ISN’T JUST READING THE BIBLE ENOUGH?
Just reading your Bible isn’t enough. There is living power in the word of God that you need to discover for yourself, not second-hand. Studying the Bible seems pretty intimidating until you realize that the Bible, every single bit of it, is God inspired. That includes the pretty/happy parts and the not so pretty/scary parts. But it was given to us as a gift so that we could get to know him better and fellowship with him. It is so much more than a simple book. It is his will, it answers every question we have, it shows us the past, guides our day-to-day, and tells us the future.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV)
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 KJV)
BUT WHY DOES IT MATTER?
1. As Christians, we need to be in his word regularly no matter where we are in our walk with the Lord. We can’t hide his word in our hearts if we don’t know his word. If we follow blindly without reading it for ourselves, we can easily become deceived and sin against God. Far too many Christians think listening to a popular Christian leader (or reading one of their books) is good enough or somehow replaces their reading the Bible for themselves. Too many Christians also believe the Bible is for their pastor and their churches Bible Study teacher. They believe it only needs to be read as part of their Sunday visit to church when they are told what chapter/verse to read. This must make God cry.
As Americans, we have unlimited access to the Bible. The Word is his gift to us and sadly too many don’t want to be bothered. We don’t have to be biblical scholars but we do have to be faithful and trust our heavenly father.
“Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11 DARBY)
2. We should be ready with a word of help or encouragement for those around us. Again, we can’t do that if we don’t know what his word says. As you read the Bible, the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit) will reveal to you what a verse means and how to apply it to your life. We know this because in 2 Timothy (chapter 2, verse 7) we are told that the Lord will give you an understanding of all these things.
“Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 WEB)
3. When we lean on our own understanding, we will wander in a proverbial desert and our path will not be straight. God created us and the creation is never greater, smarter or somehow better than the creator. God uses his word to straighten our crooked paths and helps us to understand what is wrong in our lives. He does not beat us over the head with his word and he does not create rules to keep us from having fun. If we follow his ways we will live in joy and freedom. Again, we cannot know his will if we don’t bother to read his word.
“I walk in liberty, for I have sought your precepts.” (Psalms 119:45 WEB)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than you thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV)
4. Find a Bible version in a translation that you can understand. As you grow in the Lord you may choose to change the translation type and that is okay. There are many different translations to pick from. God will meet you where you are at if you let him. I have always used the New Living Translation but I have found myself reaching for my New King James Version lately. My husband has always preferred his King James Version. As we are diving into the word we may grab each other’s Bibles to check out a particular passage and compare it to our regular version but we tend to stick with our preferences.
GOD WILL BLESS YOUR FAITHFULNESS
Regardless of which version you choose or where you are in your walk with God, get into the word as part of your day. Some days you will be able to read a little, some days you will read a lot more. Don’t beat yourself up about it. The Holy Spirit will meet you where you are and bless your efforts regardless of how much you read. The important thing is to start turning to God with your questions. Keep searching his Word for your answers. You can expect to receive a blessing because God will richly bless your faithfulness in ways far beyond anything you could imagine!
“Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 KJV)
Wondering how to get started studying your Bible? Click the following link for a very simple method “A non-fussy way to study the Bible“. With this method, you don’t need to run out and get additional supplies since all that is needed is your time, your Bible, and your willing heart. The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest!
If you would like to dip your toes in a bit deeper, click the following link for another simple Bible study method I call “read to know, write to remember“. This method needs very few supplies but does take a bit more of your time. However, the time you sow into knowing God’s Word will always come back as you reap his blessings. It is never time wasted.