Why You Shouldn’t Neglect the Word of God

Chances are fair that you have some inclination to value the Bible. While not all people affirm that the Bible is the “Word of God,” and even some professing Christians would balk at the notion, many people still have at least the residue of this kind of thinking on their minds. Whether you believe the Bible is the Word of God or not, consider a few passages from the Bible as they speak directly to the subject of “God’s Word.” You may find that the Bible is actually quite consistent on the subject, and your neglect of its words will only hurt you more as time goes on.
It is a fact that wherever God’s Words may be found, those words are worth your significant time investment.
Psalm 1, Psalm 19, and 2 Timothy 3:1-4:8 could be combined to provide a perfect contrast, providing the reader with two options or paths for the future. Like all Scripture, the passages are not neutral on the matter, and there is certainly one path promoted (actually commanded) over the other. God’s Word itself (divinely inspired and supremely authoritative) is the object of focus in these sections of holy writ, and the paths are laid out for any reader to choose.
Psalm 1 portrays the divergent paths well, and this brief psalm makes one’s options clear. On the one hand, a person may choose the “way of righteousness” (v6). This thoughtful and consistent way is enjoyed by one who “delights in the law [or Word] of the Lord” (v2). It is the route God “blesses” (v1), the path of nourishment and growth (v3), and the course trekked by those who are the special objects of God’s provisional care (v6). On the other hand, a person may choose the “way of the wicked” (v6). This path offers “counsel,” community, and cachet (v1), but all these are hollow and weightless (v4). Most alarming of all, those who wander along the trail of the “wicked” are destined for the harsh “judgment” of God (v5), and they will ultimately suffer “destruction” at the end of their imprudent passage (v6). Of these two options, the right and most beneficial choice is self-evident – one must choose the way of the righteous.
Psalm 19 launches the reader into the theater of God’s symphonic revelation, proclaiming the beauty, wonder, and value of the Creator and His self-disclosure. Creation itself “pours out” and “reveals” (v2) the knowledge of the “glory of God” (v1). This general or natural revelation is spectacular enough, but the psalmist goes further to speak of God’s special or divine revelation, which is God’s Word (v7). God’s “law” (v7), His “testimony” (v7), His “precepts” (v8), His “commandment” (v8), and His “rules” (v9) are all poetic depictions and substantive features of God’s divine Word. Each of these and all of them combined – i.e. the entirety of God’s Word, down to its every part – are “perfect” (v7), “sure” (v7), “right” (v8), “pure” (v8), “clean” (v9), “true” (v9), desirable and savory (v10), advantageous (v11), reforming (v12), preemptive and freeing (v13), and sanctifying (v14).
The psalmist’s wise and humble prayer concludes this glorious psalm with a request for complete saturation in the Word of God (v14). When one becomes aware of such an object of worth, with the ability to bring such benefit, the only right request to make is demonstrated by the psalmist in his prayer. He speaks especially of his “mouth” and “heart,” but it doesn’t take much reflection to realize that these are the stage and the substance (respectively) of all that a person is. From the heart comes all that a man is, thinks, speaks, and does; and from the mouth comes practical evidence of what a man truly is and thinks. So the psalmist is right to ask that both his heart and his mouth be saturated by and fixed upon the Word of God.
While these two psalms rightly guide the reader toward humble appreciation for God’s profitable Word, life experience demonstrates that such appreciation is remarkably rare even though it is universally warranted. 
In Paul’s letter to his younger friend and disciple, Timothy, he explains that people will generally live in opposition to God’s Word – both in their practice (2 Tim. 3:2-7) and in their cerebral curiosities (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Their delight is in “self” (2 Tim. 3:2) temporal “pleasure” (v4), and the mere facade of “godliness” (v5) and “knowledge” (v7). Furthermore, they “accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” and they “wander off” into the kinds of hollow and weightless “myths,” of which the psalmist warned (2 Tim. 4:3-4; cf. Ps. 1:1, 4). Broadly, the Apostle Paul tells us, people choose the “wicked” path over the “righteous” path with great regularity (2 Tim. 4:3; cf. Ps. 1:6). Not only do people not revere or admire God’s Word, they disapprove and act out against its precepts at every point.
This miserable and painful turning away from the valuable and beneficial Word of God is lamentable, to be certain, but it is not something that anyone should simply accept or tolerate.
The one who would seek to know and love God, as well as people, must rail against this onslaught of destructive thinking and acting. Paul is an example of this, and he says as much when he admonishes Timothy to remember how he has followed Paul’s “teaching,” “conduct,” purpose, “faith,” “patience,” “love,” “steadfastness,” and “persecutions” (2 Tim. 3:10-11). Paul’s exemplary life of selfless service for the sake of Christ and the Word of God was the platform from which he was able to call others towards appreciation for and submission to God’s Word. In fact, Paul calls Timothy to remember the supremely valuable benefit, which God’s Word alone can provide, of “salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). Based on the reality of what God’s Word is and what it can accomplish, Paul charges Timothy to “preach” according to God’s Word, patiently “teach” what accords with God’s Word, and to consistently be ready to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort” people in keeping with God’s Word (2 Tim. 4:2).
Paul is not only exemplary in his life; he also provides a living example of one who has chosen the “way of the righteous” (Ps. 1:6). Paul, knowing his mortal life would soon come to an end (2 Tim. 4:6), asserts two important things for every Christ-follower to remember.
First, he comforts himself and inspires his reader by proclaiming, “I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). Oh, what it must be like to lie down into the dust and await immortal rest with such a thought in mind! Paul had kept the faith indeed. He could let his mind and heart be at ease with the knowledge that he was going to meet his King after having chosen and walked in the way of the righteous. This statement is also inspirational to any who read it, for the reader may take heart in knowing that the way of the righteous has been trekked. Another, at least one, has gone before and seen this mortal race to the final end. This is encouragement for anyone who may now find him or herself in the exhausting midst of the race.
Second, Paul reminds his reader that there is most certainly a reward, which “the Lord,” will deliver to all those who have loved Him (2 Tim. 4:8). This is real-time assurance of the promise made by the psalmist concerning the provisional care and sanctifying work of the Redeemer (Ps. 1:6, 19:13, 14). This is no academic exercise for the Apostle Paul; he is not interested in public prestige or social structures. These are words spoken from the lips of a man who has given his entire life to something, and he is now about to go to his mortal end with his confidence and his commitment still intact. These words cannot be emphasized enough!
In my own life, I have noticed an increase in love and appreciation for God’s Word over the last decade. I still lament my inconsistency and my lacking understanding, but I celebrate God’s shaping work in my heart and mind through ever-increasing exposure to God’s Word. I have had several experiences now where I have had to choose again to appreciate and submit to God’s Word rather than my own feelings or desires. I have also endured several conversations with others where my admonition to appreciate and submit to God’s Word has been less than well-received.
Through these times, I have been reminded of God’s faithfulness, the profitable nature of His Word, and the eternal reward He has promised for all those who love and live for Him. I am certainly not a sinless man, and even now there are desires in me for those things I know will only bring destruction, but (by God’s grace) God’s Word is reshaping me and making me more of what I shall be when I see my Savior face-to-face (1 Pet. 1:8-9; 1 Jn. 3:2).
Let the one who hears the Word of God 
love the Word of God, appreciate the Word of God, and trust the Word of God.
While it may be costly, painful, and socially intolerable to do so, it is also right, good, beneficial, and rewarding – both now and forevermore.