It’s something we’ve heard preached about plenty of times. It’s almost like broccoli: We know it’s good for us, but we don’t want to eat it because maybe we haven’t acquired a taste for it or not tried it steamed or baked with cheese yet.
It’s definitely not easy, and it requires discipline and perhaps a measure of accountability.
I was pretty young when I started to read my Bible. My mother gave me a prize for every five books of the Bible that I read, usually a My Little Pony horse or a bookmark. After I had finished one time through, she would up it by five more to get a prize. I would often read my Bible during church when the sermons were still boring…
Do you want to know why?
It’s because someone told me something I knew wasn’t true and against God’s Word, but I didn’t know how to prove it. So, I was challenged to research, to read the Bible cover to cover to see what the Bible said about this topic.
And I haven’t stopped reading ever since.
God’s Word has comforted me through hard times, it has given me direction and conviction in my life, and it has given me strength in my weakest moments.
Because his Word is exceedingly precious to me, I want to give you four reasons why you should start reading your Bible today, or to continue reading even if you are in a spiritual desert right now.
1. Reading the Bible is important because when we do it, we are in direct communication with God.
It’s God’s telephone line to us. And when we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, it becomes a two-way street as God himself opens our hearts and minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45).
Have you ever read a passage of the Bible you have read many times before but notice something completely new and different?
Have you ever read a verse that hits you hard in the gut as you realize, “Man, I’m sinning right now, and I need to repent?”
Have you ever been hurting emotionally to the point where you have run out of tears, but a verse comes to mind and gives you peace?
Have you ever been witnessing to someone and God gives you the exact words to say and the Scriptures to use?
God speaks through his Word. If you haven’t heard from him in a while, perhaps you don’t have the direct line in your house. And the more you read the living Word of God (there is a reason we call it “living and breathing”), the easier it is to hear and recognize his voice when he is speaking to us.
Has God been calling out your name for years without you recognizing it is him calling out to you?
2. Reading the Bible is important because it helps us grow and defend our faith.
First Peter 3:15 commands us to always have an answer for why we have hope. Now how on earth will we be ready to explain to someone doctrines like the incarnation of Jesus or salvation if we don’t know what God has said about these eternally significant topics?
If someone asked you who Jesus is to you and why, would you be able to give them a well-thought out answer?
Or even if someone ridiculed you for believing in God (which isn’t so popular nowadays) are you strong enough to know what you believe is true?
But once again, how are we to know what we believe is 100% true if we have never studied what we believe! This is double sided. If our faith is strong and we know what we believe is true because we have studied it and are in love with who God is and all he has done for us, then we have grown and matured spiritually and are ready for more meat, and less milk, as Paul says in the book of Hebrews.
“Everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature – for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:13-14)
Also, Paul says in Ephesians chapter six that the Bible is our sword, our weapon against evil.
If you read through Jesus’s temptation in the desert when the devil tempted him, do you remember how he responded to Satan in Matthew chapter four? By using scripture.
Have you let your sword become dusty or rusty almost to the point of its being unusable?
It’s time to get to sharpening, my friends.
3. Reading the Bible is important because it is how we learn about God himself and the reality around us.
Don’t you want to know about the God who created the universe?
Don’t you want to know about his ultimate mission and plan in the world?
See, God reveals his character in every single book of the Bible, and he wants us to learn about him so we can deepen our relationship with him.
Do you think God would have inspired over 40 people to sit down and write his words down over several thousands of years that all share an overarching theme?
Once we become Christians, we should want to know about the God who saves us. We should hunger for his Word and be able to feast on it, given enough time and opportunity.
We should look forward to reading our Bibles and spend time with our Savior every day instead of checking it off our, “I’m a good person” list.
Think of the godliest person you know.
How do you think he/she was able to grow in love, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, self-control, peace and joy? By abiding in God’s Word (John 15:4).
4. Reading the Bible is important because it safeguards the church from heresy or false teaching.
Do you know how people catch counterfeit money? By knowing what the real greenbacks look like.
It is the same with God’s Word.
How are we supposed to catch a counterfeit doctrine or teaching when it is spoken if we don’t know what God actually said in his Word?
We are told to test all things and to hold on to what is good in 1 Thessalonians 5:21. But, how are we to know what is good and what is bad if we don’t take the time to learn the difference between the two?
Nothing comes easy. But we should want to learn so we can protect our churches, our associations, or even Christianity itself because God knows how many heresies have snuck in through the back door… literally.
And when so much is on the line – the salvation of the world – we cannot afford false teaching to spread like wildfire.
It’s vital that we become more than Bible-believing Christians. We need to become Bible-reading Christians! Don’t procrastinate another hour, day, month or year. Start reading the Word of God and seek out our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Trust me, he isn’t trying to hide from you. Hear him call out your name today.