-mail. Before long, it becomes a tale from the story of “If you give a moose a muffin!” In short, I have found that the sooner I start to read the better. There are many distractions between the desire to read the Bible and actually reading the Bible. It is best to pick up the Bible and read the moment the Lord gives you that desire.
If I were to wake up some morning and not feel like reading the Bible, then I must pick up my Bible and start reading. Emotions that would capture my will and lead it in a direction opposite of God’s best for me are not to be trusted. Our lives are controlled by our will. The Lord uses the intellect (mind) to capture the will (heart) (Romans 12:2) and the emotions subsequently rejoice in this decision. Our enemy uses our emotions to capture our will resulting in the intellect (mind) justifying the decision of the will. The words from a popular song of a few decades ago capture this process this way: “how can something be wrong if it feels this right?”
Howard Hendricks, retired professor from Dallas Theological Seminary, relates that inside the cover of the first Bible which he was given as a young man the following words were written. “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this
book.” To illustrate this, let us look at the life of one man in the scriptures. The instructions to him were clear: “And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.” (Deut. 17:19) As king of Israel, he had a responsibility as leader of the people. The future of the nation would be greatly influenced by his response to Deut. 17:19. The direction of the nation spiritually rested in large part on his shoulders. What was his decision? Sadly for his life and that of Israel, he chose not to obey Deut. 17:19. Instead, his life was characterized by those things that the kings of Israel were told not to do. These are listed in Deut. 17:16-17: “The king, moreover must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself……..He must not take many wives……..He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.” (Solomon had 12,000 horses, 700 wives, 300 concubines, and accumulated 25 tons of gold yearly!) I Kings 10-11. His failure to follow the direction given to him in Deut 17:19 turned his heart away from the Lord. The nation was divided after his death, followed his example of idolatry and was eventually banished from the land. No one but the Lord knows what Old Testament history would have been like had Solomon read daily in the book of the law, feared God and kept His commandments.
As Solomon was an example to many people in his day, so our lives will be an example to others. What will our legacy be? Will it be one of reading God’s Word daily as Solomon was instructed to do, fearing God and following His commands? Or will it be one of accumulation of that which turns our hearts away from Him? The choice is ours.
From Deut. 17:19, we learn that fearing God and keeping His commands begins with the daily reading of His Word. Today, then, if you feel like reading your Bible, pick it up and read it. If you don’t feel like reading your Bible, pick it up and read it.
In Christ, Richard Spann