The premise of this exhortation is one that every Christian would agree with: a little Bible-reading is better than no Bible-reading. Every Christian would affirm that the Bible, being the inspired word of God (2 Tim 3:16), and being the spiritual food by which man lives (cf. Mt 4:4), even if ingested in very small amounts, is an exponentially better option than going without it. That being said, too often it can happen where professing Christians can go days, weeks, and perhaps even months without reading the Bible. My hope is that this brief exhortation will help you avoid that trap.
The Word of God is so powerful that quantity does not necessarily equate to potency. When God began the work of creation as it’s recorded in Genesis He did not perform an elaborate series of linguistic declarations, He said phrases like, “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3) or short sentences like, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens” (vs.20). When Jesus resurrected dead people back to life He was not verbose. He said, “Lazarus, come forth” (Jn 11:43), “Little girl I say to you, arise” (Mk 5:41), and “Young man, I say to you, arise” (Lk 7:14). When He calmed the storm He said, “Peace be still” (Mk 4:39). When He healed the deaf and mute man He said, “Ephphata”, which means, ‘be opened’ (Mk 7:34). The point being: the word of God is so powerful that there is life-giving power in even the shortest of divinely inspired sentences.
Church history (and perhaps the personal experiences of some of you) bears experiential witness to that definitive truth. It was when Martin Luther read the words of Romans 1:17, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’” that he said, “Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through the doors of paradise” (Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, p. 49). Likewise Jonathan Edwards recalled coming to what he described as not simply a conviction, but a “delightful conviction” concerning God’s absolute sovereignty when he read the words of 1 Timothy 1:17: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” A small portion of Edwards’ own reaction to that verse is as follows,
As I read the words, there came into my soul, and was as it were diffused through it, a sense of the glory of the Divine Being; a new sense, quite different from anything I experienced before. Never any words of Scripture seemed to me as these words did. I thought with myself, how excellent a Being that was, and how happy I should be, if I might enjoy that God, and be rapt up to him in heaven; and be as it were swallowed up in him forever! I kept saying, and as it were singing, over these words of Scripture to myself; and went to pray to God that I might enjoy Him; and prayed in manner quite different from what I was used to, with a new sort of affection. (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, p. 55)
Let these experiences remind you of the life-giving and soul-satisfying power in the verses that comprise the canon of Scripture. Let them persuade you that even if ‘you don’t have time to read the Bible’, you do, and that you need to create the necessary margin, and alleviate the inexcusable excuses, to read God’s word, even if it’s a little.
Because – a little Bible-reading is better than no Bible-reading.