After Jesus’ baptism, and before He commenced His ministry, “the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness” to be tempted by Satan. At each turn Jesus used the words of Scripture as His sword to counter the temptation. His first was taken from Deuteronomy 8:3, when He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matt 4:4). Jesus was making the crucial point that there is a more important source of sustenance than food. It is the Word of God. The Word nurtures our spiritual needs in a way that benefits us eternally, rather than merely providing temporal relief from physical hunger.
As believers it is vital that we feed our souls and protect our minds by daily feeding on the bread of the Word through reading, meditating, and studying. As you prepare to enter a new year, I would encourage you to make Bible intake a daily habit. I have used many Bible reading plans over the years, but the one I have used most is this 52 Week Bible Reading Plan written by Michael Coley. The beauty with this plan is that it has you covering one chapter or more from each major section of the Bible weekly so as to keep your reading fresh and engaging. The plan is not the ultimate thing, but feeding on the Word of God daily is.
If reading through the Bible in a year is a little too daunting, then perhaps consider finding a friend (or your spouse) and begin by choosing a book of the Bible and reading through a chapter a day. After you read the chapter write down a truth and an application from one particular verse in that chapter and text it to your friend. This not only keeps you accountable to feeding your soul daily but you will also be mutually encouraged.
May you find great joy and spiritual growth as you encounter the Word of God daily throughout 2023 and are able to say with David, “In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches, I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (Psalm 119:14-16).