Someone once said that every person seems to be listening to the same radio station: WIIFM. That’s right, WIIFM. Those call letters represent five words: What’s In It For Me?
When we are called upon to act differently, to give generously, or to risk dangerously, we may find ourselves asking, “What’s the benefit to me?”
The same attitude may creep in when we think about reading Scripture daily. One woman told me that she didn’t like reading the Bible. She said she loved the Lord but didn’t like to read at all. She said, “Why should I read the Bible every day? I go to a weekly Bible study and I go to worship every week and hear a sermon. I’m so busy that I don’t even have 15 minutes a day for myself, let alone to read the Bible.” In other words, she was asking, What’s in it for me?
Seeking to answer her question, I read through the longest psalm in the Bible, Psalm 119. It’s a song written about the Scriptures. And as I read it, I noted seven benefits of reading the Bible. Here are those seven reasons, and hopefully they will convince all of us of the importance of spending daily time reading God’s Word.
First, reading the Bible provides moral protection. Psalm 119:9–11 says,“ How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Reading the Bible helps us distinguish between right and wrong, especially in this relativistic age. It changes the way we think and reminds us to follow God’s standards, not our own.
Second, reading the Bible gives us genuine freedom. Psalm 119:45 says, “I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.” This verse literally says, “I will walk in a wide-open place.” How different this is than what we usually think! Many people think that the Bible restricts and limits us. Instead, this verse says that the Scriptures guide us to what is best for us, and we have liberty to go there. Real freedom isn’t doing anything I want but rather doing what is best. For example, I don’t want a fire to have the liberty to rage across my living room. I much prefer the blaze to be free to burn in the fireplace.
Third, reading the Bible offers us new life. Psalm 119:93 declares, “I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me.” The Word of God has the power to invigorate and sustain us. Without it, we shrivel up. The Bible is our spiritual nutrition. A healthy serving of the Scriptures on a daily basis transforms us so we can walk in newness of life.
Fourth, reading the Bible bestows supernatural wisdom. This is what Psalm 119:98–100 says: “Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts.” The first part of this verse could be translated, “Your commandments give me skill for living.” The message of the Bible is not about a bunch of “begats” and “thou shalt nots.” God’s Word is about practical, everyday, successful living based on God’s perspective, not ours. It’s amazing how skillful we can become in marriage, parenting, business, friendship, work, you name it, when we live according to God’s wisdom.
Fifth, reading the Bible provides divine direction. A great reminder from Psalm 119:105 is, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” I’m convinced that much of the will of God is found in the Word of God. As we wonder what our steps should be in a dark world, the Word of God guides us. We don’t need this spiritual flashlight only on special occasions; we need the light of God’s Word for every step we take.
Sixth, reading the Bible presents absolute truth. We live in an age when people actually believe that truth is relative and that there is no objective reality. Some believe that truth can be individualized, so that your truth is different from my truth. But the Bible disagrees: “The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting” (Ps. 119:160). In this relativistic, equivocating world, we can rely on the absolute truth of God’s Word.
Seventh, reading the Bible gives us emotional security. Psalm 119:165 says, “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.” Jesus taught that in this world we’ll have tribulation (John 16:33), and doubtless we have all experienced troubles. Nevertheless, I’ve also found that the way to find peace in any crisis, whether it’s health problems, family difficulties, financial stress, challenges at work, or anything, comes from reading and gaining comfort from the words of Scripture.
These are just seven reasons that demonstrate the great benefit in daily Bible reading. I believe that it should be a life essential for us all. It is helpful to have a contemporary, easy-to-understand translation of the Bible. By spending just 10 to 15 minutes a day reading God’s Word, we will grow as believers. If you are new to Bible reading, there are many good reading plans available. Find one and use it. And remember what the evangelist D. L. Moody is widely attributed to have said: “The Bible was not given for our information but our transformation.” We can begin to experience God’s transformation of our lives as we read the Scriptures every day.
by Michael A. Rydelnik
You’ve got Bible questions. We’ve got answers. The Bible is full of great truths for our lives . . . and also, if we’re being...
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