Paul Predicted You Wouldnt Read It
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.
Okay, The Apostle Paul didnt predict you wouldnt read it. But he predicted many would find more entertaining alternatives.
One reason to read the Bible – Faith Restarts
Moses instructed families to teach the law to their families every day. But he knew that everyone needs a fresh restart now and then.
That’s why he instructed the Israelites to read the entire book of the law to the entire congregation every seven years.
Joshua triggered a restart reading as soon as they crossed the Jordan River. King Josiah ordered a restart when the dust-covered book of the law was discovered in the temple. Ezra and Nehemiah instituted some restart reading sessions when they rebuilt the temple and the walls.
We all need faith restarts – fresh opportunities to recharge our faith batteries.
With my own family, with friends and their families, and in churches, Ive helped people recharge their faith and rediscover the wonder of the Bible by reading it!
But with a few twists and some guidance.
Once again, were power-reading through the entire Bible in 60 days! It’s possible, rewarding, and surprising.
This is not Bible study, it’s Bible reading.
We begin June 5th. I’ll guide you through a big-picture, edge-to-edge reading with daily insights and a proven plan.
Join us here today!
Were Educated With The Word
Our faith is based not on our imaginations or concepts but on the Word of God, so its critical that we as Christians all know what Gods Word says. By reading the Word regularly, well eventually read through the entire Bible and gain a basic knowledge of God and the things of God. Gaining this basic knowledge is like learning our ABCs. If we dont learn the letters of the alphabet, its impossible for us to read or write. To understand even the simplest book or write a letter, we first have to learn our ABCs.
Knowing whats in the Bible is like knowing our spiritual ABCs. Becoming familiar with the words, facts, stories, and expressions in the Bible forms in us the building blocks the Lord can use to show us more of the truth in His Word. This helps us to know Him in a deeper way and allows Him to speak to us more and more through the Word.
God has given us a powerful and wonderful gift in His Word. By reading it, were not only spiritually educated but also washed and nourished within. If youd like some help with reading the Bible regularly, take a look at our post on building up a habit of daily Bible reading.
All verses are quoted from the Holy Bible Recovery Version. You can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version here.
The Bible Shows Us Gods Love Power And Holiness
Many people have a vague idea of who God is. Or they think of him as a spiritual force, not a personage. He is very different from that.
The Bible tells us of Gods love, power, and holiness. As we read it, we are encouraged in our faith and motivated to draw closer to him. Read what David wrote about delighting in Gods word:
I delight in your decrees I will not neglect your word.
Make it personal
4. Have you ever felt delighted as you read Gods word? If so, when? Why were you delighted by what you read?
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Shepherds For The Flock
So, step one: Gods plan. Just this week, I was preparing a Look at the Book session on 1 Thessalonians 5:1214, and I was compelled to address this very question before I knew that this question would be asked. And heres what that text says: We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.
Heres a group in the church that leads and teaches. And then I think verse 14, the next verse, turns to address those very teachers like this: And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
I drew out from that text the obvious point namely, heres the infallible apostle writing to the Thessalonians and handing off a large measure of responsibility for the ministry of the word in the church. Hes handing it off to fallible people. Hes telling the teachers how to minister the word, and hes telling the members how to receive the word and how to respect the teachers.
Then consider 2 Timothy 4:12. This has been huge in my life as a pastor and preacher. Paul says to young Timothy, whom Paul had left behind as a pastor in Ephesus, I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word.
By means of good preaching, Bible reading itself becomes increasingly fruitful.
Benefits Of Reading The Bible
The benefits of reading the Bible. While there are numerous ways that reading the Bible brings us closer to God and benefits us daily. Here are a few that I keep close to my heart and serve as reminders for me to stay in the Word on a daily basis:
John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life
2. Gods instructions for life are housed in His word. How we treat others. How we should act or react in situations. Its all in there.
Proverbs 16:20 20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.
3.We gain wisdom from it
Psalms 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light It gives understanding to the simple
4. Scripture releases our chains and lifts our burdens
Psalms 119:28 My soul weeps because of grief Strengthen me according to Your word.
5. Gods word brings us joy
Psalms 119:111 I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they
are the joy of my heart.
6. The Bible gives us hope
Romans. 15:4 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.
7. It reminds us of His promises
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Read The Bible: It Is Our Nourishment
Imagine that you go a day without eating anything. Then a week. And a month. As time goes on, you become weaker and weaker. Our bodies need nourishment to live. And its the same in our spiritual lives.
It is through our spirit we can have contact with God. Our spirit is what will enter eternity and it needs nourishment to be alive and awake to the will of God. Jesus said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4. He also says, It is the Spirit who gives life the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63.
If we want to gain life and nourishment for our spirit, it is essential that we spend time with Gods Word. Gods Word is a source of life! It contains infinite help and wisdom. And, when it is read and obeyed in a spirit of faith, it leads us to unimaginable spiritual growth.
The Bible Transforms Us
When you read the Bible, you learn important information, but something else happens when you have an open heart. Reading and meditating on what you study actually changes your attitudes, motives, and emotions. It transforms you on the inside. It renews your mind.
Jesus answered, It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will ishis good, pleasing and perfect will.
What do you think?
9. How does the Bible transform us?
Read The Bible Because It’s Freedom
If we feel oppressed by thoughts or limited by our own attitudes, the Bible is Truth. And once we know the truth about who we are in Christ by reading the Bible, we will live in the freedom God has given us as His children and co-heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 Read the Bible and walk in complete freedom!
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
Read The Bible For Blessing
Reading the Bible promotes wellness in our lives as we allow it to shape our beliefs, thoughts and actions. We may not feel the results of its nourishment at first, but our daily reading will eventually become evident.
