When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. (Jeremiah 15:16)
When I ask members of our congregation, “What does the Bible mean to you?” their true answer is easy to discern, no matter what they might say; The Bible means as much to you as the amount of time you spend in it. It really is that simple. Think about others things in life. The more you like something—a special food, a favorite recreation, an important relationship—the more time you spend engaging with it. Well, the same is true for the Word of God.
Think about our opening verse for a moment. What do you think the Word of God meant to the prophet Jeremiah? Jeremiah was on what I call a “Divine Diet.” He feasted on the Word of God; and when God’s Word is your food, it becomes your joy and your heart’s delight.
What have you been feasting on lately? How much time do you spend in God’s Word each day? How has the Word of God been shaping and sharpening your life?
I think we would agree that Jesus knew the Word of God better than anyone . . . spoke the Word of God better than anyone . . . and lived out the truths of the Word of God better than anyone. When Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:34), He was making it perfectly clear just how important the Scriptures were to Him. As God, Jesus was the Word of God. But as a man, He needed to study, meditate on, and marinate in, and pray through the Word of God in order to know and do the will of God. And what was true for Jesus then is true for you and me today.
Because the Word of God is both living and active (Hebrews 4:12), the more we come to it, the more alive we are made to it, and the more active we become in living it out. When we are on a Divine Diet of both the Old and the New Testaments, we become more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and we are increasingly strengthened to follow wherever He is leading us.
Remember, after Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested, He used the Word of God to defeat the devil, saying, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
So . . . how’s your diet? Are you getting all the nourishment you need to be all God is calling you to be? Remember, God wrote the Bible so we would read it . . . and the Book we don’t read won’t help!
One last thought: This is the only diet in the world where you can eat all you want, whenever you want, and all you will ever gain is a heart filled with joy!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!