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Why read the Bible every day? God’s Word is spiritual manna

“Somebody ought to put the Bible in the right order,” I remember my father saying to me one day when I was just a teenager.
When he died suddenly at far too young an age, I decided to try my hand at producing such a Bible. A chronological Bible. A readable Bible. A Bible divided into 365 daily readings.

F. Lagard Smith

I myself had never read the Bible from cover to cover, nor consistently on a daily basis.
But having daily sections to read seemed sensible, and, looking back, I’ve never regretted that decision. Nor, it seems, have the hundreds of readers who have written me, thanking me for prompting them to read the inspired text day by day.

As a Christian author, I find that my Bible reading is usually done in large chunks as I dive into one topic or another. No concordances for me, thank you very much (or, more currently, word searches). I don’t want to miss any pertinent passage that might be lost by simply looking up a single word or phrase.
So whenever I launch into writing a book, I break out a new copy of “The Daily Bible” and read it from cover to cover with the theme of my book in mind. Every verse having any bearing on my theme gets underlined.
When all the pieces of the puzzle are finally on the table, I’m ready to draw my conclusions, formulate a text-prompted approach and get down to the actual writing.
No matter how many times I have read through the Bible this way (it takes about a week), I never tire of reading the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation.
When my publisher asked me to write “The Daily Bible Devotional” as a companion volume, I had no idea what a blessing the year ahead would be: Slowing down to a crawl. Doing the daily readings so as to write something of encouragement or admonition bubbling up from each day’s text.
Even then, there was a temptation to race ahead, exploring more than just one day’s reading at a time. (Readers tell me they struggle with the same temptation.)
But in today’s fast-paced world, faithfully reading the Bible day in and day out is a daunting challenge for many.
The sheer discipline of daily reading seems as impossible to maintain as a New Year’s resolution for daily exercise. Rare are they who can keep their commitment to read even a chapter a day (and rarer still anyone capable of memorizing that chapter, as did C.S. Lewis).
So why read the Bible each and every day?
Think of it this way: Who among us would want to miss even a single day of eating?
Yet God’s Word is our spiritual manna sent down from heaven.
And who would dare go a day without a bath or shower? Yet it’s the Word (both written and incarnate) that cleanses the dross of our evil hearts.
Have you looked at yourself in the mirror at least once today? Why should we not take daily inventory of our souls as well as our bodies?
Daily Scripture reading nourishes, purifies and keeps us honest.
Another good reason to open the Book at some point during each new day is an interesting twist on the rule of Bible study that rightly insists on “context, context, context.”
No matter what kind of day you are having, the Bible addresses the larger context of your life.
Are things not going quite as you had planned?
In the larger frame of things eternal (as almost any daily reading will remind us), the big picture is going precisely as God has planned.
Are you happy as a clam even though you’ve turned your back on God or simply ignored him?
As almost any passage will confirm, there is no true happiness when God is left out of the equation. In order to maintain balance in our lives from one day to the next, we need continual reminders of context, context, context.
Finally, there is the spiritual application of the old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” which some wag cleverly changed to, “Absence makes the heart go wander!”
Invariably, prolonged absence from the Word results in a heart that wanders. Let enough days go by without personally staying in touch with God’s divine revelation (not just “going to church”) and soon we’ll be strangers in a foreign land. Alone. Confused. Lost.
Yes, of course, it’s possible for us to miss a day’s reading here and there and still remain true to what we believe. (Indeed, there was a time when faithful believers didn’t have the opportunity to read even a single word from Holy Writ.) But what a colossal waste of God’s love, encouragement, warning and wisdom!
Might this be a good day to get ourselves back into the Word? And tomorrow? And the day after?

is the compiler of “The Daily Bible” and author of more than 25 books.  As special assistant to the president of the C.S. Lewis Foundation, Smith is actively involved in the establishment of C.S. Lewis College in Northfield, Mass. Contact [email protected].

