eat this book

October 18th, 2017 | Posted by

Remember Tang? The orange-flavored drink was invented in 1959 but no one really wanted the stuff until NASA famously sent it into space with the astronauts. In the 60’s we were told that Tang had the taste we love and all the Vitamin C we need. Hmm, does what we love = what we need? If that’s true, I would say that fiery hot Cheetos should be one of the four food groups!

 

Tang may have provided us with the taste we love, but was it really “a delicious way to do something good” for your family? I think not. The first ingredient in Tang is sugar. Twenty-four grams (that’s almost six teaspoons) of sugar in an 8-ounce serving. It also contains fructose (more sugar). Further down the list is Maltodextrin, Sucralose, and other unpronounceable ingredients like Acesulfame potassium and Neotame, all artificial sweeteners. Reading that list just makes us want to put the stuff back on the shelf, next to the weed repellant and bug spray!

 

What about our spiritual nutrition? For many Christian women, their spiritual diet consists mainly of reading devotional blogs by popular authors, books on Christian topics, or listening to podcasts by entertaining preachers. As a pastor’s wife who cares deeply for women in our church, I find this disturbing. The thinking seems to be that when you need inspiration for the day, patience for the trial, or encouragement when you’re lonely, just go through a spiritual drive-thru to get your grab-and-go thought for the day.

 

Tasty, pre-packaged collections of Bible verses and sweet devotional thoughts can make us feel better, but are they enough to provide what we really need? Imagine if one day you woke up to a world where every copy of the Scriptures was gone and all you had left was the devotional book on your nightstand. Would that be enough?

 

Don’t misunderstand. I enjoy reading Morning and Evening, Daily Light on the Daily Path, Every Day with Jesus, My Utmost for His Highest, and all the other splendid devotionals that fill my shelves. And yes, I find it hard at times to make my way through the book of Leviticus and the genealogies in Numbers. Some parts are difficult to understand, but I read them anyway because I want to know all the truths, precepts, warnings and laws contained in the Holy Writ.

 

I want to read, study, understand, and obey. I want to meditate and know the way God speaks through His Word. I want inspiration and instruction. Devotion and doctrine. Emotion and exhortation. Assurance and examination!

 

The Bible is a most comforting book. It is also a most discomforting book. And it should be. We aren’t meant to nourish our personal spiritual lives on a random gathering of favorite Bible verses. We are fed and formed by the Holy Spirit as He illuminates and applies all of the Scripture to our lives. The bitter and sweet, the painful and powerful, the comforting and crushing; all of it is ultimately life-transforming.

 

This takes time. It will take a lifetime of discipline and developing a taste for it. I encourage you to be patient . . . cooperate with the slow process of spiritual growth. Guard against the temptation to nibble only on the tasty bites of Scripture. We can’t survive on Tang. Cheetos can be quite tasty, but you and I can’t live on them. I want to eat this book . . . all of it!

 

And he said to me, ” . . . eat what is before you, eat this book.” Ezekiel 3:1

 

 

 





  1. Christine says:

    This is good, good truth!

  2. Michelle S Ruiz says:

    Yes I believe this is true. We do need to read more into our Bible as we do read into what we eat. Because I know I read the labels of the foods I am feeding to my family. And yes we do need to be able to understand what we are reading. Sometimes when I am reading a scripture I have to read it a few times over in order to further understand or get it. But then it helps me better feel what I am reading. By the way I love going to Bible study.

  3. Marie Butts says:

    (Groaning) Growth! I know it’s needed. And this is where I am right now in my life. I do munch often on spiritual devotionals, blogs/articles & sermons as a source of spiritual nutrition. I do hear Father through the Holy Spirit urging me, reminding me to spend more time in His Word. In His Word is where I’ll find more of what I need. Ugh!! My flesh is yelling “No! No! No!”, like a small child not getting their way. This article was definitely for me. Father is speaking consistently to me. It’s funny, after reading this, I noticed the title again, ‘Eat This Book’. It’s funny because prior to, during and after reading this I had been concerned about what to eat today.
    Remember me in your prayers as I grow spiritually. Thanks & God bless!

  4. GAIL K KIMURA says:

    Excellent devo. Thank you for sending it.

    God bless,
    Gail Kimura

  5. Jeanne Morales says:

    Thank you for reminding and encouraging me with this! I agree too that I can be guilty of neglecting the Word of God and reading a devotional with a few scriptures attached to it. I love my devotionals I read, however, reading Gods Word is truly the only way to know Him deeper and to know His will for my life. Thank you Cathe and I am going to do my best to include my devotional time to include reading not just a morning/evening devotion but my Bible too!! Blessings to you and again thank you for the encouragement!

  6. Sherri Moten says:

    Yes, we need to eat the whole Bible. I thought about this today. I love to listen to podcasts from my favorite pastors but I realized that it isn’t enough. I need to read the Holy Bible daily.

