[Jesus prayed,] "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:17, NKJV)
If you were to ask me what one discipline has been most instrumental in bringing me to where I am now in my walk in Christ, I would have to say it is daily Bible reading.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for believers to be always reading the Word of God AND doing what it says (remember James says that he who hears the Word and does not do it deceives himself).
Why is it so important to read my Bible daily? you ask.
Well, it's how you are sanctified--that is, it's how God makes you more like Jesus. Jesus Christ Himself prayed to the Father the night He was betrayed that the Father would sanctify His disciples by His truth--by His Word.
But the Bible wasn't written when Jesus prayed that prayer, was it?
In Jesus' day, He would have been referring to what we call the Old Testament--often referred to by Jesus as "Moses and the prophets". These chronicled divinely inspired historical events--as well as prophecies--that all taught about Jesus Christ, as Jesus Himself demonstrated to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.
So, does that mean the Old Testament has power to sanctify me?
Yes; that's exactly what it means.
What about the New Testament?
The New Testament seems tricky only because it wasn't around when Jesus was walking the earth; it was written after His death, resurrection, and ascension, so we wonder sometimes what makes it valid--or we wonder how we can be sure that it is valid.
But Jesus promised to His disciples to send the Helper to them who would remind them of everything that He taught them. And Jesus only ever taught what the Father told Him. Therefore, if we trust Jesus that He was telling the truth, then the New Testament is also the Word of the Father. Therefore, it also has the same sanctifying power.
Well, I probably should read my Bible, then. Are there any good Bible reading plans out there?
There sure are! Something I am very grateful to Compass Bible Church for is that during my time there, they impressed upon me the importance of daily Bible reading. They have an easy daily reading plan to get you started. It's all online, too, which is very handy. Just visit this link for today's reading: Daily Bible Reading.
If you want a different reading plan better suited to your personal needs, check out the reading plans available at YouVersion.com (Reading Plans).