New Diet? Try Living Bread (interview with author Tessa Emily Hall)
The start of a new year often means the start of new attempts to be healthy. New diets. New exercise routines. New goals.
Those are all good things, within reason. But what about your spiritual diet? Have you decided what your Bible study routine will look like this year? Will it differ from what you’ve done in the past?
Let me just say this: Maybe it should.
The Bible Is Not a Fortune Cookie
I’ll just speak from personal experience. As a teenager, I approached the Bible somewhat like a slot machine. I would randomly open to a page and read a verse and think that those words were what I needed to read that day.
In case you were wondering, that’s not how Bible study should look. That, my friend, is more like turning the Bible into a fortune cookie.
God gave us His word as a means of revealing Himself to us. The Bible tells us who God is, what He’s done, and what He will do. It is our only means of getting to know the eternal, perfect, holy God of the universe, who just so happens to want us to get to know Him.
What Bible Study Is Not
Bible study is not about what we can “get” out of it for the day.
Bible study is not about pick-me-ups or self-esteem.
Bible study is not about random accumulation of facts or feathers we can stuff in our hats based on how much we know.
What Bible Study Is
Bible study is about knowing God so that we can honor Him more.
The whole purpose of everything is God’s glory. Yep, it’s that simple. Read Ephesians 1 if you need some scripture to back that up. You’ll see that from eternity past to eternity future, all God does is “to the praise of the glory of His grace.”
So, whatever new goals or new plans we make for this year, know that God’s glory should be our ultimate goal. His glory should be our goal as soon as we wake up in the morning, as we go to work or school, as we talk to our parents and siblings and friends, and as we exercise as part of our New Year’s resolutions.
Our New Year’s Resolution: God’s Glory
God’s glory in our lives begins with our Bible study.
Because we first must know God to know what will glorify Him. And we get to know God by reading what He’s said about Himself in the Bible. So, before we hit the gym, dive into a new diet plan, or outline our goals for the year, we should determine how we are going to get to know God more by reading His word.
Will it be a chronological plan? A deep dive into a single book of the Bible? A read-through of the gospel accounts? What will you do this year, starting right now, to get to know your God on a deeper level?
Me personally, I plan to start a deep dive into Hebrews. I realize this will be a long and intense undertaking, but I am excited about it. I’m excited to see Christ as the prophet, priest, and king He’s proven to be in the text of Hebrews.
And today, after a break for the holidays, we’re jumping back into our Live Your Love series with wise words from author and actress, Tessa Emily Hall, on the topic of Bible study routines.
Live Your Love – Tessa Emily Hall
I began a daily habit of reading my Bible in middle school, thanks to a version of the New Testament that was printed in a magazine-style format for teens (Revolve). In reading the Bible in this format, it was as though the Bible became personal for me. It wasn’t just an old, religious book; instead, the words that Jesus spoke in the New Testament came to life.
This is what initially led to me developing a regular quiet time. For an hour or so before bed, I’d spend time drawing closer to God while reading the Bible. This time was life-giving for me—and still is.
This is why I like to encourage teens to build this daily habit of quiet time as soon as they can! The Bible isn’t an outdated religious book; it’s our Daily Bread that we were created to feast on daily. For our own nourishment and spiritual nutrition. Without it, we grow weary. Starving. Dehydrated. Depleted. Empty.
If we make it a priority to nourish our physical bodies every day, shouldn’t we prioritize our spiritual health even more so? Besides, these bodies are going to deteriorate some day eventually—but the work we put into building our spiritual bodies? The fruit that results will outlast this world and follow us into eternity! I don’t know of anything in this world that is more deserving of my time and attention than growing spiritually by feasting on His Word.
- Tessa Emily Hall
Website: Tessa Emily Hall
Thank you, Tessa, for encouraging us all to feast on the Living Bread of Jesus Christ as we study God’s Word! What an important reminder, especially now that so many of us are focusing on what we eat as we start the new year.
Keep in mind this year as we all march toward accomplishing our new goals that God’s glory should always be at the top of our list. If that is the case, then all your goals will be so much more fulfilling, so much more enjoyable, and so much more meaningful in the long run.
Here’s to diving into His Word and seeking His glory anew every day!
If you liked this article, you might like this one from the Gospel Coalition that discusses how Jesus is “living bread” or this one from author S. F. Rhoads that talks about the one thing most teens never hear when it comes to what Bible study is all about.