Bible Engagement Blog: JumpIntoTheWord

Read, Reflect, Respond


Leave a comment

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

In How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, the authors, Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, equip the reader with an excellent guide on how to study each genre of Scripture and read it intelligently. It’s one of my top ten Bible engagement books. Here are some tidbits from the first two chapters:

The Bible is at the same time both human and divine … it is the Word of God given in human words in history.

The Bible … is not a series of propositions and imperatives; it is not simply a collection of “Sayings from Chairman God”.

The single most serious problem people have with the Bible is not with lack of understanding … but obeying it – putting it into practice.

The task of interpretation involves the student/reader at two levels. First, one has to hear the Word they heard … back then and there (exegesis). Second, you must learn to hear that same Word in the here and now (hermeneutics).

Everyone is an exegete of sorts. The only real question is whether you will be a good one.

The key to good exegesis, and therefore to a more intelligent reading of the Bible, is to learn to read the text carefully and to ask the right questions of the text.

There are two basic kinds of questions one should ask of every biblical passage: those that relate to context and those that relate to content.

Literary context means first that words only have meaning in sentences, and second that biblical sentences for the most part only have clear meaning in relation to preceding and succeeding sentences.

Correct interpretation … brings relief to the mind as well as a prick or prod to the heart.

The most important contextual question you will ever ask – and it must be asked over and over of every sentence and every paragraph – is, “What’s the point?”

You can do good exegesis with a minimum amount of outside help … a good translation, a good Bible dictionary, and good commentaries.

Devotional reading is not the only kind one should do. One must also read for learning and understanding.

The true meaning of the biblical text for us is what God originally intended it to mean when it was first spoken.

The trouble with using only one translation … is that you are thereby committed to the exegetical choices of that translation as the Word of God.

© Scripture Union Canada 2016

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Eat This Book

Eugene Peterson, author of The Message (an idiomatic translation of the Bible in contemporary language) has, as would be expected, much to say about how we read the Bible. In Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading, he challenges us to read the Scriptures on God’s terms and to live them as we read them. Here are some extracts from Eat This Book that will hopefully entice you to read the Bible like dogs gnawing on a bone:

The challenge – never negligible – regarding the Christian Scriptures is getting them read, but read on their own terms, as God’s revelation.

What is neglected is reading the Scriptures formatively, reading in order to live.

In order to read the Scriptures adequately and accurately, it is necessary at the same time to live them … not to live them in consequence of reading them, but to live them as we read them.

The Bible reveals the self-revealing God and along with that the way the world is, the way life is, the way we are.

The Bible is basically and overall a narrative – an immense, sprawling, capacious narrative.

The biblical story invites us in as participants in something larger than our sin-defined needs, into something truer than our culture-stunted ambitions.

When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s.

Scripture is the revelation of a world that is vast, far larger than the sin-stunted, self-constricted world that we construct for ourselves out of a garage-sale assemblage of texts.

Scripture draws us out of ourselves, out of our fiercely guarded individualities, into the world of responsibility and community and salvation – God’s sovereignty.

It takes the whole Bible to read any part of the Bible.

One of the most urgent tasks facing the Christian community today is to counter self-sovereignty by reasserting what it means to live these Holy Scriptures from the inside out, instead of using them for our sincere and devout but still self-sovereign purposes.

We are fond of saying that the Bible has all the answers … But the Bible also has all the questions, many of them that we would just as soon were never asked of us, and some of which we will spend the rest of our lives doing our best to dodge.

Our imaginations have to be revamped to take in this large, immense world of God’s revelation in contrast to the small, cramped, world of human “figuring out.”

A simple act of obedience will open up our lives to the text far more quickly than any number of Bible studies and dictionaries and concordances.

The biblical story pulls the holy community – not just you, not just me – into the story in a participating way.

If we are to get the full force of the word, God’s word, we need to recover its atmosphere of spokenness.

