You know you should delight in Bible study. You’ve read verses that talk about loving and finding joy in Scripture. You realize you are supposed to “long for the pure spiritual milk’ (1 Pet. 2:2).
If you’re like me, sometimes you feel guilty when words like these don’t exactly describe your life. Maybe there are other things that simply give you more joy and satisfaction than Scripture.
But you want to fix that.
What do you think when Paul says, “I delight in the law of God, in my inner being” (Rom. 7:22) – can you relate?
What goes through your mind when you read verses like Psalm 119:12-16?
Blessed are You, O Lord;
teach me Your statutes!
With my lips I declare
all the rules of Your mouth.
In the way of Your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts
and fix my eyes on Your ways.
I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.
Do you want to be able to say the words of David in Psalm 119:103?
“How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
How can we learn to for hunger God’s Word? How can we go from hardly delighting in the Bible, to savoring it more than we would a prime 16-oz New York strip steak? Or, in the words of Job, how can we say, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food” (Job. 23:12)?
Here are some ways to find more delight in the sweet Word of God:
1. Realize that the Bible is the key to spiritual growth. Why are Christians instructed to “long for the pure spiritual milk” (1 Pet. 2:2)? So we may “grow up into salvation.” Show me a spiritual person, and I’ll show you someone who diligently and regularly studies his/her Bible. If we are to be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18), we need to know how to be filled with the Spirit. The Spirit abounds within us through the “hearing of faith” (Gal. 3:2; cf. Col. 3:16).
2. View the Bible, in its entirety, as God’s glorious message of grace and life. The message of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is to show us the way to redemption and life (cf. 2 Tim. 1:10). Yet the fact that we struggle at times to delight in God’s Word should remind us of our constant need for God’s grace. Paul said, “I delight in the law of God, in my inner being” (Rom. 7:22). But a few verses earlier, the brutally honest and conflicted apostle confessed that sin sometimes caused him to do the opposite of what he wanted to do. Can we relate? Herein lies the correlation: When we fail to rejoice in scripture, we are failing to appreciate our need for grace and the hope that we have in Jesus. A few verses later, the tormented apostles exclaims, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin” (Rom. 7:24-25). Find delight in the Bible by seeing it as the source of eternal life.
3. Pray sincerely and regularly, asking God to give you a passion for His Word. How often have you prayed in the past for God to help you delight in Scripture? It is this kind of prayer that God takes pleasure in answering.
4. Study God’s Word carefully and consistently. “Practice makes perfect,” people often say. If you want to improve your golf swing, you need to golf often and regularly. If you want to improve your writing, you need to write more often. If you want to get more out of the Word, you need to immerse yourself in the Text more frequently. If we want to grow in our passion for God and His Word, we need to be intentional about studying the Bible.
5. Spend time with people who obviously find joy in studying the Word. Don’t you know people like this – people who are so full of the Spirit that God’s Word is an inseparable part of their being? These are the kinds of people I enjoy being around. Why? Because when I’m around them, I crave God’s Word more and more. Love for Scripture is contagious. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17). If you don’t have any friends like this, look for them at church. Listen to sermon podcasts of trusted gospel preachers. Read their writings. Spend time with your preacher and elders. Relish those moments, and follow in their footsteps.
Question: Do you have any suggestions for how Christians can have a bigger appetite for the Word?