Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls (James 1:21, NLT).
I read the Bible to feel better. When I’m finished reading a few chapters in the morning, I have more peace, my distractions seem less, and my energy level for the day’s tasks increases.
Feeling better is the underlying desire of most people. Everyone wants to feel better. For 49 years as a pastor of a church, I was in the making-people-feel-better business.
My prescription for feeling better was simple . . .
Stop doing stupid things, realize that lust will destroy your life, understand that you feel bad because of your decisions, and be humble enough to realize that you need help. Then read God’s Word on what you need to do to feel better.
Yes, I just repeated James 1:21 in the OGV (Old Guy Version).
But my feeling better is more than reading and obeying — I literally feel better, can sense I feel better, and something happens to make me feel better.
I’m not only repeating myself but also being redundant because I want us to understand that by simply reading the Bible, we will feel better.
Let me explain why I feel better and why you will too.
In James 1:21, we find the phrase “save your souls.” Let’s break it down from the Greek. “Save” means “total healing,” and “soul” is your “mind, will, and emotions.” The promise is that by reading the Bible, our minds, wills, and emotions will be healed.
We should all read the Bible more!!!
How does this work? Let’s look at another verse of Scripture . . .
All Scripture is breathed out by God! (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)
We know God to be all-powerful, the source of life, and gives grace. With the Father breathing from His Being into our souls, we feel better! But first, we must lay aside the filthy stuff that keeps us from receiving His Word.
Through the years, I’ve heard the phrases study the Bible, defend the Bible, memorize the Bible, and understand what the Bible says. I agree that we should study, defend, memorize, and understand the Bible, but rarely do I hear, “Let’s read the Bible to feel better.”
Let’s read the Bible to feel better!
After describing Jesus as the Word of God, 1 John says this about Jesus, “From His [Word or Bible] we have all received one gracious blessing after another” (John 1:16, NLT).
There is a mystical aspect of the Bible. In this Interruption, I’ve discussed the mystical side of Scripture. When I read the Bible — I can’t explain it — but I feel better.
I know you will feel better when you read the Bible.
Now let’s turn to page 457 in our Bibles and read . . .
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law, he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1, verses one and two are on page 457 in my reading Bible, but I’m not sure what page in your Bible. I memorized Psalm 1 decades ago. This chapter helped me to desire God’s Word. And countless times . . .
To feel better!