Why Should We Read and Study the Bible?
It’s worth our time and energy to read and study the Bible regularly. Things come up in life that keep us busy and distracted from the most important things. Let’s look at some of the precious benefits of dwelling on God’s Word. It will help us understand and remind us why we’re studying the Bible.
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!”Psalm 139:17
What Are the Benefits of Bible Study?
Why read the Bible? Here are 21 reasons to study the Bible. These benefits are not meant to be exhaustive. Each one has a scripture basis and a brief explanation to encourage and motivate you in your reading and Bible Study.
1. Receiving Direction
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.Psa. 119:105
It’s important to study the Bible because God’s Word guides you in the right direction in life. It lights the way ahead of you so you can see clearly which way to go. Through every season of your life, you can be confident that God is always leading you through His Word.
2. Answered Prayer
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.John 15:7
Why study the Bible? When God’s Words abide in you, you’ll be able to pray according to His will and have confidence that He hears you (1 John 5:14). This isn’t just wishful thinking. Studying the Bible gives you God’s heart and mind for your life and for people around you. God delights to answer when you pray from this place of abiding in Christ and His word.
3. Strengthened in Faith
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.Rom. 10:17
Being exposed to God’s Word will spark faith in you. You’ll know what to believe, what to base your faith on. There will be a deep knowing in your heart that only God’s Word can bring.
4. Nourishment so You Can Mature
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Matt. 4:4
Life is much more than food and pleasures in the world. The Scriptures become your life-line to a relationship with God. Just as your body needs food to survive, God’s Word nourishes you so you can become spiritually mature as you respond to life’s challenges and temptations (1 Pet. 2:2).
5. Built-Up in Resistance to Temptation
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you .Psa. 119:11
Studying God’s word strengthens you to say “no” to lesser things and sin in your life. As more of the Scriptures is stored up in your heart, you’ll be strengthened in the core of your being, your heart.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.2 Tim. 3:16-17
The purpose of Bible Study is to bring instruction, conviction, correction, and training in God’s ways so you can be equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Let’s look at each one of these benefits.
You can be instructed with teaching from God for wisdom, truth, and everything you need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). The Bible not only gives us truths to believe but also instruction for how to live life. No matter what your background and experience in life is, you can receive God’s instructions directly from Him as you study the Bible.
Studying the Bible gives you a strong conviction about what is true and what is God’s will for your life (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God’s Word will build you up in your faith so you can stand up against any storm you encounter in life.
God’s Word corrects you when you’re going the wrong way (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God loves us enough to correct us and discipline us. Correction can be painful at times, but God does it so that we can walk in His blessing and not reap the consequences of our actions.
A great prayer to pray is Psalm 139:23-24. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
9. Training in Righteousness
Another reason to read the Bible is because it trains you so you can fulfill God’s plan for your life (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Regular Bible Study trains us in God’s ways. We can understand and live the way God leads us.
10. Equipping for Every Good Work
The Bible will equip you so that you can fulfill every assignment that God has for you in life, whether it’s family, ministry, or career (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Studying the Bible will equip you to move in God’s wisdom, love, and power. There will always be needs in the world around us. God’s Word equips you to make an impact.
11. Clarity of Thoughts and Hidden Motivations
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.Heb. 4:12
God’s Word cuts through the distractions and cloudiness in your thinking and emotions so you can know God and understand yourself better. Sometimes we don’t know what’s motivating us in the deepest parts of us. The word of God isn’t just ideas and thoughts in a book. It is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16-17). It’s living and active and will be activated in your life when you study the Scriptures.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:31-32
The Accuser will come against you with lies and half-truths to immobilize you. When you abide in God’s Word by reading, studying, and living it out, you’ll be free. You’ll receive the truth that liberates you from the distractions and pull of this world. You will be free to follow Jesus in God’s plan for your life.
13. Wisdom Beyond Your Years
I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.Psa. 119:99
You will receive wisdom from heaven beyond the limitations of your training and life-experience. In reading the Bible, you get to think God’s thoughts after Him. You’ll receive insight and wisdom to know God and apply His wisdom in the world around you.