“God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says …” Revelation 1:3
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Why Should You Teach Your Kids How To Read The Bible
Were told that All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work .
The importance of reading Gods Word is clear, and its certainly a habit worth passing down to our kids. So, how do we do that? Well, its a bit more nuanced than simply telling your child to read the Bible.
Read The Bible For Sustenance
We are both physical and spiritual beings, so we need natural food and supernatural food to stay strong and healthy. Also, during difficult seasons in life, we may need a lot of spiritual nourishment. Reading the Bible provides that necessary nourishment.
“People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
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Realize The Importance Of Reading The Bible
The importance of reading the Bible cannot be stressed enough. The Bible contains within it the answer to some of lifes greatest questions.
Where did we come from? Why are we here? What does it mean to be a good person?
Youll find answers to all of these questions right there in your Bible. Its not enough to simply read the Bible once. The more you study the verses, the more Gods wisdom will reveal itself to you.
The Beginners Guide: How To Read The Bible For Beginners
Reading the Bible on your own can be intimidating. Where do you even start?
Reading the Bible on your own can be intimidating. Where does one even begin?
Do you start at the beginning and read straight through to the end? Should you jump around and read whatever strikes your fancy?
Is there a version of the Bible thats better than another version?
Speaking of versions, how many versions are there and what is the difference?
But reading and studying the Bible is an important part of every believers life and is one of the core spiritual disciplines.
Today Ill address the most common questions that beginners have about the Bible and how to read it.
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What Is The Best Bible For Beginners
Most people are familiar with the King James Version of the Bible, which also is the first authorized English translation of the bible.
However, I wouldnt recommend it for beginners.
When choosing a bible you should consider these two things:
- Readability & Understanding
Which Version of the Bible Should You Choose?
There are roughly 450 English translations of the bible.
The most popular translations are:
- King James Version
Why Are There So Many Bible Translations and Which One is Best?
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek .
Since the original Bible was written in several languages, it had to be translated into English. The English bible versions that we read are all translations from these original texts.
However, there are several ways that bibles can be translated.
The most accurate way is a word-for-word translation .
The King James Bible and the English Standard Version are examples of formal equivalence. While these versions are accurate, they are harder to read and understand.
Then you have retelling or paraphrasing the scripture which attempts to paraphrase the original text in a way that is easier for modern readers to read and understand.
The New Internation Readers Version and the Good News Translation are examples of dynamic equivalence.
There is a happy medium between the two called functional equivalencethat balances word for word and paraphrasing. The New International Version and the Christian Standard Bible are translated this way.
Trust Your Spiritual Instincts
Just like you can trust the signals of your body for hunger, thirst, sleep, and exercise, you can trust your spiritual instincts too. This doesn’t mean that we should follow our feelings without critical reflection, but sometimes when we dont want to read, theres some pause or practice other than Scripture reading that could be valuable to engage in.
For me, it was encouragement from a mentor to turn my daily commute into time spent freely with God. It was a post-seminary season where I was positively stuffed with the Bible in three different languages, and reading it felt impossible, exhausting, and discouraging. It was so freeing to consecrate those rides, and I often found that phrases and passages of Scripture would come to mind as I prayed and pedaled. In hindsight, I needed to trust my spiritual instincts, which were saying, Enough reading! You need some time to process this!
You might be surprised at what comes up when you give yourself permission to trust your gut while still pursuing the wisdom of God. And when youre ready for more classic reading again, youll appreciate it that much more.
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Reason #: It Connects You To Historys Most Important Figure
You may have heard of the “godman,” Jesus of Nazareth, also called the “Christ” . You may even think you know him. But if you have not read the account offered firsthand throughout this book, you will, in effect, know nothing definite about him. The entire Old Testament points to his coming, and the entire New Testament testifies to his teachings and actions.
A Prayer For Reading The Bible Daily
And if you dont know how to start reading the bible, or know what to pray, here is a prayer for you. You can simply read itto help you read the bible daily.
Father, you know my heart.
I know that I should be reading your Word daily, please turn that knowing into a craving for your Word.
Help me, God, to experience reading your Word in a way that helps me to see that I NEED it so that Ill be able to withstand the schemes of the enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
Lord, please help me to know how to start reading the bibledailyfor your good and perfect will to take place in my life. Help me to experience the benefits to reading the bible in a way that are very tangible to me.
God I pray that you will enable me to set aside just 15 minutes each morning, before my children wake up, for a quiet time with you.
I pray that you will wake me up by the power of your Holy Spirit, that you will guard my time, and guide my heart.
Father I long to know you more deeply.
As I turn my heart to you and seek you first, please bless this prayer, and help me to be like a tree firmly planted by streams of living water . Amen.
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Pick A Book Of The Bible And Work Your Way Through It
If youre anything like me, you need a Bible reading plan or youll waste precious minutes thumbing through the Bible, never quite landing. So pick one book of the Bible and read a little each day, one chapter, perhaps.
If you read one chapter of John a day, youll read John in its entirety in 21 days.
After reading John, move on to the other gospels Matthew, Mark or Luke. Next read Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians, which provide practical encouragement and instruction for living the Christian life. Romans is jam-packed with essential doctrine. Genesis explains how everything began. Psalms is filled with heartfelt prayers that offer encouragement for every season of life.
Work your way through one book at a time, and youll never find yourself fumbling for where to read again.
This Is What Gods Word Can Do:
Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. James 1:21
Help you grow in wisdom.
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey His commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise Him forever! Psalm 111:10
Teach you how to live.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Protect you from being deceived.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
Develop your faith.
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17
Keep you from sin.
I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:11
Fill you with hope.
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4
Bring you joy.
How I delight in Your commands! How I love them! Psalm 119:47
Give you peace.
Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165
Prosper your life.
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