  7. Sherri says:

    Yes & Amen! It was just about a month ago when I felt the same thoughts impressed on my heart. I was ordering a new devotional book when I clearly felt the conviction that God’s Word was all I needed… Devotionals & other resources are helpful in understanding, bring up a different perspective or applications wouldn’t have thought of, but oh that I keep GOD’s WORD central to my daily life! His Word is living & breathes new life in me in a way no other book on this planet can!

  8. Sheri creelman says:

    Loved this message I have been hearing Jesus saying the same thing reading a few daily devotions is not working. I need more! Thank you!

  9. sandy says:

    Thank you Cathe for sharing this…your words are just SO true and poignant! God bless you and your family!

  10. Kathy Hudson says:

    Praise the Lord,
    I’m so grateful for the word of God. This article is great! Thank God for being a student of His word.

  11. L. G. says:

    This is so true. We need to fill our hearts, minds and souls with the scripture and not simply lean on blogs and devotionals. Although they are a good side supplement to the Bible, the Bible is the main resource for instruction and inspiration.
    Thanks.

  12. Natalie says:

    Thank you so much for this! It’s sweet affirmation on my very recent decision to nourish my spirit with our Lord’s words in just this way. I must add that more often than not over the years ‘spiritual drive-thru’ has been how I’ve survived. Barely. This last year has been a journey through a ‘dark night of the soul’ for me but as Jesus leads me ever back to His path for me, this is one of many lessons I cherish. May blessings shower you now Cathe and in the coming days.

  13. Dina R. Creanga says:

    Dear Kathy, I really like this “eat this book”, it’s very true, we need to read the Bible, and read…I do this with my husband everyday and the more we read the more we fall in love with this book “the Word of God”, and we want to read more and more and memories, thank you for your advice it’s very good and practical, may God bless you and your family. Love ❤️ in Christ, Dina, missionary in Romania

  14. Lorraine White says:

    I “always” went to church as a young person. I was at my next door neighbor/friend’s house one day and her grandma was there. We all attended at the same church bldg. So many many years ago but I remember her reading her Bible and saying…there is everything you would ever want to read about in this book. There is drama, love, war…and on and on she went. I thought…you poor old lady sitting there reading a little black book and think that there is so much there. Fast forward…for 31 yrs. Now I have read the Word every day, and wrote down/journaled how it applies to me. I have missed 1 day in 31 yrs…this Nov.7th. There was a lot of life lived in those years…traveled overseas for mission trip, deaths, vacations, trials, suffering, surgeries, parties and life!! But I decided that if the God of all Gods and King of all Kings would meet me every day if I just showed up and read…I wanted to be there! This is not to my glory but to His. Him…100%!!

  15. Lisa Foster says:

    Thank you for your wise words to remind us to focus on the living Word, the Bible. And not only the New Testament but the Old, where we see God’s character and laws, and Jesus also revealed as the Messiah. I do tend to go to my verses in confusing, fearful, lonely, times, (many!) and turn TBN on looking for strength or my “Giants Must Fall” book!!! But true peace comes from the Word and thank you for the reminder!!!! Love and Peace to you and Pastor Greg

  16. Angie says:

    Yes and Amen to this! As much as I love to glean from the scriptures and hide them in my heart I want to have a deeper yearning for His Word!
    One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 15:16, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”

  17. Peggy says:

    What a great truth❣️
    Sin will keep you from God’s
    Word… and God’s word will
    keep you from sin.
    I love God’s word
    Love to you Cathe

  18. Antoinette Munro says:

    I really needed to read this – I have been guilty of just what you are writing about. I need to discipline myself to commit to reading and memorizing the WORD of GOD. I did so in the past – memorizing chapters of scripture, etc but gotten lazy these last few years.

    I have many Bibles at home but I read the devotionals and I know this is NOT enough. Thank you for the inspiration and example.

    PS:Teri Cook is my cousin but I live in MD. I think you are friends…

  19. Courtney Cromwell says:

    Thank you for this. I needed this very much. The Bible is the Word of Life. God bless you.

  20. Evelyn says:

    Taste and see that the Lord is good! His Word is the best nourishment for our dry and thirsty souls.

  21. Avis Owens says:

    Thank you Cathe for sharing your heart. Nothing can replace spending time reading God’s word for yourself. Love, Avis

  22. Melody says:

    Thank-you! A good reminder!

  23. Meg says:

    It is so easy to slip into this spiritual fast food diet. Thank you for the reminder that, while all those other things are good, they do not substitute for personally reading and reflecting on God’s Word.

  24. Lorraine Martin Murphy says:

    Cathe, you’re right, I do it all the time, I confess. Right now I’m reading everyone’s favorite, Proverbs.

  25. Tiffany Clyne says:

    I used to read the Bible because I was supposed to, but the last few years I’ve been reading through the Bible each year with “One Year” Bibles that usually have Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms & Proverbs each day. This year I follow up by reading Pastor Chuck’s commentary notes on the verses I’ve read – really helpful to understand context & history & timelines. The more I read, the more I really enjoy reading it. No more Bible “reading roulette”, where I would randomly open it to whatever page to try to hear from God :)

    • Tiffany Clyne says:

      P.S. it takes less than a 1/2 hour a day (I’m not a fast reader) to read through the Bible each year :)

  26. Tricia says:

    This message was cooked to perfection! Thank you for your truth!

