Too Busy for the Bible
No one has ever had more things to accomplish, and no one will ever accomplish more than Jesus.
He performed miracles, lead his disciples, and ministered to many before accomplishing the most important task in human history by dying on the cross for our sins and defeating death three days later.
But also included among the stories in the Bible showing us the busyness of Jesus, are the many accounts where we find him alone with God the Father.
How then can we afford to be too busy for that to be true of our own lives?
When it comes to using our time for things such as Bible reading and prayer, I love Martin Luther’s famous quote,
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
If we are to make our life count, we ought to not only possess a head knowledge of Christ’s teachings, but follow His example in the way He spent time alone with His Father.
Sending Away the Crowd
In Matthew 14, we see Jesus withdraw to a secluded place after hearing about the murder of John the Baptist. The Bible tells us that a crowd followed him there. He then feeds five thousand people with just five loaves and two fish. Afterward, He sent away the crowd and went up on a mountain to pray.
For the second time in just 11 verses, despite the size of the crowd around him, Jesus intentionally finds Himself alone with God. However, notice that in this passage He didn’t neglect the crowd entirely. God placed the crowd there for a reason, and Jesus did not disappoint.
You and I also have to face a crowd of our own kind. For me, it’s usually emails and meetings. For you it may be something entirely different. Whatever crowd God puts in front of you each day, I challenge you to serve them well, but to resist allowing them to get between you and your time communicating with Him. Rather, use your time with God to fuel the way that you serve your crowd.
One of the primary ways that He fuels us in our time with Him is through His Word.
Below are 3 reasons as to why reading the Bible daily is essential to the person who wants to lead a truly productive life.
1. To Avoid Sin.
9How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.(Psalms 119:9–11)
Jesus teaches that one cannot serve two masters which is to say that we are designed to be devoted to only one thing.
Sin will be our master if we don’t acknowledge Jesus as our master. If we want to live eternally productive lives that honor God, we must avoid sin and pursue His righteousness with all of our ability.
In the above passage, the psalmist prays that God would prevent him from wandering away from the Lord’s commandments (v.10). This prayer reveals to us the feeble nature of our flesh, which is that we are prone to wander away from God instead of seeking after Him with all of our hearts.
Therefore, we could do no better than to ensure that each day we treasure His Word in our effort to avoid sinning against Him.(v.11).
2. To Be Restored.
7The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple..(Psalms 19:7)
My wife Mary Grace and I recently went on a week long vacation. While we were gone, I removed my work email account from my phone and limited the amount of time spent on social media.
I found that when I returned to work, it was as if I saw everything with new eyes. It wasn’t just that I had more energy than usual or that I had somehow caught my breath. Although those things were true, it was much deeper than that.
My satisfaction with the things I was working on before vacation seemed to have multiplied. My patience and empathy levels were replenished. Things that had felt sacrificial in nature were a delight once again. My joy was noticeably restored.
God’s Word does that for us each day we are in it. When we saturate our routines with the Bible, it doesn’t just make us feel better, it transforms us and equips us for the tasks He has given us.
3. To Be Like Jesus.
14If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
16Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.
17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. (John 13: 14–17)
I can think of no better motivation for doing something than to simply say “Jesus did it.” No, Jesus didn’t sit down in the morning with a cup of coffee and his favorite study Bible. But when we are reading the Bible, we are talking with God. And Jesus talked to His Father both in the morning and at night.
Which, by the way, also demonstrates to us that we don’t have to stumble over when we read the Bible either. While there are many benefits to reading the Bible first thing in morning, this isn’t practical for everyone. We just need to know when it’s time to send away the crowd and get alone with His Word.
I am writing this in January. If you’re also reading it in January, you have probably resolved to accomplish something in the year ahead. I encourage you to make daily Bible reading a resolution for this year and every year to come.
If you’re like me, you won’t be perfect at this. You will miss days. What’s important is that we continue to persevere.
You already have too many things to get done. Don’t make those things harder by missing out on what God has in store for you in His Word.