I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. (John 8:37)

“I KNOW THAT . . . I DO THAT ALREADY.” As a career educator, I found adolescents great at heading off new ideas in this way. Some adults don’t outgrow that impulse, either.

Jesus, the “light of life,” encountered defensiveness when talking to the close-minded establishment of His day. The Pharisees assumed they had all the answers and couldn’t, or wouldn’t, see their need of input from this maverick, itinerant preacher. Jesus was sent from above on a mission: to set people free. Yet, the Pharisees merely felt judged, because they judged others. The truth of Jesus’ words eluded them. They hadn’t learned to abide.

An amazing percentage of believers don’t abide either. Studies have shown most, in fact, don’t read the Bible for themselves on a regular, planned-for basis. Our pull in this world is not toward the Scriptures. We may attend church services to hear about the Scriptures, but we don’t often immerse ourselves in them with the Lord, just the two of us.

The practice of immersing ourselves in Scripture daily dramatically changes our view of ourselves, our Lord, and the world around us. It’s bringing into focus a reality not available before, firsthand. It’s pulling up a shade and letting in light where truth shines as a brilliant sun into our dark places. Then we walk around in its light, abiding.

Learn what the Scriptures teach, firsthand; then walk around in them.

Beth Weikel is the author of the upcoming Hope in the Midst of Loss (May 2015; WPH) about the challenges and suffering of grief.