I am so thankful for the Bible, God’s Holy Word! Through it God draws me to Himself and changes my life. In fact, as I look back on my journey with Jesus, the Bible stands out as an absolutely indispensable, hugely transformative aspect of my spiritual life.

Through the Bible, God brought me to faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus. On the night I was born again, the pastor who helped lead me to Christ read John 1:12 to me: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” He asked me if I believed in Jesus and, when I said, “Yes,” he said, “You are a Christian.”

Fast forward now 43 years to the present. How is God at work in my life through His Word today? Let me tell you.

I use The One Year Bible for my daily Bible reading program and as I read through it, God has used specific verses to encourage my heart. I am very grateful to our heavenly Father for that. He knows what is going on in my life and what I need. And He is kind enough to speak to me in my need. He is good.

The Lord is helping me in another way through His Word besides pointing out passages that help me in the moment. What I have been noticing, and thinking about lately, is how reading the Bible shapes the way I think.

Let’s face the facts: we are engaged in a spiritual war. To a large extent, the battle is for our minds. Thoughts can lead to beliefs, and beliefs do lead to behavior. This is quite clear in the way God put together many of the letters in the New Testament, such as Ephesians and Colossians. The first halves of these books reveal to us truths to believe; the latter halves of the books give specific instructions about how we are to live. Beliefs lead to behavior.

Satan is working hard to fill our minds with God-less thoughts. He is very effective in tempting people to believe things that are not true. And he has many slick ways to get his evil thoughts into our minds. The world around us, the culture in which we live is under his influence. And he uses all possible avenues—the internet, social media, TV, movies, news outlets, books, classrooms, advertisements… anything.

We live in a world of ideas. We are being constantly influenced by what we see and hear. If we are passively, absent-mindedly absorbing the thoughts and ideas that swirl around us, we will end up having the worldview of our culture. We will actually have a God-less mindset.

This is where God’s Word is so absolutely vital.  We can combat Satan’s falsehoods with God’s truth… if we are immersing ourselves in the Bible, God’s true Word to us.

So this is what I have been noticing, and appreciating lately: God’s Word guards my mind, strengthens me in the battle, and cultivates in me a God-filled mindset. Regularly reading the Bible is a slow-drip way of infusing a biblical worldview into my mind and of resisting the God-less worldview Satan wants me to have.

Each morning I sit down with my bowl of cereal and cup of freshly brewed loose-leaf tea, and I read The One Year Bible. I am enjoying it! As you likely know from experience, reading the Bible is not always enjoyable or fun or easy. Sometimes it’s something you just have to make yourself do… like taking your prescription medication. It’s a discipline. However, there are times when God gives you a special word of encouragement. And, what I’ve been noticing lately is that God is using this regular reading to protect my mind and to build and reinforce a God-centered way of thinking.

Thank God for the Bible!

Tom Loyola is a senior pastor at an Evangelical Free Church in Iowa. He and his wife Sue Ann have partnered together in pastoral ministry since 1984 and are the parents of two children. Tom received his Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary and enjoys reading, running, oil painting, and a good movie.

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