The primary organ for receiving God’s revelation is not the eye that sees but the ear that hears – which means that all of our reading of Scripture must develop into a hearing of the word of God.

The Scriptures are our listening post for learning the language of the soul, the ways God speaks to us; they also provide the vocabulary and grammar that are appropriate for us as we in turn speak to God.

Contemplation simply must be reclaimed as essential in all reading and living of Scripture. It is not an option; it is necessary.

The words of Scripture are not primarily words, however impressive, that label or define or prove, but words that mean, that reveal, that shape the soul, that generate saved lives, that form believing and obedient lives.

© Scripture Union Canada 2016

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

How Not To Read The Bible

“Reading the Bible, if we do not do it rightly, can get us into a lot of trouble” Eugene Peterson.

We’ve all been taught how to read (though my daughter insists that she taught herself!) and we all read with similar preconditioned dynamics that are deeply ingrained in the way we read. Here’s how it plays out:

“We come to a text with our own agenda firmly in place, perhaps not always consciously but usually unconsciously. If what we start to read does not fairly quickly begin to adapt itself to our agenda, we usually lay it aside and look for something that does. When what we are reading does adapt itself to our agenda, we then exercise control over it by grasping it with our mind. The rational, cognitive, intellectual dynamics of our being go into full operation to analyze, critique, dissect, reorganize, synthesize, and digest the material we find appropriate to our agenda. Thus our general mode of reading is to perceive the text as an object ‘out there’ over which we have control. We control our approach to the text; we control our interaction with the text; we control the impact of the text upon our lives.” M. Robert Mulholland Jr.

To summarize, the way we read is based on three ingrained assumptions:

  • we are the masters of what we read
  • texts/content are subordinated to our intellect
  • we have the right to choose what to do or not do with what we read

When it comes to Bible reading, these assumptions create tremendous obstacles. Here’s why:

The author of the Bible, God, is all knowing, all wise, and all powerful. “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9. That places God in control, not us.

Because God is in control, we must therefore come under the authority of His Word. In other words, when we read the Word we cannot be the masters of what we read. Nor can we stand to one side exercising our cognition and intellect to evaluate the text in the light of our own best interests. Rather, the Bible must read us!

So how does that happen? How do we read the Bible without controlling the text, our interaction with the text, and the impact of the text on our lives? Here are four suggestions:

1. Humble yourself. Because God is omniscient, because His Word is holy, and because He’s God (and we’re not), being humble is the only acceptable way for us to read His Word. Humility is a bankruptcy of spirit (cf. Matthew 5:3). It’s depending solely on God’s righteousness (cf. Luke 18:9-14). It’s receiving something from God like a little child (cf. Luke 18:15-17). And it’s tied-up with fearing the Lord (cf. Psalm 25:9-12; Proverbs 15:33). Now here’s the kicker. We need humility to read the Bible because without it we lack wisdom (cf. Proverbs 11:2). When we don’t have wisdom the Bible is confusing, i.e. we don’t know how to hear or understand God’s Word (cf. Matthew 13:13).

2. Learn to listen. There’s listening, the every-day kind of listening, and there’s the listening that happens (when we are patient and still – cf. Psalm 37:7) in the depths of our being. We need to learn to listen from the inner reaches of who we are – to pay attention not just with our minds, but with our hearts and spirits. For this kind of listening to take place, we must focus all our faculties on God. We must hear/see beyond the words on the page to find and know the God who “speaks” the words. And when we find Him, we must open our ears to receive instruction, comfort, renewal, grace, rebuke, correction, or whatever He wants to share with us.

3. Incline your heart. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5. Biblically speaking, the heart is the center of our emotional, intellectual and moral activity. It’s the inner sanctum where the experiences of joy, sorrow, love, fear and the whole range of emotions occur. The emotional state of the heart impacts our whole being (cf. Proverbs 15:13; 17:22). It’s also the wellspring of our hopes and desires. Most importantly, when we look for God with all our heart, that’s when we find Him (cf. Deuteronomy 4:28-29).

