Have you ever found yourself wondering, Why read the Bible?
I sit down early in the morning, Bible in hand, super charged coffee by my side. The world is asleep. My kids are asleep. Heck, I’m still asleep. I sure could have used another 30 minutes. My eyes…so heavy…did someone attach barbells to them? Did I accidentally take a sedative this morning?
I make/stumble my way through my daily Bible reading. I try to jot a few notes, pray, get my heart oriented for the day.
I finish, and I feel…
Still very tired. No glorious revelations of Shekinah glory. No deep sense of God’s abiding presence. No spiritual flashbangs or burning bushes.
Did anything really “happen” during the time I read the Bible? Did the Bible make any difference? Why should I even continue when it just feels like I’m going through the motions?
1. Why Read The Bible? It’s A Way Of Acknowledging My Dependence On God
Regardless of what happens, reading God’s word is a loud statement that I need God. That I cannot survive on bread alone. That I’m not smart enough, strong enough, or clever enough to navigate this world apart from God.
God has made it clear that spiritually speaking, only the weak survive. The spiritual discipline of sitting under God’s word is a proclamation of my weakness, and that honors God.
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Why read the Bible? I read the Bible to acknowledge that I need God. To acknowledge that I can’t live on physical bread alone, but that I depend on God to sustain me.
2. Why Read The Bible? God Rewards Those Who Seek Them
Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
God rewards those who seek him. Not those who feel him. Not those who get warm fuzzies or feel spiritual electricity coursing through their souls. When I read the Bible, I am expressing faith that God will reward me for seeking him.
And (although this should be obvious), God will reward me for seeking him.
If I only read God’s word when I feel like it, I am choosing to forfeit rewards from God. I choosing feelings, which are unreliable, over the rock solid word of God.
Why should I read the Bible? I read the Bible because God will reward me. Because he has promised to bless those who diligently seek him. Because when I read the Bible, I receive rewards, no matter what I feel.
3. Why Read The Bible? Reading Scripture Is Primarily A Planting Activity
Psalm 1:3 describes the man who reads God’s word this way:
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
Trees grow slowly, in tiny increments. If you look at a tree, it doesn’t look like it’s growing. Fruit only appears in specific seasons, and not until the tree has reached a certain age. When you plant a seed, you have faith that you will eventually see the results.
A farmer who lived by his feelings wouldn’t last very long.
Reading God’s word is usually like planting seeds. I won’t see the fruit of it immediately, but eventually, that fruit will come forth. If you ever wonder why a particular Christian is so mature, it’s because they’ve spent many hours planting seeds in the soil of their heart.
Growth is slow.
Fruit is slow.
But it will happen.
Why read the Bible? I read the Bible to plant the seeds of change.
God absolutely will use what I read to make me more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit will take verses I’ve read and use them to convict, challenge, and change me. Sometimes this conviction will happen years after first reading a particular passage.
4. Why Read The Bible? Because God DID Speak To Me
Every time I open the Bible, God speaks to me. He is never silent, even if it somehow feels like God isn’t speaking. The words of Scripture are sacred, pouring forth from God for my good and his glory. I don’t need a “holy” experience to hear God. I don’t need the hair on my neck to stand up, and I don’t need to find a secluded place in the woods.
As I sit on the couch, rubbing sleep from my eyes and gulping wake-up juice, God himself is talking to me.
I read the Bible to hear from God.
2 Timothy 3:16 puts it this way:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…
5. Why Read The Bible? God’s Word Protects Me
Going into the world without the protection of God’s word is like going into battle without a scrap of armor. It’s suicidal.
The world, the flesh, and the devil are eagerly looking for opportunities to rip me to shreds. To deceive me, destroy me, lure me into traps. To absolutely ruin my life and my eternity. To wage spiritual warfare on me.
The devil prowls about like a lion, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, even like an angel at times.
The word of God protects me against the siren calls that beckon me. It shines light into the dark corners so I can see that the sin which looks so attractive is actually an animated corpse. The Bible is a lamp unto my feet, a beacon in dark places, a shield, and a sword.
I read the Bible for protection.
Take Up and Read
There will be many times when I don’t read the Bible. When sleep or sickness or general laziness prevents me. But I know I can’t allow that to continue for long. I may not feel a sense of peace or joy nearness to God, but that shouldn’t stop me.
My growth depends on it.
My safety depends on it.
My very life depends on it.