Every word in the Bible points to Christ
– Martin Luther
How do we get to know this God who rescued and saved us? It’s nearly impossible to get to know someone if they’re silent. Thankfully, the God of the universe is anything but quiet; he speaks constantly! He is speaking through creation; he speaks through other believers; however, he speaks most clearly in and through his Word, the Bible. The Bible is a library of books written by different authors at different stages of history that reveal who God is and his plan for humanity and for you and for me. This is why the Bible continues to be the most-sold book year after year since millions of people can testify to its life-changing impact on their lives. There are so many reasons why you should read the Bible. Here are just a few:
3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD READ THE BIBLE
1. The Bible is not simply a book to be read and then forgotten. Nor is it simply an instruction manual or a rulebook. Instead, Jesus told us to think of the Scriptures as vital nourishment for our lives; here is how he put it:
“People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” – Matthew 4:4
If we go days without food, we begin to become malnourished and eventually become in serious danger of dying. Jesus here is making the spiritual parallel regarding the Bible. He is saying the words of God are as vital to us as bread is for our body. The word of God is our spiritual food and water; without we become malnourished. However, it’s much more than just nourishment; it sweetens and sustains our lives. Don’t go to it only when hungry; feast on it as often as possible. It’s meant to be consumed, digested and enjoyed. The psalmist writes:
“How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Psalm 119:105
2.God’s word not only nourishes and sustains us, but it shows us how to live! The Psalmist writes:
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” – Psalm 119:105
There will often be moments in our lives when we are unsure of God’s will or a decision we should make. The more we lean on God’s word, the more we know His will and how He wants us to live. For example, The more you get to know somebody, the more you know their likes, dislikes, preferences and feelings. In a way, you’d know how they’d act when confronted with certain circumstances. As we open our Bibles and read about the God who rescued and loved us. The more we know how to live our lives.
“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
– Ephesians 5:17
3.The Scriptures are like a good, skilful surgeon with a sharp blade who acts decisively in surgically removing issues that could potentially be devastating to our health.
12 For the word of God is alive 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. – Hebrews 4:12
Solomon, the wisest man of his time, told his children how vital God’s word is for their lives.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body. – Proverbs 4:21 – 22
These are just a few reasons you should read the Bible; there are many more. However, maybe this story will inspire you. In World War 2, an American soldier lost his hands and eyesight in an explosion. Yet his deepest grief was that he could not read the Bible anymore, for this book had carried him through every smaller trial that had preceded this one. Then, he caught wind of a potential solution. He heard of a woman in England who read a braille Bible with her lips, He tried the same, only to find that there was not enough sensation left on his lips. After much trying, he made a surprise discovery when his tongue accidentally touched some raised characters. It worked! He could feel the braille with his tongue. He managed to read the whole Bible four times over like this, devouring every word as if it truly was his daily bread.
HOW TO READ THE BIBLE
When we first open the Bible, we can encounter some strange things and soon we can feel almost lost and not too sure how to get started. Here are a few of what we call signposts to help you navigate your way through this incredible but sometimes hard-to-understand book.
SIGNPOST 1: WRITTEN FOR US BUT NOT TO US
When we open the pages of Scripture, we can automatically assume that it’s written to us in the 21st Century. However, the Bible was written by people far removed from our time and place. This is helpful to understand that the Bible is written for us, however, it’s not written to us. Many of the authors of the books of the Bible were writing about specific situations and times. When we understand the audience they were writing to and the situation and can help clarify difficult texts.
SIGNPOST 2: LOOK FOR THE KING
The Bible may be a collection of books written at different times and by different authors but it all ultimately points to Jesus. Even Jesus said that that’s why the Scriptures were written.
Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. – Luke 24:27
The Bible is one unified story that leads to Jesus. The Old Testament points to Jesus, and the New Testament reflects on the life of Jesus and points to his return. In the beginning, it may be quite hard to see Jesus in some of the obscure passages of the Old Testament, but after some practice, you’ll eventually see that he is everywhere.
SIGNPOST 3: SIT UNDER THE WORD NOT OVER IT
When something is difficult to understand, or we don’t necessarily like what the text says. What we don’t do is simply ignore it or assume that it’s simply a mistake and, therefore, has no bearing on our lives. Rather we are to humbly acknowledge that this is God’s word. It reveals who is, his plan for humanity and his will for our lives. Surely, we are to sit under his word rather than sit over it, judging what is right and wrong. Jesus said that all of heaven and earth will pass away before the Bible does (Matt 5:17 – 18). If Jesus took it that seriously, so should we.
4 TOOLS TO GET YOU STARTED
The Bible may appear at first glance like an overwhelming book; however, a few tools can help us get started.
1. Get a Bible
There are many different translations of the Bible, and it may appear daunting at first. We recommend the NIV, CSB or NLT Bible translations for easy reading, especially if English is not your first language. All of these have “Study Bible” versions available which give you added notes to help you understand the text.
2. Read it Daily
Pick a time in your day to read the Bible Daily. Most people prefer the morning before the distractions of the day get in the way. 20 minutes in the morning to read and reflect on the Bible is a helpful time slot. If you miss a day, don’t be discouraged. Pick up where you left off. It’s also helpful to journal or write in the Bible your reflections on the text.
3. Read it prayerfully
We read the Bible to deepen our relationship with God, not necessarily to consume knowledge. Reading the Bible prayerfully is helpful to engage with God as read the text.Here are some prayers to help you
“Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your instructions.” – Psalm 119:18
“Lord give me a spirit of wisdom and understanding so that the eyes of my heart may be opened to you” – Ephesians 1:18
4. Follow A Plan
The best way to stay consistently reading the Bible is to, follow a plan. Plan’s help and guide us as we navigate through the Bible. We have put together a helpful devotional plan that can help you. Click here
5. Retell the Passage
Take a few moments to retell the passage in your own words. Sometimes it’s helpful to write it down or say it out loud but in your own words. If you struggle to remember it read or listen to it again.
6. Discover the Story
When you feel familiar with the story, take some time to think over or discuss the following questions.
- What does this story tell me about God?
- What does this story tell me about people?
- If this is really God’s word, what changes would I have to make in my life
- Who am I going to tell?
Day 1: “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”‘ – Matthew 4:4
Day 2: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Day 3: “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
– Galatians 3:26-27
Day 4: For the word of God is alive 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.”
– Hebrews 4:12
Day 5: “Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart, for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.”
– Proverbs 4:21-22
Day 6: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” – Luke 24:27
Day 7: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” – 2 Timothy 3:16
- What are your impressions of the Bible? What words come to mind when you hear the word Bible? What are you looking forward to as you begin to read the Bible?
- Why do you think the author emphasizes the importance of reading the Bible as a way to get to know God?
- In what ways will you carve out time to read the Bible? What strategies can you put in place to make sure you read through the word consistently?