First Thoughts

Why You Should Read the Bible in 2023

For years, I have had a commitment to read the Bible through each year.

As I look over my adult life, I see that as one of the most spiritually significant commitments I have ever made.

The Blessings of Bible Reading

That is why I experienced such a struggle when I was asked to write about why you should read the Bible this year. The truth is that I feel so many benefits of Bible reading that I feel overwhelmed at where to start.

But I must say something.

I opened the Bible to the longest chapter in Scripture which also happens to be exclusively devoted to God’s Word. It is Psalm 119, and it is rich with reasons to read the Word.

Here are just five really good reasons from the Bible itself about why you should read that Word this year.

1. You Need Blessings

First, God will give you his blessings when you read his word. Psalm 119:1 says, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!”

Think of your regular reading of the Bible like a soda fountain. When you place your cup underneath it, your favorite beverage comes out and fills it up. It’s the same way with Bible reading. When you approach the Word each day with your heart open before the Lord, blessings pour into your heart from heaven itself.

If you do not need more blessings, then you will be the first such person I have ever met. So, you need to read the Bible this year.

2. You Need to Worship

Second, reading the Bible will fuel your worship of the living God. In Psalm 119:7, the Psalmist declares, “I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.”

Your heart is like the gas tank in your car. If you don’t keep it filled up, you won’t be able to travel where you want to go.

Maybe your worship has grown stale lately. Perhaps the spark that once attended your praise has died down. When this happens, many people blame the church, the music, or the preaching. But worship is first a matter of the heart, and yours may need filling up.

If you want to praise the Lord with a glad heart, you need to read the Bible this year.

3. You Need to Be Holy

Third, reading the Bible will empower your growth in holy living. The Psalmist knew what it was to struggle with sin, he knew how to fight against sin, and he tells us how to win against sin when he says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

God’s Word provides the artillery you need to win against sin, which constantly assaults you.

If you need weapons for spiritual warfare, you need to read the Bible this year.

4. You Need to Be Happy

The Psalmist wants happiness as much as anyone you know, but he draws his happiness from a deeper well than most of us understand, “In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.” (Psalm 119:14)

The cold, hard truth is that most people reading these words will spend dramatically more time this year making money than reading the Bible. Most do that because our sense of direction about where to find happiness is not as wise as the Psalmists. For the Psalmist, the Word of God mattered to him more than all the wealth in all the world.

Clearly, I am not saying that it is wrong to go to work. I’m also not saying there is no proper place for money. Possessions can be one of God’s blessings.

What I’m saying is that if you want happiness greater than anything money can grant, you need to read the Bible this year.

5. You Need to See Wonderful Things

Finally, the Psalmist wants you to behold wonder and glory, “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18)

Many of you are probably planning some sort of trip this year. There are lots of reasons to travel, including taking a break, seeing family, and getting work done. One reason people travel is that they want to see wonderful sights scattered all over the globe.

As rewarding as those experiences can be, God says that the most wondrous things you will ever see are folded up right between the covers of the Bible on your shelf.

I do not know how many times I have read the Bible from cover to cover. One of the amazing things about it, however, is that no matter how many times I read it, I never fail to discover something fresh, new, and wonderful.

I can guarantee you that the same will be true for you!

If you want to see wondrous things, then you need to read the Bible this year.


Dr. Heath Lambert has been the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville since 2017. He is the author of several books, including Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace.

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