Is Reading the Bible Really That Important?
Why do so few people read the Bible?
I’m not talking about a random verse pulled out to make a point, I’m talking about the book itself… the entity… this thing that’s the foundation of our faith. I don’t know of a topic that’s more important!
God’s Word is eternal… It’ll last beyond the internet, American Idol, the iPad, the Final Four… everything. In heaven, we’ll recognize the words, the wisdom and the authors, and we’ll never tire of learning what it all means.
But why bother now? Why not wait ‘til heaven when we’ll have all the time in the world (… or out of the world)? Besides, is this stuff really important? Is it really true? Why can’t I get into it?
There is the fact God’s Word has been around… unchanged for hundreds, if not thousands of years, and that almost half the world’s population believe its essence. A friend of mine was ready to commit his life to the nine insights spelled out in The Celestine Prophecy . I asked “Wow, what if the author changes his mind, or discovers some new truth?” Shortly after, The Tenth Insight was published. My friend became a Christ-follower.
Isn’t it smarter to build your life on a plan that has been time-tested? The Biblical approach to life is wise, effective, stable, unchanging, and true.
“But isn’t the Bible just a compendium of stories and folklore, pieced together by church people with a motive?”
Sounds convincing, until you try to explain how the Dead Sea Scrolls perfectly matched earlier manuscripts, and they were untouched by church people from the time they were recorded until their discovery in the 1950’s. The Bible is true. You can depend on it.
But is it relevant? You bet it is!
Here’s just one example…
You get a new job, have your first child, or move to a new church. You’re scared out of your skin! But when you read II Timothy 1:7, God tells you that “the spirit of fear is not of God, but God is love, power and a sound mind.” Suddenly, you realize, “Hey, I can do this! God loves me! This fear I’m feeling isn’t coming from Him… I have His power within me… I can discipline myself… I have a sound mind! Let’s get on with it!” You’re no longer afraid.
And one more point…
The Bible is supernatural!
I’m not kidding!
Remember Hebrews 4:12? “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Paraphrase: “God will use His Word to help you sort out your thoughts and attitudes in regard to what you want (e.g. your “heart”).
What that means to me is this. When I read it and then ask “God, what are you teaching me here?” or “Lord, what would you have me do?” and then listen, He often gives me wisdom that I’m just not smart enough to have thought up on my own. I do it. I also write it down in my journal, because I don’t want to forget. Much of what’s written on my blog posts has been discovered this way.
Read your Bible.
And chat with the Author of it all as you read. Pray. Ask questions. Listen to His answers and instructions.
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