Why Study the Bible?

Read the Bible and pray. Those are the basic instructions given to every new believer. What LifeWay Researched has determined, however, is that while Americans are very fond of the Bible they just don’t read it.

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Scott McConnell of LifeWay Research says that even among worship attendees less than half read the Bible daily. You can read his full report here. I have often observed that many Christians get their Bible reading at church on Sunday, i.e. in the Sunday School lesson or what the pastor reads from the pulpit.

You can look up facts and figures all day. What I want to get to is this: Why should we be reading the Bible? I will answer or at least suggest an answer to that question with a question. What is the purpose of the Bible? There are several ways that God speaks to us. He speaks to individuals through the church, other people, circumstances, and the indwelling Holy Spirit. There are many different ways we may hear from God but the simplest is to pick up his Word and see what it says!

Reading and studying scripture is not an end in and of itself. Well, for some it may be just that. But what I’m saying is, the real reason to read the Bible is because God has given us his Word. He wants us to speak to us, to inform us, to guide us to truth and spiritual understanding. When David writes in Psalm 1 that “his delight is in the Law of the Lord” he’s not merely talking about the Ten Commandments or even the Mosaic Law, he’s talking about listening to what God has said. Paul describes grace in the New Testament as greater than the Law but he never says the Law is bad. It was a gift from God to his people. He was talking to them and David was excited to hear! When Jesus said that man shall not by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God he was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. Long before there was a Bible God wanted us to read, hear, memorize and cherish his Word.

I wrote a few weeks ago about living on samples. Only 9% of those on the pie graph above have personally read the entire Bible more than once. Reading the Bible a second time will open your eyes to stuff you didn’t notice the first time through. I am not exaggerating. I have been reading the Bible since I was 12. I starting teaching Sunday School at the age of 16 and preaching at 17. I taught Bible classes at a private Christian boarding school. And I still to this day continue to notice things I’ve never noticed before. It is not possible to understand all of it completely. A Bible may be just a book, words printed onto pages, but the Word of God is living and dynamic. Passages will apply to each of us in new ways throughout life’s journey. The Holy Spirit leads us into knowledge and spiritual understanding as the time is right, when we need it most, and according to his will and way.

Have you read your Bible lately? There’s a lot of good stuff in there.

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Happy Monday

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Found any Black Friday deals? No kidding, the shopping season has begun. I won’t repeat everything said last week about finding time to give thanks and to worship between now and Christmas but you should enjoy the season not merely tolerate it or wish it was over. Do only as much as makes you happy. So pour another cup and let’s get our Monday on! This is Happy Monday #297. Continue reading

Happy Monday

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Halloween is over, Daylight Savings Time is over, it’s time to turn the page. We are entering the most wonderful busiest time of year. Schedule some down time if you need to. Don’t hurry up and give thanks, be still and know that he is God. Between now and Christmas find time to worship. He is the Prince of Peace, not the King of holiday stress nor the Lord of hustle yourself to death. Here’s your Happy Monday (#296). Continue reading

One More Pic

We hope everyone enjoyed the Spooky Monday post earlier this week. It was a little bit of a gamble but several factors were considered; Happy Monday is a funny, uplifting thing never meant to be taken too seriously, there were Christian themed images/cartoons included, and those without a sense of humor probably don’t visit this site.

The only thing stopping us from calling it “Spooky Monday” was the Martin Luther meme. It was necessary to acknowledge Reformation Day. There is another image, both creative and brilliant, that I can’t believe was left out. So on this All Saints Day please accept this October 31st 95 Theses inspired project. I can’t believe this was somehow overlooked.

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Happy Monday

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Halloween image or graphic design fail? Props to Paul Wilkinson either way. Take note: this will be a kid friendly, Halloween is part of our culture that doesn’t really give glory and honor to Satan edition of Spooky Monday. If you have strong religious convictions about not taking part in that sort of thing… maybe just come back next week. This is Happy Monday #295. Continue reading