The Bible is a great book because it divinely inspired and supplies us with the knowledge of God, His plan of redemption and mission for the world, as well as the knowledge of the nature of mankind, and of the universe. No other book can be compared to it on these topics. It not only informs us about these important truths, but it also tells us what we are to do with this information and truth. The Bible is our only source of faith and practice, so we ought to:
1. “Read it” (Nehemiah 8:8). May we read slowly, carefully, prayerfully, in large portions, repeatedly, reverently and with a willing spirit to follow what it says.
2. “Believe it” (Romans 10:8). Since it is the Word of God, it has been given to us to increase our faith in God and His working in the world.
3. “Receive it” (James 1:21). It is the grafted word that is to be received as the soil received the seed, or the tree receives the graft. Taking the Word of God in our lives, allowing it to grow and to bear its own fruit in motives and actions.
4. “Taste it” (Hebrews 6:5). It is the good Word of God. Some seem to be afraid of the Bible for fear it will require them to do something they do not wish to do. Don’t be afraid; it is good and right in all its requirements.
5. “Eat it” (Jeremiah 15:16). Eating it suggests that we not only taste but actually live by it, as Jesus said, “You shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
6. “Hold it fast” (Titus 1:9). The Bible is faithful. All the promises are true and will come to pass. All its history is true and has been or will be confirmed. All its statements are true, about God, mankind, living and salvation. Therefore we are not to put our in it, but put our faith upon it.
7. “Hold it forth” (Philippians 2:16). The Bible is the Word of Life. All who come under its teaching will feel its life giving power.
8. “Preach it” (2 Timothy 4:2). Here it is called simply the Word. It suggests that we are not to preach just parts of it or any one section of it, but to preach it in its entirety and fullness.
9. “Search it” (Jeremiah 29:13). This word “seek” suggests work and patience (Endeavor, Inquire, Inquiry, Require, Seek). The Greek word carries the idea of “ransack” as the housewife goes through the home at housecleaning time; or “to track” as the hunter laboriously follows the game through the brush, so we are to search for truth and run down the tracks of God’s revelations to man.
10. “Study it” (2 Timothy 2:15). Here is a word that means close application to the Word of God, as the builder carefully studies the plans of the architect before building the structure.
11. “Meditate on it” (Psalm 1:2). This word has much the same meaning as “eat” because it means literally “to chew the cud.” Turning the Word of God over and over in the mind until the sweetness of its message feeds our souls.
12. “Compare it” (1 Corinthians 2:13). We don’t often do this. It is not so much what we do with the Scriptures as what the Holy Spirit does with them in our hearts. This is a divine commentary always at hand. Or as John puts it (1 John 2:27) “Now as for you, the anointing that you received from him resides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as it has taught you, you reside in him.”
13. “Rightly divide it” (2 Timothy 2:15). This is not an arbitrary division of subjects but following a line of truth from the first place mentioned to the last place mentioned; noticing it in relation to other truths and as the word literally means “the cutting of a straight line” of truth in the Bible.
14. “Delight in it” (Psalm 37:4, 119:92). Seven times in this Psalm the Psalmist speaks of delighting in God’s word. This should always be the heart ambition and attitude.
* Based on “What to Do With the Bible” by the Reverend W. H. Pike, frontier preacher and pastor from Ontario to Alberta, Canada around a hundred years ago.