4. Be soul-aware. When we read the Scriptures rationally and critically there’s a tendency (and danger) to manipulate the text to validate the pervasive make-up of our self-referenced being. To counteract this tendency we need to be soul-aware. The road to being soul-aware begins with dying to self and not gratifying “the desires of the sinful nature” Galatians 5:16. It’s also letting our response to God’s Word percolate into the core of our volitional nature. This is done, in part, through asking questions like, “What am I feeling?” or “What is God stirring up in me?” or “How is the Spirit moving my spirit?”

Thomas à Kempis said, “A humble knowledge of ourselves is a surer way to God than is the search for depth of learning.” So let’s not read the Bible the way we’ve been taught to read. We cannot and should not take control of the text as if it’s powerless without our intervention. That’s a sure-fire way to filter out God’s voice! Let’s read it in a new way. Let’s read it without “reading” it. And let’s read it with vulnerability – with a desire to hear and be transformed by it!

Recommended:

Eat this Book, Eugene H. Peterson

Shaped By The Word, M. Robert Mulholland Jr.

© Scripture Union Canada 2016

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Thinking About Our Thinking

This post is compiled with Bible ministry colleagues in mind. It’s for people working in the fields of Bible preaching, Bible translation, Bible publishing, Bible storying, Bible study, Bible teaching, Bible resource development, and Bible engagement.

Here are ten primers to get us thinking about our thinking:

  1. The entertainment industry thrives on the power to distract and hypnotize. What are the Bible engagement strategies, methodologies and technologies that are required to capture the attention of people caught in the grip of an alluring hotchpotch of images and fragments of visual stimulation?
  2. Biblical scholarship requires a major paradigm shift. The perception and interpretation of the Scriptures must shift from engaging with silent print to engaging with the Bible in the context of electronic media. What are the implications of this premise?
  3. Since the majority of people hear the message of the Bible rather than read it for themselves, greater attention needs to be given to the importance of communicating the message with dialogical language (vs. dialectic language). What adjustments in our Bible delivery systems/methodology need to be made to help people hear the Word in more relational and dynamic ways?
  4. In recognizing that there are more people outside than inside the church, it is imperative that intralingual translations (e.g. English to English) of Bible versions/paraphrases are developed to better enable people to relate to the Word. How might a multi-media rich environment help or hinder intralingual translations?
  5. There are multiple tools, forms and avenues available in the sciences and arts through which connections with the Bible may be made. How might the sciences and arts be more creatively accessed to help people see, imagine, contemplate, tell, hear, remember and share God’s Story?
  6. It was mainly Christians who pioneered the transition from orality to literacy. Now that Western cultures are more abstract, wouldn’t it be great if Christians once again pioneered the transition to secondary orality? So what are we presently doing, and what should we be doing, to communicate and invite interaction with the Bible in the context of a more deliberate self-conscious orality?
  7. Robotics and artificial intelligence are going to dramatically alter the landscape of society in the coming years. What impact might the changes in technology have on how we provide access, develop approaches/methods, and invite engagement with the Bible?
  8. Social networking sites have changed the way we communicate. The linear reasoning that’s been nurtured by print culture is being augmented or replaced by non-sequential thinking stimulated by visual effects, wired to sound bites and punctuated by the exchange of one-liners. With this in mind, what are the implications for discipleship, given that Bible reading/reflection (drawing on linear reasoning skills) has been the primary means of nurturing mature believers?
  9. What can we learn from the past that can help us in the future? The biblical texts were originally recorded to assist oral presentation and the development of a communal piety. The spoken and rhetorical features of the biblical text have been largely overlooked or ignored by commentators, pastors and teachers for hundreds of years. How can electronic media be harnessed to recapture the original oral underpinnings of the Bible?
  10. What new thinking, arrangements, reorganization of translation processes, and development of production and delivery mechanisms are required to enable people to engage with the Bible in a way that they can encounter God and live lives that bring honour and glory to Him?

