When last did you spend an uninterrupted ten minutes with God reading the Bible? Left unchecked, our cravings for the achievements and pleasures of this world choke out our desire for the Word of God. Malice blinds us to healthy relationships. Deceit masquerades as political expediency. Hypocrisy rewrites our identity. Envy hardens our heart. Slander dominates our vocabulary. However, when we prioritize our relationship with Christ, everything falls into perspective.
Peter taught believers to crave the Word: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). Jesus’ close disciple most likely contrasted pure with deceit in the prior verse. Milk referenced the nourishment of the Word, the expression of God, so that we might mature in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. He desires to shape each one of us to be like Christ (see Romans 8:29). His Word shines light on the world in such a way that it illuminates a new perspective in us. We exchange malice for love (see 1 Corinthians 13:6). We give up deceit for integrity (see 1 Chronicles 29:17; Philippians 1:6). We let go of hypocrisy and embrace sincerity (see Romans 12:9). We surrender envy for generosity (see 1 Corinthians 13:4; John 3:16). Instead of slander, we speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). The Holy Spirit shifts us from being selfish to becoming selfless.
Three excuses get in the way of our transformation: commitment, conviction, and confusion. When we think we lack the time and discipline to engage with the Bible, we have a commitment problem. When we resist the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we lack conviction. When we blur the lines between the world and the Word, we experience confusion. The solution is to make an appointment to read the Bible every day and apply the passage to our daily lives: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Commit to reading the Bible every day for the next year. If you have yet to establish a regimen for diving into the Word, begin by reading a verse in the morning, one that you think about and pray as you go through your day. When you are able to invest five to ten minutes in the daily process, read one chapter in the New Testament each day to read it in its entirety in less than nine months. Add a chapter in Proverbs, and you can read through all of Solomon’s book of wisdom every month. If you have young children, read a children’s Bible with them before they go to bed. The Young Learner’s Bible Storybook by Mary Manz Simon is an excellent resource they will love. The more you get into the Word, the more the Word will get into you, as God transforms your heart and your eyes to crave the Word and not the world.