You may have heard, but a bunch of us here in Moscow and lots of our friends from all over the place have just begun the Bible Reading Challenge — reading through the entire Bible in nine months, cheering one another on, encouraging one another not merely to get little bites of Bible here and there, but to dive in, to feast, to take second helpings (and thirds). God’s Word is good food. It’s the best food. God prepared it for us, and it’s exactly what we need to grow up strong in Christ. So as we jump in, I want to invite you to join us if you don’t already have a Bible reading plan. And whether you’ve been an avid Bible reader for many years or are just starting out, let the following passages encourage you and challenge you in your Bible reading.
Not By Bread Alone
And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (Deut. 8:2-3 NKJ)
God’s Word is Sweet
How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Ps. 119:103 NKJ)
Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” 2So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll. 3And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness. (Ezek. 3:1-3 NKJ)
A Famine of God’s Word
Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD. 12They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12 NKJ)
Wisdom Has Spread a Feast
Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars; 2She has slaughtered her meat, She has mixed her wine, She has also furnished her table. 3She has sent out her maidens, She cries out from the highest places of the city, 4“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 5“Come, eat of my bread And drink of the wine I have mixed. 6Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding. (Prov. 9:1-6 NKJ)
The Word is the Best Milk
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1 Pet. 2:2-3 NKJ)
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb. 5:12-14 NKJ)
His Word is Free & Fruitful
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you– The sure mercies of David… 10“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isa. 55:1-11 NKJ)
Conclusion & Charge
Don’t think about Bible reading like something you have to do. Think of it as something you get to do. Think of it like food, like eating, like a feast that God has spread for you. In the Old Covenant, God’s blessing was pictured in Canaan flowing with milk and honey. But we have milk and honey too – we have the Word of God that is sweeter than honey and the purest milk. And it’s always there flowing for you. Our famine is self-inflicted, but Wisdom has spread a continual feast for the hungry.
So my charge to you is to get in the word. Take up and eat. Take up and drink. This is God’s food for you. It’s better than any meal you could ever imagine.
Every day in the Word is a good day.