  • Feedback
    Sir — I have recent “Convert” from St. Mary’s Church, Calcutta. I want to read “The Bible” properly. If you kindly guide me, I will be grateful to you. I believe you shall co operate with me!
    Nivedita Banerjee
    Calcutta, West Bengal
    May, 20 2012
    I do like daily Bible reading to build a better spirutal life, and have His word in my mind just like David. Also I tell my three kids, read it for your own good.
    Joao Fonseca
    Church of Christ
    Brasilia, DF
    February, 4 2011
    Over the past several years I would begin reading “The Daily Bible” on Jan. 1, but kept getting distracted. 2011 is the year I plan to read all of it. Bought several copies of “The Daily Bible Devotional” for Christmas gifts, and enjoy starting my day with it the first thing each morning. Thanks, LaGard for sharing such gifts with us!
    David Guy
    Mayfair Church of Christ
    Huntsville, AL
    United States
    February, 3 2011
    I have been reading the Chronological Bible each year for approximately 25 years now and continue to be blessed with growing knowledge, faith, and being able to share this with others. Thank you
    Jack McEntire
    Philo Road Church of Christ
    Urbana, Illinois
    February, 2 2011
    This is a long overdue note of thanks for the Chronological Bible. Enjoyed hearing “how it happened.”
    I was introduced to it many years ago and have found it invaluable in preparing the lessons used in our classes – Gr. 6 and under. Our “curriculum” is through the Bible over and over again through the years. God bless
    Harriet Hawley
    Yorba Linda Church of Christ
    Yorba Linda , Ca
    February, 1 2011
    Great article on getting saints back to Having that “Daily Walk With God”.
    Where/how can I get this book by F.Lagard Smith “The Daily Bible?
    Simply a servant, M.Pasqualle, Cape Town, S.Africa.
    Mervyn Charles Pasqualle
    Eastridge Curch of Christ
    Cape Town, South Africa
    South Africa
    February, 1 2011
    LaGard’s intellect, scholarship, and communicative skills are a remarkable combination. Re: The Daily Bible, our congregation began reading it Jan 1st. Two Sun AM adult classes review the prior weeks readings; Sun PM sermon is for extra spiritual application. Have re-ordered additional multiple copies 6 times for friends of members seeing and wanting a copy. Thanks, LaGard!
    Bob Ubelhor
    Oak Hill Church of Christ- Evansville, IN
    Newburgh, Indiana
    January, 31 2011
    LaGard is a great example. I find it fascinating that people who claim to follow Jesus have to be convinced to read the Bible. The fact the Bible can be read in a week, or two or three but certainly not months and years. Preachers need to follow Lagard’s example and stop taking years to lead a study of a book of the Bible. Many claim we are not in a hurry and that is correct but the longer we spend in one book the longer we miss the next book. Teachers should encourage Bible reading not discourage reading the Bible.
    John Jenkins
    Great Smoky Mountains Church of Christ
    Gatlinburg, TN
    January, 31 2011
    Our congregation began using LaGard’s Daily Bible the first of January this year. We read and journal each day and use our writings to discuss our weekly readings in our Sunday night Life Groups. Thanks LaGard for providing a great way to read through the Word, together.
    Dale Isom
    Wilkesboro Church of Christ
    Wilkesboro, NC
    January, 31 2011
    I have your Bible in Chronical Order. I have ordered several for others. I have had mine for over 15 years. It is wearing thin but the message and your comments are as strong as the day we started using it in an Adult Clss around middle to late 70’s, at Garden Ridge Church of Christ in Lewisville, Tx Church of Christ. Thank you for making Bible study more meaningable for me. I am almost 70 ands it has been a life changing study.
    Richard Jones
    Riverside Church of Christ
    Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
    January, 31 2011
    Great article, LaGard. Good encouragement to continue to fill our hearts and minds with what matters.
    Warren Baldwin
    Ulysses, KS
    January, 31 2011

Filed under: Bible Study F. LaGard Smith God's Story Staff Reports Uncategorized

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