14. Revived Soul
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.Psa. 19:7
Being exposed to God’s Word refreshes and revives your mind, your will, and your emotions. The world brings seemingly endless pressures with greed, jealousy, and anger all around. Studying God’s Word brings His wisdom into situations that would otherwise bring devastation to your soul.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!Psa 119:103
God’s Word will bring delight to your heart. The Bible will become your source of life and joy as you live in God’s design. There’s a reality of real delight and inner joy that cannot be taken away from you. Through every season of your life, through every up and down, you can know the sweetness of God’s Word as you draw near to Him and experience His goodness.
That he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.Eph. 5:26
God uses His Word to detox you from the things that bring bitterness and hopelessness into your life. God’s Word washes your mind, will, and emotions so that you can think clearly, and love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.
17. Others Are Impacted by Your Life and Service
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.Col. 3:16
When you study the Bible, God’s wisdom gets stored up in your mind and heart. It will infuse your life with God’s truth and encouragement. It will spill-over into the people around you as you live for God. The more you get God’s Word in you, the more His love and power will flow through you to people living in brokenness and pain around you.
18. Blessing and Prosperity
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.Psa. 1:1-3
As you think and meditate on God’s Word, your mind will be renewed (Rom. 12:2). When you draw on God’s truth and wisdom for every decision you need to make and every challenge you face, you’ll see the powerful results of God’s blessing in every season of your life. You’ll see fruitfulness in your labors and experience God’s abundance in your life.
19. Courage so You Can Be Successful
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Josh. 1:8-9
Regular Bible Study will strengthen you and give you courage. You’ll grow in confidence of God’s truth. You’ll feel more of His emotions towards you as you understand all that God has done for you through Jesus Christ. God’s Word also sets you free from fears and inhibitions so you can be successful in His assignments for you in life. No matter what is holding you back, you can move forward with confidence as you follow God’s Word.
20. Equipped to Stand in the Face of Spiritual Warfare
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Eph. 6:17
The Word of God becomes your weapon as you stand in the face of life’s challenges and struggles. God has provided everything you need for your life as you pursue Him. As you stay connected to Him through His Word, you’ll be able to stand and persevere until the day that you stand before Him. All Scripture becomes available to you to overcome any discouragement, doubts, and fear that might come against you. God has made you more than a conqueror (Rom. 8:31-39).
I wrote an in-depth study on how to put on the armor of God. You can find it here: Put on the Whole Armor of God: What it Means & How to do It.
21. Endurance and Encouragement
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.Rom. 15:4
The Bible is God, the Creator’s instruction book for your life. The Bible records examples of how God works in the lives of people throughout history. Through both the positive and negative ways that people responded, you can learn valuable lessons. You’ll see how God can bring redemption to brokenness in people’s lives. You’ll develop endurance, courage, and hope. God is faithful to finish the work that He began in you (Phil. 1:6).
|Questions for Reflection:|
|A. Which of these 21 reasons resonate with you the most ?|
|B. How does it encourage you? How does it motivate you to study the Bible regularly?|
|C. Were any of the benefits surprising or unexpected?|
A great resource to help in understanding the Bible is: Unlocking the Bible: A Unique Overview of the Whole Bible (check out the reviews on this link to Amazon). It explains every book of the Bible and shows how all the books fit together. I highly recommend it! (Be sure to get the book and not the one with just the charts, diagrams, and images. The covers look very similar.)
Also, if you found this article to be helpful, I think you’ll also enjoy these:
The Easiest Way to Study the Bible (3 Simple Steps – Ready to Use) I share a simple but effective way to study the Bible called the Sword Method of Bible Study. Studying the Bible doesn’t have to be complicated to receive all the benefits.
11 Ways to Study the Bible: Methods, Techniques & Tips. In it, I share 11 different ways, including the one I shared above. You can find the way that works best for you.
Lastly, you might enjoy this article on Psalm 119. It’s about whole-hearted delight in God and His Word: The Longest Psalm in the Bible and Why It’s the Perfect Length.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.