There’s an old saying, “aim at nothing and you are bound to hit it.” This is especially true of us as we come upon the New Year at the speed of light. Have you given any thought to 2017 and where you can best apply yourself?
I’ve been reading Dan Dumas’ Live Smart: Preparing for the Future God Wants for You. In it he writes on one of the most important goals a Christian can have: the daily reading of their Bible.1
When I look back on my life, I can see that reading the Bible and reading about the Bible have caused the most spiritual growth in my life… The Scriptures should be your treasure and your pleasure. Make it your priority.
There are a number of worthy goals to aim at—take physical fitness as an example. We know that our body’s health is extremely important. And we should set some goals to push us into a healthier category. It would be foolish not to do so.
But where should we aim first? Physically or spiritually? After all, my good health in one category can impact the other. Which one is the priority? God’s Word gives us a straight answer:
[D]iscipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. (1 Tim 4:7-9)
We need to make godliness our highest priority. The most important discipline on the list is the one that will produce the very best fruit. You know it to be true. Otherwise, the heart will be out of alignment—concerned more about the temporal than the eternal; seeking our own glory instead of God’s.
Please don’t misunderstand me with this example. God’s Word is not saying that our physical goals are of no value, rather they are of some value. Personally, I want to reduce the sugar intake in my diet (I did this with salt in 2016), to strengthen my inner core, and to fine-tune my runs. These are all worthy goals. But they should not be at the top of my (or your) list for 2017.
So what should be? A spiritual one, such as READ MY BIBLE DAILY.
The point is this: The Bible is a nonnegotiable aid in your spiritual growth. The Word saves you and sanctifies you… If you don’t know the Bible, you’re handicapping your sanctification.
Amazingly, what you’ll find as you read the Bible throughout your life is that you won’t get bored with it. There’s always more to know. The Scriptures are written in such a way that they can be easily understood, like a shallow puddle that you can splash around in. But they’re also like an ocean that you can dive into without ever reaching the bottom. It will widen and deepen with each year of your life.
So read your Bible. This is the first and most critical discipline of your life… You can read your Bible at night, in the morning, whenever. It’s less important how you do it, and more important that you do it. You’ve got to make time for it.