The most important decision I made as a new Christian was to begin reading the Bible and applying it to my life everyday. Now don't get too excited when you read that last part. I'm nowhere near batting 1.000 when it comes to reading the Bible everyday. But it is my intent to spend the first part of my day reading a passage of Scripture, reflecting on what God is saying to me through it, and praying that God would help me apply it to my life. As I've practiced this habit over the past 18 years, I've discovered 3 major benefits from reading Scripture everyday.
1. I'm reminded that in Christ I am free.
"Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." - John 8:31-32
Before I began to follow Jesus, I was ruled by lots of different things: self-focus, substances, and sensuality just to name a few. But in reading Scripture I'm reminded that in Christ I have been set free and don't have to allow anything other than Jesus to shape my life.
2. I'm able to know the will of God.
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." - Psalm 119:105
Like a lot of people, when I started following Jesus I wanted to know God's will for my life. I wanted to know God's will for my relationships, for my career, for my weekend, shoot...I even wanted to know God's will for what I was supposed to eat for dinner. Over time I began to learn that God's will for my life was found in God's word. I've found that God speaks clearly through the Bible. The biggest mistakes I've made in my life since beginning to follow Jesus have all happened when I got ahead of God and ignored what the Bible instructed me to do.
3. I'm corrected, redirected, and equipped for life.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
There have been times since I began to follow Jesus when I found myself looking very little like Jesus. Whether it was the time I lost my temper, the time I allowed my fear to keep me from sharing my faith, or the time I struggled to trust Jesus with my finances...the truth is that there have been times when I was in need of being corrected as a follower of Jesus. God's word has a way of bringing not only correction, but redirection in our thinking. As I've allowed God to correct and redirect my thinking and my actions, I've found that I've been equipped to experience success in doing the work that God has created me to do.
If you've made a decision to follow Jesus, I'm convinced that there is nothing more beneficial to your spiritual formation than reading God's word and applying it to your life.