  27. Cassandra Toppino says:

    Wow!! You are so right. Thank you.

  28. Helen says:

    Wowza, Cathe your words are confirmation to what I know the Holy Spirit has been nudging me about all year! Help us Lord hunger for Your Truth!
    Love & blessings to you & your awesome team!

  29. Debra says:

    Thank you for your encouragement and instruction. As always, sound.
    The bible has been called The Book, Living Word and the instruction Book for life.
    The more I read, the more I grow closer to my Lord, Jesus Christ.
    God Bless

  30. Holly Vanessa Vanderbush says:

    Thank you, Cathie! This has been on my heart, as well. Personally, I don’t care for devotionals that much. Often times, the Lord has very specific and intimate things to say, which the Holy Spirit wants to lead us to read. Although I have definitely ‘heard’ from God and received direction and nourishment from a Daily devotional, I am strongly led to seek a more personal relationship and formation from the Lord. I believe this is the case for every believer. I don’t think we need to throw away our devotionals, but we do not need to lean on them as our means of pressing into what the Lord may be saying to us, very specifically.
    However, as you also pointed out, for which I am so grateful – there is so much of the Word that we need to grasp and study – such as historical background and original context and meaning. The beginning and end of existence is not 2017 America! There is so much INFORMATION that we need, as well, in addition to inspiration.
    Thank you for your wonderful wisdom!

  31. Tracey B says:

    This blog really hit the nail on the head for me. I am exactly one of these women who have the daily devotional tidbits waiting for me in my email every morning and I give myself the time “usually” to read them but lately I have realized that I haven’t been getting enough…and you are right Cathe…it isn’t enough. I want to thank you for reminding us and encouraging us to get back into the Word because this is where the whole truth is, not just in mini tidbits from your devotionals.

  32. Bibi Bhairam says:

    Thank you for sharing those encouraging words about eating the book! I needed to know that, as I was born and raised a Muslim and have been walking with the Lord for seven years now! The Bible in the beginning was very overwhelming as I did not understand how to apply it to my life. I found myself consumed with the devotional books and listening to various sermons on radio and tv. I have started my focus now on the Bible by reading it and applying it to my life! God bless your ministry!

  33. Victoria Calender says:

    Thank you Cathe,

    My Titus Model mentor shared with me that it is what will sustain me and grow me in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. After 20 years, God’s Word has broken me, challenged me and sustained me through hardship and joy. In all seasons of my life, it is the only book that brings comfort, allowing me to help others going through their seasons of life. God is so loving to us, not only did He give us His precious Son, He left us with His wonderful love stories, allowing us to see who He really is.

  34. Veronica says:

    I have trouble getting through the Bible reading time. I Had SUBSCRIBED to many blogs, but deleted most and started reading the Bible. I feel this urge inside me like there’s more and I can’t grasp it.
    Thank you for this study.

  35. Joy says:

    I do remember Tang, it was my Favorite drink as a kid. Thank you for feeding us these thoughts.

  36. Noreen says:

    Thank you for the encouragement, it’s confirmation! Blessings to you.

  37. Christina Laurie says:

    True, Cathe.
    But that is not all.
    God told Ezekiel to eat the scroll and then commanded him to go out and speak it to the house of Israel.
    When we read our Bibles, we need also to eat (take in and digest) the Word. Then our commission is to go into all the world and share it with others. (Matt. 28:19), making disciples of those to whom we witness. This is the only way we will bring America back to a believing country and the only way we will assuage Satan in his issio to destroy God’s people.

  38. liza says:

    I consider devotional and other religious resources as my side dishes but the main nutrient that fills up my daily spiritual life is reading my bible. May the Lord continue to pour His blessings in your ministry. Thank you.

  39. Caitlin says:

    I love this! What an interesting perspective on Ezekiel 3:1. So encouraging to me and convicting. Thank you, Cathe, for sharing your insight and wisdom.

  40. Debbie Zamora says:

    Hi Cathe, it always good to hear from you! Thank you, so much for sending Ezekiel 3:1 wow! I never seen this before I love God’s words. I need more of God’s truth in my life and mind and heart! I need direction. Last night I went to a class at my church and the pastor was very kind; his wife is beautiful and prays for me when I see her. I was thinking I should have asked if his wife could disciple me…I need it. Cathe, I serve at my church as an after-service prayer person :0) I need more discipling and prayer for me to really help others pray.

    My friend, hugs to you! Thank you! God is faithful and awesome, My Jesus has won the battle! I remember Tang :0)

  41. Joyce says:

    This is a necessary reminder–such encouraging truth! Thank you.

  42. Jenni Schledorn says:

    It’s just been in the past few months that I have begun to understand how important the process is….how God is moving all the pieces on the chess board perfectly! I appreciate the process now and the time it takes to make something beautiful….Thank you Jesus!

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