Bible Matters

Top Ten Reasons You Should Read Your Bible

10.  You probably have one.

According to a Gallop Organization Poll in 2000, 92% of American households own at least one Bible, with an average of three per household.  However, the same poll indicated that only 59% of Bible owners have read it, occasionally at that, which is down from 73% in the 1980’s.  So, chances are you own a Bible or there is one at your disposal, maybe even sitting on the coffee table in front of you.  And any good book deserves a good read!  If you don’t open it up – it has no relevance in your life. So why not give it a shot!

9.  You’re in it!

The Bible is filled with stories about people who have encountered God.  Young people, old people, rich people, poor people, powerful people, outcast people, smart people, and not so smart people, men and women.  People who believed in God and lots of people who didn’t. Are you looking for relevance in your life? Just because it’s a big book that was written many years ago, doesn’t mean that the people in it aren’t just like you searching for purpose in life.

8.  The Bible is true.

The Bible is the inspired Word of God, written by folks who told their stories of God’s activity in their lives and in the world around them. There are historical facts in the Bible, but there are also contradictions and stories that may seem irrelevant to today. But in and of themselves, they have a story to tell of who God is and you have the opportunity to sort out where you see God in the story and how it helps you see God in your life and in the world.

7. The Bible is not all about “Thou shalt not…”

Thank goodness!  Did you think that every time you opened the Bible you’d get your hands slapped? Well, God did hand down what we call the 10 commandments – “laws” to teach God’s people how to live in a right relationship with God and one another.  But these laws point to the need for Jesus, God’s Son, who came into the world to save us from the law that we could not possibly keep on our own.  The Bible tells us the whole of the story of God’s saving love for us.  We call that God’s grace.

6.  The Bible makes connections.

It’s about God’s activity in a certain time and place, but it’s also about God’s ongoing activity in the world.  When you read the Bible and imagine yourself as part of this long narrative of a God who created the world to be in relationship with God, you will see how you are connected to the events that took place then as well as those present and future events in your life.

5.  The Bible comes alive!

When you read the Bible you will find that it’s the living Word. In other words, it’s not just a collection of people’s confessions of who God is in their lives. But when you engage in these stories of hardship, suffering, joy, redemption, salvation, and love, the living Word of God comes alive in you.  You see, the point of these stories is not the stories themselves, but rather what they do for those who read them.  Becoming a part of these stories allows the living Word of God to change us, creating faith, hope, and love in us.

4.  Your life might just start to make sense!

When you read the Bible, you invite God’s Spirit to be present.  With the help of the Spirit, allowing yourself to imagine being a part of the story helps connect your faith with the experiences of your life.  The more you read the biblical narrative, the more you see God’s activity not only in the stories themselves, but also in your life.  We call those “God Sightings” – times in your life when you can truly see God at work.  Your faith, then, informs your experience, and your life begins to make sense.

3.  Your life might just start NOT to make sense!

BEWARE:  Reading the Bible may cause your life NOT to make sense! When you open the Bible and begin to read it, God’s living Word begins to work in you, and you see more clearly God’s activity in your life.  The things that you have been engaged with, the things that you have set as priorities in your life, may no longer make sense to you as you desire to be more aligned with God’s plan for you.  That’s perfectly normal!  It’s called repentance!

2.  The Bible gives you hope.

Have you ever felt despair?  Have you ever felt that you had nowhere to turn? No hope? Open the Bible.  Turn to the section of songs called Psalms where the authors cry out words of despair, yet there are also testimonies of hope, trust and praise for a God who never abandons us.  Read the story in the beginning of the Bible about how God rescued God’s people from slavery.  There are many stories that tell us about how God saved God’s people, ultimately sending God’s Son, Jesus to die on a cross and rise from the dead three days later…. For you and for all the world.

1.      God loves you.

Why should you read your Bible?  It’s that simple.  God loves you so much that God wants you and all people to know of the many acts of love God did throughout history and for all time.  You see, God knows that people have a difficult time trusting in God and claiming God’s promises.  So these stories are recorded for all people, so that centuries later you would know of God’s unfailing love for you.  Through these stories you are able to imagine a God active then and still active in your life today and tomorrow and for always.  Why?  Because God loves you.

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