If you’re like most Christians, you rarely pick up your Bible to read it on your own. You know you should read your Bible, just like you know you should be a better steward of your body with diet and exercise, and you should floss your teeth daily. You know you should do these things, but at the end of the day, you’re tired. And the last thing you want to do is head to the gym, get saliva all over your fingers, or read a book that seems a bit outdated. And the thought of reading through the whole Bible is, well, nothing short of impossible.
I have good news! You’re not alone! And it’s not an impossible task!
The first thing is to ask why you should to read the Bible.
Is it because your pastor or Bible study leader says you should? Is it because you read somewhere that you should?
If your reason for reading the Bible is because you think it’s something you should do, then maybe you need to rethink your reason.
Don’t get me wrong! I think you should read the Bible. But the reason isn’t because it’s something you should do. Your reason should be because you want to experience a deeper relationship with God. If you want to experience a deeper relationship with your spouse or a friend, you must spend time with them. The same is true with God. The primary way we experience a deeper relationship with God is by spending time with Him, reading your Bible and praying.
Too often, we approach our relationship with God with the idea of “doing” and “not doing”. But God is a person and we build a relationship with Him just like we build other relationships: by spending time talking and listening.
If you’re a child of God, you need to know that God wants to speak to you! (John 10:27) But unless you read what He has revealed, you can’t hear what He says. Sure, you may occasionally hear a “still, small voice”, but how can you know if that voice is the One Who loves you and wants the best for you, as opposed to the one who hates you and wants to destroy you? (2Corinthians 11:14-15; John 10:10)
Knowing the Bible will empower you to distinguish between the voice of our Shepherd and the voice of our enemy. And we will know our Bible as we read it.
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
As long as our approach to reading the Bible is one of obligation or duty, we will continue a hit-and-miss experience of Bible reading and we’ll continue to walk in shame when we fall – the same shame we feel when we visit our doctor or dentist. However, if our approach to Bible reading is one of wanting to grow closer in a relationship, and one of wanting to eat a much-needed, delicious meal, our desires will be fulfilled. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Those who find their refuge in him are blessed! (Psalm 34:8)
The right reason for reading our Bible is crucial to success in reading it.
Take a few minutes to pray about reading the Bible in 2014. Confess your approach of duty and obligation. Ask God for a fresh taste of Himself. Ask Him to give you a fresh perspective of growing your relationship with Him through reading your Bible.
Tomorrow, we’ll take up the “how-to” in reading through our Bible in 2014.