The Bible is many things to the Christian: it’s their spiritual contract from God, a history of man’s mistakes and God’s success’s, God’s love letter to us, and our personal instruction manual for life. But what good is it if we don’t read it? Even worse – what good are we if we read it and don’t understand it or act on it?
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
John 14:15 – If ye love me, keep my commandments.
I wrote this post with two intentions:
1.) To enforce the importance of purposefully reading God’s Word in a Christian’s life.
2.) To offer some of my own personal advice on reading and understanding the Word much more efficiently.
Speak Louder God!
Many Christians frustrate themselves or wreck their own walk with the Lord because they demand God to talk to them, and when they hear silence they wonder what they are doing wrong or if God even loves them or exists at all. What a rabbit trail from the obvious – God has already spoke to you in 66 books through about 40 different authors on so many subjects it would blow your mind! So before you get filled with doubt or become mad at God for not talking to you, read His letter to you first. I am not at all saying that God’s Spirit does not speak any any more as some teach but that you should not neglect to read and do the Word in search of God’s voice.
Complaints and Misconceptions about the Word of God
It’s so huge I can’t possibly read it all!
It’s not a novel that you must read front to back, just read pick a section and read it. For example you can start reading the Gospels of the New Testament and then just backward to read the Psalms and Proverbs after that.
It’s so huge I don’t know where to start.
Pick a book to read and go from there. My best advice is to slowly move through the New Testament and then read the Old Testament after that. If you are still out of ideas my favorite books are: Matthew, Acts, Ephesians, Colossians, James, 1 John, Romans, Psalms, Proverbs, and Genesis.
It’s so old why should I read it?
Truth is without age, meaning that no matter how old the instructions of God get they still apply to today and have not aged. The timeless Truth in the Bible still leads you to God, changes your life, and it still offers powerful answers even though it may be 3,500 years old as a whole.
It’s so boring with all the lists of people names I can’t even pronounce!
There are only about 25 chapters in the Bible out of 1,189 total chapters that contain genealogies or lists of names so stop making excuses! Besides, they give historical and cultural evidence to the Bible and show how Jesus is related to King David, Judah, Abraham, Noah, and Adam! How is that not cool!?
I never understand what it’s talking about!
To help yourself understand a verse or story simply read the context (what happens before) slowly and think about it, then read what happens after so you get the bigger picture in mind. Also try to place yourself in the shoes of the characters and research the things of that culture that you may not yet understand.
If it’s written by so many authors how is it from God?
God is not limited to who He uses for His work. Despite the various authors and times it was written in God remains the same. These men had real relationships with God and heard His voice. As you read more and more of the Bible you will find the undeniable unity that is present amongst all the scriptures and subjects despite it’s variety and time range.
It’s been passed down through so many translations how is it still original or unchanged?
The Dead Sea Scrolls were one historical find that validated the authenticity of the message in our scriptures. It showed that the scripture we have today have not changed noticeably over 2000 years. The real question is do you think God is not able to preserve a some simple writings inorder that mankind may know the Truth without being deceived by years of compounded errors? He is able to preserve His Word and He has done so thus the Word is our trustworthy map out of sin through Christ and to God.