John S. Barrett writes*, “…the number-one sin that saints struggle with is getting anything out of the Word of God. We need to cultivate a burning passion for the Word, and cool our passion for the world (entertainment, health, exercise, finances, hobbies…).” [Emphasis added.]
Barrett is correct, but first we must get into the Word (the Bible). And I do not mean the single verse at the top of the page of a devotional. Such a “verse-a-day-to-keep-the-devil-away**” approach is not sufficient and does not show passion. Imagine watching 1-3 minutes of a TV program or movie. Did you get anything out of it? Probably not. You need to get in…and stay in…the Word to get anything out of it.
Only when you determine that you want a passion for Scripture and ask God for it (as many times as it takes) will you get it. What are you doing to show the Lord you desire a passion for His Word? Have you shut off the TV, put down the hobby tool, stepped off the treadmill…and picked up your Bible? Chances are you did not have an instant passion for the many worldly pursuits you now enjoy; they developed over time. The same may prove true with a passion for Scripture, but when it comes to God’s Word, you have the aid of Him Who inspired the very words you will read.
A caution: Don’t approach Bible reading and study as a task or duty (of drudgery) to be rushed through so you can move on to something fun (that you really like to do). Come to the Word of God with a sense of expectation and wonder. Think of it as reading a letter written to you by God Himself.
Resources abound that will help you plan your reading and studying of the Bible. Redirect the monies you spend on your entertainment and hobbies on some good Bible study tools. Your pastor or a mature Christian brother/sister can help you.
Scenario 1: Your pastor asks you if you are “in the Scriptures” regularly. No, you say, because you are too busy exercising at the gym.
Scenario 2: Your doctor asks you if you are “in the gym” regularly. No, you say, because you are too busy reading and studying your Bible.
*Barnett, J. (2009). Living hope for the end of days. Tulsa, OK: Mullerhaus Publishing.
**I do not suggest that rich and deep study of a single verse of Scripture is in any way wrong when one is trying to “mine its gold.” I here refer to the quick “fly-by” many perform as either or both of (a) marking it off a spiritual to-do list or (b) getting a short-term spiritual energy boost.