The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.
— John 6:63, NIV
As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is sustained by the Word of God. And every soul is to receive life from God’s Word for himself. As we must eat for ourselves in order to receive nourishment, so we must receive the Word for ourselves. We are not to obtain it merely through the medium of another mind.
The Word of God is the living seed, and as this seed is sown in the mind, the human agent must give diligent care to the successive stages of its growth. How is this to be done?—After the Word has been prayerfully received, it is to be cherished, and practiced in the daily life.
It is not enough to study the Bible as other books are studied. In order for it to be understood savingly, the Holy Spirit must move on the heart of the searcher. The same Spirit that inspired the Word must inspire the reader of the Word. Then will be heard the voice of heaven. “Thy Word, O God, is truth,” will be the language of the soul.
We should diligently study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His Word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell on the thought till it becomes our own, and we know “what saith the Lord.”
One may read the Bible through, and yet fail to see its beauty or to comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind, and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view, and no positive instruction gained. Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory. Even while you are walking the streets, you may read a passage, and meditate upon it, thus fixing it in the mind.
The life of Christ, that gives life to the world, is in His Word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His word He stilled the sea, and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power… It is our source of power.
— Signs of the Times, June 25, 1902
Dear Lord, I prayerfully receive Your word, for it’s the word that sustains my spiritual life. I pray for the aid of the Holy Spirit that I may understand the beauty of Your word and comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. Let Your Holy Spirit move upon my heart that I may receive Your word and practice it in my life. I fix Your word in my memory because Your word is full of spirit and life!