As of late I had been starting to notice the lack of Bible reading going on in my life. Last week, while leading at a kids club, we would have devotions in the mornings before the kids arrived, and rather than finding something specific and going with it I generally found myself flipping through my Bible, unsure as to where I should be looking. The most frustrating part is that I used to love reading it. Back in January I sped my way through Genesis and just couldn’t get enough, and a few years ago I made it through most of the New Testament. So I thought it was time to write down some of the best reasons to get stuck back into my Bible, not just to encourage myself but also to encourage you, my beautiful readers.
1. “We would eat chocolates and smoke cigarettes and read the Bible, which is the only way to do it, if you ask me. Don, the Bible is so good with chocolate. I always thought the Bible was more of a salad thing, you know, but it isn’t. It is a chocolate thing…” (Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz) I am totally a chocolate person. I am also an ice-cream and cake and cookies kind of person. You can most definitely consume all these items while reading the bible. Think you need to wear your Sunday best while sitting at a desk to read the Bible? Not true! Break out the chocolate (or another sweet snack of your choice) and hang out with Jesus. But don’t over do it… What I’m saying is that the Bible isn’t something that we should look at and think, “Man, it’s just all a bit too… serious and boring.” It isn’t. The Bible is full of wonder and revelation and has so many stories of God’s wonderful grace and mercy. The Bible isn’t for the proud and self-righteous, it’s for the humble and needy, the average jo, the people who realise their weaknesses.
2. Hanging out with Jesus is the best way to start your day. If I don’t hang out with Jesus before doing anything else, I spend most of my day saying, “Hmm, I’ll do it later”, while partaking in some useless activity, and end up saying a sleepy prayer after climbing into bed. The funny thing is that I’m generally one of those obnoxious morning people, but even if you’re not Jesus is the best person to start you day off with. He doesn’t care that your hair’s a mess, that you’re wearing a t-shirt with holes in it, or that you smell pretty bad. He just loves you and wants to be the first person you talk to so He can prepare you for the day ahead; He is better than any thirty-minute run or well-balanced breakfast.
3. Talking to God is important, but listening to Him is even more important. My main issue with my relationship with God is that I spend a lot of time telling Him that He’s awesome and asking for stuff, but I hardly ever let Him talk back to me. The Bible is the Word of God and He speaks to us so clearly through it. I don’t want some big, booming voice from Heaven to yell at me. I want the still small voice (1 Kings 19vs11-13, KJV) that speaks oh, so clearly but that requires all my attention. When we focus our eyes on Jesus He speaks louder than ever before, even if it’s only in a whisper.
4. Being able to quote Scripture is a really useful ability. Now I don’t mean you should be able to stand up and quote a full Psalm, but in kids club, for example, we taught memory verses to the kids for a reason. You might not be able to give the reference correctly, and you might have to paraphrase, but if you can at least remember the book and give a general gist of how the verse goes, this is good. This isn’t only good for personal encouragement but also when talking to people who want to know more about God and the Bible. A lot of the time I find myself saying, “Oh, there’s this great verse! I’ll find it for you later…” Which ends up with both myself and the person I’m talking to completely forgetting I had a verse to share with them. Knowing your Bible is beneficial to more people than just yourself.
5. 2 Timothy 3vs16: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (NIV) To put it simply, we need the Bible to learn and grow, to come closer to God, to hear His word. To gain the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) we need to read about how the Spirit wants us to live. If all Scripture is God-breathed then surely, as lovers of Christ, we should want to read His word?
After writing this post I no longer have any good reasons not to pick up my Bible; I hope you feel the same.