But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
The first recorded words of Jesus after His entrance upon His ministry are an assertion of the authority of Scripture, as recorded in a lot of portions including the following.
Deu_8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Jer_15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Eze 2:8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
Eze 2:9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
Eze 2:10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
Eze 3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
Eze 3:2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
Eze 3:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
Eze 3:4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
Some years ago, in one of my regular dialogues with my Daddy (God), He spoke sweetly to my heart about His Word, as follows:
“You need to be continually thirsty and hungry, and depend on Me for the water and bread that only I give.
Daughter of man, hear the word at My mouth….
You must continue to eat of the roll I give you until your stomach is filled with its contents. Explanation:
Read, study and meditate on My Word till you are filled (saturated) with it. The effectiveness and success of your ministry and entire life depend on the time you spend on and with My Word. Make it a priority in your daily life, the most essential of your diet.”
When we look at physical food, there can be no digestion of what you did not first ingest. The first important step in natural healthy living is to eat (ingest) the choice food. If you do not eat, then your system will find nothing to digest for your health. Indeed, there are some food items you eat, such as fruits and water, which your internal organs do not need much work to get digested. They just move down freely, and in many cases such simple foods help to digest others. Again, as a baby, you are fed with simple foods that digest freely into the system, otherwise you would be under constant torment to indigestion.
Reading God’s word is the first major step to obeying His command to get filled and saturated with the Word. If I can do sufficient, frequent, systematic and consistent reading of the Bible, I will find lots and lots of food in it and then take note of the various needs, topics and subjects as well as necessary portions that require further and deeper study.
Thorough and consistent reading, with adequate concentration and commitment/devotion, brings some level of knowledge and understanding in the Word, that you do not need so much time to spend studying some portions of Scripture. You gain understanding and insight as you commit yourself to effective reading.
From the above Scripture portions and direct ministrations from God to my heart, I came to the conclusion that one really needs to start decisively somewhere immediately, by reading, and reading and more reading of the Word of God, gather the general knowledge and view of the Scripture. You need to open your mouth and allow the Holy Spirit to cause you to eat the roll (Eze.3:2).
Reading could be seen as a superficial exercise on the Scripture, but as you do read, you’ll not but begin to enjoy the sweetness of the Word, you will grow in its knowledge and gain revelational insight and understanding. You will realize that your general knowledge in the Word obtained through continuous, consistent and systematic reading, is a very useful instrument for effective bible study. As you take time to dig deep on a particular subject or portion, you will be able to relate effectively with the rest of Scripture relating to the immediate theme.
In every human endeavour, it is always proper and most effective to begin from the simplest and closest option. This, to a Bible Scholar, is READING. Spend time reading and paying due attention to the Word, and you will stand a chance to understand and apply it much easier than one who jumps on a topic or passage to study without any background general view.
God made me to understand that if I must amount to much in Ministry, if I must attain any deep knowledge and experience in the Word, if I must make any impact on my generation as a Bible teacher, I need to be properly saturated with the Word through effective reading. Studying is of added advantage, and meditation is for edification and deeper spiritual growth. To be well grounded in the Word begins with effective reading. Even when you sit down to study, you must first of all do a general-view reading. Then if you have already had this general view by reading, you will spend less time on reading and concentrate fully in the study.
My greatest challenge as a growing Christian had been to really READ the Scripture. Most times, when I sit down to read, I find myself surfing through the Bible with cross references, meanings of words and interesting portions. By so doing, I would not be able to concentrate on just reading, which was the initial objective. It has taken me some prayer and diligent effort to overcome this challenge, and I can now differentiate the time of READing from that of STUDYing. One of the Scriptural instructiions that really helped me was Proverbs 4:20-21:
20 ¶ My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
From here I saw that God really requires us to pay attention and listen to His word taught and/or preached by others (v.20) as well as READ for ourselves constantly (v.21a) and memorize portions of it (v.21b).
This understanding really encouraged, challenged me, and inspired me to start my Bible Reading Blog, Toilet Readers and Scripture Memorization Clubs which will soon be launched. I have started a group (TOILET READERS CLUB) on my facebook page, which I encourage my friends to join. The on-line registration platform will be ready soonest.
With the challenge to read, I compiled a Bible Reading Handbook from a Bible Reading Workshop I organized for my Youth Group in Church. Yet to be published, this handbook consists of various Bible Reading Plans, and many other interesting subjects, which I wish to share on this blog. As soon as the Handbook is completed I will make it available for download (purchase) on line.
After my first few posts I experienced some setbacks which caused the temporary suspension of work on my blog on Bible Reading. As I make this post, and by the grace of God, I am resuming regular posting on this blog, I believe it will be used of God to accomplish His purpose. I am sure at least one of my readers shall obtain inspiration from here to resume effective reading of the Bible for its eternal benefits. This will bring me joy, sense of satisfaction and encouragement to continue. Your suggestions will be very much appreciated to enable me satisfy my readers and improve generally.
You are blessed!