O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119:97
I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who wishes to have more of a desire to read and study God’s Word. It’s so much easier to do something on a regular basis when you are doing it because you want to rather than just because you know you ought to. But it is not always easy to get to the place where we want to read the Bible.
I recently had to change flavors of toothpaste because I found out the toothpaste I was using had an ingredient I can’t use. This may not seem like a very big deal, and it really wasn’t, but it was a little disappointing.
For one thing, I really liked the flavor of toothpaste I was using. It was mint, a strong mint with a bit of a bite to it, and I really liked the flavor and how fresh it made my mouth feel. For another thing, I didn’t especially care for the new flavor. It reminded me of licorice, and I’ve never really cared for licorice candy. But, I didn’t have much choice, so I started using my licorice toothpaste.
That was about a month or so ago. Since then, something has happened. I have actually started to enjoy my licorice toothpaste. By brushing my teeth with it nearly every night before I go to bed, the taste has grown on me. I have learned to associate that licorice flavor with the clean feel of freshly brushed teeth. I didn’t even have to try to like it; it just happened when I kept on using it. Who knows, maybe I would like licorice candy now too.
Too much sweet and sour!
Let me tell you one more quick story. Months ago I started taking herbal Stevia drops in water. They were stronger than the normal Stevia you use for sweetening low-carb desserts. And when you have just their flavor watered down in a glass of water, it’s pretty strong.
Needless to say, swallowing a glass of that every day was not my favorite part of the day. But, over the course of a few months it got easier and easier to swallow until I started to almost enjoy it a little bit. Now I have just started taking something else that is a lot worse, and I mix it with the Stevia drops to help cover some of the flavor. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn to enjoy that sour powder, but we’ll see!
When we want to read the Bible:
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2-3
We recently heard a sermon by John Van Gelderen about learning to love God’s Word and developing a taste for it. He talked about how people develop an appetite for what they are used to. That is why people so often think that something another culture eats is unusual. I was amused by the fact that people in China do not eat cheese and think that it sounds bad.
What we eat on a regular basis tends to become what we enjoy. The same can be true for the things that we enjoy doing. If we want to develop a love and craving for God’s Word, we shouldn’t just sit around and wait for it to happen. Instead, we need to ask God for this desire, and then we need to “dig in” by daily spending time praying and reading our Bibles.
There will be hard seasons when we are not in the mood to start our day with the Lord, but if we are consistent and make time for it each day, there will also be wonderfully blessed times. We will get used to having that time, and as we press on in our Bible reading, we will desire to keep on learning and growing. God will give us grace to truly want to read the Bible.
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. Jeremiah 14:16
I’m not writing this because I have arrived and always start my day with the Lord and desire to read my Bible. No, I’m writing this because this is what God has been teaching me. It is still a struggle for me, but I’m thankful we don’t have to go through our struggles alone. We have the Lord to help us and Christian friends to encourage us. So, let’s do just that!
I would love to have each one of you comment about something that has helped you be more consistent with reading the Bible and learn to love it. Commenting doesn’t mean that you have it all together because none of us ever will, but we can still share what God has taught us from right where we are. Let’s encourage each other!