One of the great privileges we have as Christians is we have direct access to God – i.e., we are priests. Fundamental to this the capacity we have to hear directly from God through His Word. How amazing – God speaks directly to us through His Word. We do not need an intermediary. This means that we need to take seriously our reading and studying of the Bible. If we do, we will come to know God better, we will understand His ways, we will have wisdom and insight, and we will know Jesus more intimately. It really sounds worthwhile – the benefits are phenomenal!
With this in mind, I am somewhat dismayed at our quickly we marginalise the Bible, and we would rather read a range of so-called Christian books than really engage with the Scriptures ourselves and exercise our priestly right and responsibility. I do not want to reiterate the comments I made about this previously, but in this post I want to briefly discuss the use of devotionals like "Our Daily Bread" and "Every Day with Jesus". Now these can be good resources and have a place as a supplement to deep and profound Bible study, but they are no substitute! Today, it seems that people are too happy to read a somewhat random devotional, take a decontextualized verse as 'God's special message' for them for the day, and miss the real and deep principles and messages that are inherent in the Bible. What we want is an easily digested, motivational, tasty morsel to give us a quick 'Bible fix', without really having to work too hard. In effect, we ignore the clear message of 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Similarly, I believe that preachers are called to teach the Bible, but too often what I hear is something akin to a Tony Robbins motivational chat, where the Scriptures are used to support the preachers point rather than the other way around. After years, we are still given (and desire) milk, rather than 'solid food', and so we do not grow up into maturity.
Do we really want to know God and His ways? Then we have to move beyond a sugary little 'daily chocolate'.