I have a small group of guys that I meet with each week. We meet because we are looking for connection, friendship, safety, hope, truth, love, growth and life.
To that end, a few weeks ago, we decided that it was time to stop merely talking about "what we need to do", and commit to doing it. See, the reality is, most of us (you included) know what it is that we need to do. It pops into mind often, as if it is trying to happen: Eat better; Read; Exercise; Face that fear; Stop spending; Join that effort; Get sober; Invest in your marriage or family. It could be anything, but whatever it is, it is never far from you.
So our group decided to go around the circle and commit. We committed to doing (or quitting) "that thing" for 40 days, and we do a quick check in each week.
One of my friends committed to reading the Bible every day. He has not done it. It had been 21 days and when he checked in, he confessed that, when he takes a break from his busy life, he finds himself playing a mindless iPhone app instead.
He was asked why he chose this particular commitment. With no hesitation, he answered, "Because I need it!" He was challenged, "You obviously don't need it, or you would be doing it. Why not pick another commitment?" He answered, "Because I want it!" He was challenged again, "You really do not think you need it, nor do you want it or you would be doing it." He was understandably frustrated with himself.
Can you relate? Most can. It is the very common struggle of many Christians. Take a poll, and I bet the folks that really read and study the Bible are far outnumbered by the ones that do not. Sure, they believe in the Bible. Just ask them, and almost 100% will say so. But follow that up and ask them if they actively read, research, and learn the Bible, and the percentage drops dramatically to embarrassingly low numbers.
Today, we consider the "Mandatory Move" from being a "Bible believer" to being a "Bible student."
Now listen: In the Christian way, it is true that knowledge is not everything. Further, it is also true that knowledge, apart from love, is nothing, and can even be dangerous and destructive to true Christian faith.
But knowledge is necessary for growth. Peter says that "[God's] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3)
The primary sourcebook of our knowledge of Jesus is the Bible. I am not being dramatic when I say that it is close to spiritual suicide to not be in it, gaining in your knowledge of Jesus Christ. Peter affirms: "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge." (2 Peter 1:5)