Here are ten reasons to make reading the Bible a priority this year.
1. It’s a way to talk to God, and hear Him talk back!
Wouldn’t you love to sit down for coffee with God and listen to Him share His heart? Well, you can! Sort of. I’m afraid we can’t have coffee with God this side of heaven. (Although I sure hope there’s coffee in heaven!) But you can hear from God through His Word.
Did you know that 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is breathed out by God? It’s not just God’s ideas or what someone guesses God would say.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul put it this way, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (emphasis added).
Yes, men played a part in recording the Bible, but Paul reminds us that it’s not the words of men; it is ultimately the Word of God. It is God’s thoughts in His own words. If you want to hear from God, the Bible is a great way to do it!
2. The Bible is a good teacher.
How do you get to know the God of the universe? How can we study Him outside of a Sunday school classroom?
The answer is—yep, you guessed it—by reading the Bible!
Second Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is useful for teaching and for training in righteousness. Romans 15:4 says that the Word was written for our instruction.
The best place to learn about God isn’t through our feelings. It isn’t through what other people tell us about God. It isn’t even through great books about God. In the study of God, the Bible is our best teacher.
3. The Bible is alive.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is “living and active.”
My Bible doesn’t breathe. It doesn’t have a beating heart. I haven’t noticed it doing any jumping jacks lately. So what does this passage mean when it describes the Bible as “living and active”?
It means it’s more than just a book. The words in the Bible do not change, but their impact on us does. It is the only book that has ever been written that is capable of meeting us right where we are in every stage of life and giving us tailor-made truth.
4. The Bible is a good surgeon.
The rest of Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
This verse describes the Bible as a very sharp sword.
It does more than just entertain us, or enlighten us, or inform us. As we read the Bible, it does surgery on the parts of us that need to submit to God, leaving behind healthier, holier hearts and lives.
If you’ve got junk in your life that needs to go (hint: we all do!), you need the Bible to do the cutting.
5. The Bible feels good!
Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
The Bible is designed to be a great source of encouragement and hope. True, not every passage in the Bible will give us a warm fuzzy, but the overarching themes of the Bible—that God loves us, that He is willing to forgive us, that He is preparing a place for us, and that He will eventually defeat all that grieves us—ought to comfort and inspire us.
Do you need encouragement? Open your Bible.
6. It works like a pair of glasses.
In addition to assuring us that the Bible is breathed out by God and useful for teaching, 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that it is helpful for “reproof and correction.” That’s a fancy way of saying it puts a magnifying glass over our sin.
I’m not very good at seeing my own sin. It’s so easy to justify, make excuses, and compare. But sin (even the sin I don’t see) works like acid, eating away at me. Left unchecked, sin will eventually destroy me. That’s why I’m thankful that the Bible has the power to expose my sin, even the sin that’s hard for me to see.
7. The Bible is a gird.
First Peter 1:13 says, “Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind, be sober and set your hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (ASV).
When was the last time you worked the phrase “gird up your loins” into a sentence? It’s not a term we throw around much anymore, but it provides an image of securing clothing with a belt, of preparing for action, of bracing ourselves. The job of a gird is to secure, support, and surround.
God’s Word has the power to protect us from enemies we can see and enemies we cannot see. It braces us to live our lives for Christ, come what may. It supports and holds us up when our world starts spinning. It provides sure footing in a broken world.
8. The Bible is a grid.
Another word for grid is a filter. The Bible is so much more than a list of rules or stories. It can be a filter you use to see your life more clearly. You can take the questions, doubts, and concerns you have throughout your life and squeeze them through the grid of God’s Word and find answers every time.
9. The Bible is a tether.
Here’s a shocker: 90 percent of young people from Christian homes will ultimately abandon their faith. If something doesn’t change, there’s a good chance you could be one of those girls who grew up in church, heard the teaching of Jesus, spent years trying to follow Him, but eventually decided to follow a different path.
God’s truth has the power to keep you connected to God Himself. But here’s the kicker—you actually have to know God’s truth to be tied to it. If you don’t know the Word, if you don’t make a habit of studying God’s truth and applying it to your choices, and if you don’t “gird yourself” up with what God teaches you throughout the Bible, you will find yourself unprotected, unsure, and untied from God.
10. The Bible is a fairy-tale castle.
Amusement-park goers often experience something called “museum feet.” It’s a general feeling of being lost or exhausted that comes from hanging out in such a large space. Having museum feet could give park-goers a bad experience or cause them to give up and leave the park. But if architects include a large visual landmark such as Cinderella’s Castle, Spaceship Earth at Epcot Center, or Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studios’ Harry Potter attraction, park-goers are less likely to become overwhelmed.
The Bible works the same way. Life is big. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed or like you want off the ride. But when we know God’s truth, we are anchored and protected from the feeling of “museum feet.” Truth gives us a point to come back to when we feel alone, small, or afraid.
So how about you? Why do you read the Bible? Is there anything on this list that inspires you to read the Bible more in the year ahead?
Note: Portions of this post are taken from Erin’s book My Name Is Erin: One Girl’s Journey To Discover Truth.