Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed (John 8:31).
Until the last three or four years, I set the goal of reading the Bible through each year. I actually have lost track of how many times I have accomplished that goal. However, the last couple of years I have not been as diligent. It could be that retirement from pastoring has caused me to get a little lazy concerning spiritual disciplines. This morning I found a yearly Bible reading plan to follow in 2023.
Lately I have been asking myself this simple question- “Why is reading the Bible so important?” My conclusions are connected to stability and endurance.
In today’s world, we are bombarded with so many different opinions. There are so many opinions regarding what is right and what is wrong. There are so many opinions about which church to attend- if any. Social media is inundated with opinions of various ministries and musings of various people regarding spiritual things. Various statements are taken as “gospel truth” even if they are not substantiated by Scripture. The truth is- opinions can certainly be wrong. We really need something that is stable and durable to believe in.
Psalm 119:89 says, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” If we truly believe that God is above all, we can believe that His Word is settled by Him. In other words, if He said it, He is the final authority. This is stability; this is a key characteristic of God’s Word. What God says overrides the opinions of everyone else.
In Matthew 24:35 Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” When every opinion has fallen by the wayside and when everything else is gone- God’s Word will still stand. His Word endures; His Word stands the test of time.
Obviously, we cannot base our lives on the opinions of others. There are too many opinions out there. We can base our lives on what God says. He is the final authority. He has the final Word.
Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.
Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter — Breanna.
Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.