What if meeting God was as easy as opening a door? Opening your Bible is like stepping through God’s front door. While reading, you have the opportunity to meet God, and get to know him better. The Bible shares the story of God and his people, and invites you, through the work of the Holy Spirit, into a deeper relationship.
Here’s one way to grow in your relationship with God: read the Bible (and pray) to know God, know God to enjoy God, enjoy God to love God. Bottom line: the more time you spend with God, the more you feel at home with him. Bible reading can be one of the first steps in your relationship.
Reading for the Relationship
Think of Bible reading and prayer as a way to spend time with God. It’s easy to miss this goal if you read the Bible just for information. When you spend time with your friends, you eagerly share about your life, knowing they care enough to listen. In turn, you pay close attention to their stories. That’s how your relationship grows.
Similarly, prayer and Bible reading are relational, because they are the way you spend time with God. In John 17:3 Jesus prays for disciples like you, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Did you get that? Jesus defines eternal life as knowing God the Father and God the Son. If eternal life is a relationship, then it makes sense that we would spend time with God already now.
Actively Engage with God
Relationships can be awkward when you are first getting to know someone, or when you lose touch and need to reconnect. That’s why Bible reading and prayer can feel unnatural and even tedious at the beginning. You just need to get to know God. So how do we get past this awkward stage?
Listen to this wise advice from a godly father to his son, “If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God” (Prov. 2:3-5). If you want to grow in your faith, first start by praying and asking God for insight and understanding. Then turn to your Bible.
A daily devotional can be a helpful tool in your effort to engage with God’s Word every day. Check out the Words of Hope daily devotional, and subscribe today to get started.
Know God to Enjoy Him
The better you know God the more you will enjoy spending time with him. Imagine someone newly in love. Here’s how the writer of Psalm 119 talks to God, “Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long” (v. 97 NLT). “I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise” (v. 148 NLT).
In fact, when he tries to put a price tag on his relationship with God, there is no number big enough—“Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver” (v. 72 NLT). When he tries to describe the joy of his relationship with God it is as delicious as dessert: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (v. 103).
Enjoy God to Love Him
The more time we enjoy with God, the more our love for him will grow. That relationship of love will develop in us a desire to serve and glorify him. For the writer of Psalm 119, his obedience was all about relationship, not regulation—“Lord, you are mine! I promise to obey your words!” (v. 57 NLT).
The ancient king of Israel, David, is an example of responding to God relationally. God rescued him in such a powerful way that in the Psalms he wrote, David campaigned to make God’s name great: “Praise the LORD, all you who fear him! Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob! Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!” (Ps. 22:23 NLT).
Then David shares his personal experience with God: “For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.” (Ps. 22:24 NLT). Through the Word and prayer David met the invisible God in a way that saved his life.
Get Started with Devotional Time
Now you can see why Bible reading and prayer are like opening the door of God’s home. Once we get inside, we get to know him as he really is. Personal awareness of God awakens our delight in him. Enjoying him prompts a natural desire to obey him and to bring him glory. You, too, can have a living relationship with the Creator of the universe. You now know what to do. Go ahead. Open the front door of your Bible and step into God’s presence.
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The Bible is God’s gift to us. Learn more about how to engage with the Bible in the Words of Hope devotional series: The Gift of God’s Word.