1. Benefits to the Christian
I recently asked my Care Group members and the group which I led to Israel in 2010 to follow a Bible Reading Plan which will enable them to read the Bible from cover to cover in 3 years. Having read through the Bible myself, I know it is not an easy task. But the benefits a Christian has from reading God’s Word far outweigh the task.
God’s words are spirit and they are life to those who read and obey them (John 6:63). When we read God’s word daily, it is like taking spiritual vitamins. God’s words have power to affect our inner thoughts which will make us live more effectively (Mark 4:26-29).
2. Secret to successful living
Before the Israelites were about to enter their Promise Land, Moses gave them the secret to successful living. He first made sure their leader Joshua knew this secret which is “obey God’s Word” (Joshua 1:8-9). Then he told the Israelites the benefits of obeying God’s word in Deuteronomy 11:-
(A) Strength to do what needs to be done
When we obey what God tells us in the Bible, we will have the emotional, physical and spiritual strength to do what needs to be done (verse 8). This new strength is not just from within us. It comes from outside of us. We are empowered by God’s Spirit to do what He wants done. Do you need to forgive someone? Then God’s Spirit can help you do it. Without His Spirit, we cannot do it (John 15:5)
We all want to live long. We exercise, eat well, take health supplements, apply anti-ageing creams etc just so that we can live long. Moses told the Israelites that if they want to live long (verse 9) then they should obey God’s word (verse 8). We learn from Moses that when we fix God’s word in our hearts and minds and share truths from His words to our children, both our children and us will live long (verses 18 – 21). God’s truths influence our thinking which affects our mental and physical health. For instance, when we are fearful, we ruin our health. But when we trust God to direct our lives, we become mentally stronger and subject our bodies to less negative stress.
(C) Overcomes Relationship Issues
Moses also taught the Israelites that when they obey God’s word, they will be able to overcome relationship issues. Those who oppose you and those who are stronger and larger than you will be overcome because it is the Lord who will fight for you. You only need to stand firm on the truths of His word and you will see the victory from God (Exodus 14:13, 25). Is there a person who is causing you emotional stress? Bring the person before God in prayer and ask Him to help you deal with this difficult person. Again, it’s not your public relations skill that will solve the problem. It’s the strength of the Holy Spirit who will solve it. He can either change the difficult person or He can change you. Either way, you will win.
(D) Favour of God rests upon you
Finally, Moses reminded the Israelites that when they obey God, His blessings or favour will rest upon them (verses 26-27). Ultimately, it is not how smart we are but how favourable our circumstances are. When God’s favour rests upon you, He can bring people along your path to help you. He can make them want to bless you. When all that happens, you know that the blessings come from God. We don’t obey God so that we can receive the benefits outlined above. Instead, we do what God recommends as a means to effective living i.e. fix God’s word in our hearts and obey them. We then leave the results in God’s hands. Since God loves us, He will always make things work out for our good (Romans 8:28).