Are You Hungry? How to Stimulate Your Appetite for God's Word

One of my favorite scenes from the Disney movie, 101 Dalmations is when Rolly, the roly poly puppy who loves to eat says to his mother, “I’m hungry, Mother, really I am.” Even though it seemed like he ate every waking moment of his life, his voracious appetite was never satisfied. 

My friends with teenage sons can identify. 

“Mom, I’m hungry. What is there to eat?” 

“I’m starving, Mom. There’s no food in this house.” 

Satisfying a growing child’s need for food is relentless. The fridge needs to be replenished frequently, the grocery bills are astronomical, and the cooking and clean up never stops. But an appetite is a sign of a healthy, growing body—something to be celebrated. 

My friend Jules has always taken her son Charlie’s healthy appetite for granted – until recently. Struck by back-to-back viruses accompanied by high fevers, her son stopped eating. A middle-of-the night trip to the ER confirmed her concerns that he was one sick little boy. 

The Bible often describes God’s Word as food and invites us to eat our fill from its bounty. Young believers, like young children, are often so hungry for God’s Word that they can’t seem to get enough. They read their Bibles every day, memorize Scripture, and dive into Bible studies. Taking notes during Sunday sermons, they look for ways to apply what they’ve learned to their everyday lives. 

Sadly, however, many believers lose their fervency about God’s Word as the newness of their decision for Christ wears off. They ruin their appetite with a junk food diet of secular music, media, and friends. Their lives veer off course, and they lose focus, purpose, and direction.

Or perhaps sin has made them sick. Like Jules’s son Charlie, they reject the very nourishment they need to get well. 

The cure for spiritual starvation is simple. “Open your mouth wide,” says the Lord in Psalm 81:10, “and I will fill it.”  

If your appetite for spiritual food has been waning, here are three appetite-stimulating tips: 

1.  Pick a short, practical book of the Bible and commit to read one chapter every day BEFORE you check your email, computer, or social media accounts. After reading, write down one way you can apply what you’ve read to your life. I recommend the New Testament book of James as a great place to begin. 

2.  Download a Bible app on your phone (my favorite is Bible Gateway) and listen to a portion of Scripture every day as you drive or exercise. My favorite reader is Max McLean. With a voice as rich and smooth as chocolate, he makes the Scripture come alive to me. 

3.  Read a different version of the Bible. While some versions are paraphrases, not translations, and thus not suitable for study purposes, a well-written paraphrase can touch our hearts as well as our minds. One blogger I know often reads the Living Bible. Many of my friends enjoy the Chronological Study Bible, which arranges the books of the Bible in the order in which they were written. And if you’re accustomed to reading the NIV, why not dust off that majestic King James Version sitting on your bookshelf? 

The Huffington Post article “Poll: Americans Love the Bible But Don’t Read It Much” reveals that 88 percent of respondents to an American Bible Society poll own a Bible, and the average household has 4.4 Bibles. 

Sadly, the majority of people surveyed (57 percent) said they only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent said they read their Bibles regularly. 

God has prepared a feast for us on the pages of his Word, and he is eager to share it with us. If junk food, apathy, or sin sickness has robbed you of your appetite, why not try one of the suggestions above? Come to the Lord, who eagerly desires to “fill the hungry with good things.” 

He’ll be delighted to hear you say, “I’m hungry, Father, really I am.”

Now it's your turn. When your interest in reading the Bible wanes, what do you do to get back on track? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts. If you're reading by email, click HERE to visit Hungry for God online and leave a comment.

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