© Scripture Union Canada 2016

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

How To Help Children Get Into The Word

Parents sometimes ask me, “How can we help our children get into the Word?” This is a great question. It recognizes that one of the most important things we can do for our children is help them meet with God and learn His ways. And more, when children get into the Word they develop a biblical world view that informs and directs their beliefs and actions.

What follows are three essential things my wife and I did to help our children get into the Word:

  • Be seen reading the Bible yourself. More is caught than taught. When our children were younger it was evident we were reading the Bible because it was in a book form. Morning or evening, or some other time during the day, our children would see one of us sitting in a chair or lying on a couch with a Bible in hand. Now I mainly read the Scriptures on my tablet or laptop, so what I may be reading or doing isn’t evident. That’s why we recommend, if you have younger children (ours are adults), using a hard copy.
  • Read the Bible with your children. A joy shared is a joy doubled. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is a love for God’s Word. But it doesn’t happen through osmosis. Children need to regularly hear the Bible read by their Dad or Mom. Why? Because when they hear and chat with you about the Word they’ll understand why you treasure it and why they in turn should likewise value and live by it.
  • Capitalize on teachable moments. There are countless unplanned events you can use to connect your children with God’s Word. Bible engagement shouldn’t be compartmentalized – it should be part and parcel of the things we say, do and experience every day. So a difficult day at school becomes an opportunity to read about how God cares for us, or seeing a beautiful flower sparks a conversation about the wonder of creation and reflecting on Genesis 1. And when your children are older the teachable moments ramp up to include theological discussions (informed and rooted in the Word) on all manner of subjects, musings, ethics, philosophies, moral dilemmas, perspectives and such.

There are many other basic things that we did to help our children get into the Word. But most importantly, we also prayed – trusting God to stir up a desire and love for His Word in their hearts and minds. And He did. And now they are adults, with their own children, and they have not departed from it (cf. Proverbs 22:6).

© Scripture Union Canada, 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Twenty Thought-Provoking Comments On Bible Engagement

In no particular order, here are twenty thought-provoking comments on Bible engagement:

– “For most Christians in the First World the Bible remains a closed book, a Pandora’s Box of isolated and unrelated proof texts, or what is worse – an individualistic invitation to hang out with a cool dude called Jesus. There have to be better reasons for reading, performing and reciting the Scriptures than these.” Colin Greene & Martin Robinson, Metavista: Bible, Church and Mission in an Age of Imagination

– “The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.” Søren Kierkegaard, Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard

– “We read Scripture in order to be refreshed in our memory and understanding of the story within which we ourselves are actors, to be reminded where it has come from and where it is going to, and hence what our own part within it ought to be.” N.T. Wright, Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today

– “One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. That is because in the Bible God speaks to us. And one cannot simply think about God in one’s own strength, one has to inquire of him. Only if we seek him, will he answer us.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reading the Bible

– “We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service.” Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

– “God did not give the Bible so we could master him or it; God gave the Bible so we could live it, so we could be mastered by it. The moment we think we’ve mastered it, we have failed to be readers of the Bible.” Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible

– “The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them.” Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

– “The Bible is the greatest of all books; to study it is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.” Charles C. Ryrie, Ryrie Study Bible

– “I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it – His Word.” R.C. Sproul, The Prayer of the Lord

– “The soul can do without everything except the word of God, without which none at all of its wants are provided for.” Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty

– “When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.” Eugene H. Peterson, Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading

– “Happy is that man who possesses a Bible! Happier still is he who reads it! Happiest of all is he who not only reads it, but obeys it, and makes it the rule of his faith and practice!” J.C. Ryle, Bible Reading

– “Too many of God’s people don’t know God’s Word, don’t really believe God’s Word or don’t do God’s Word.” Rick Warren, 40 Days in the Word

– “And so the test of whether or not we have really gotten the point of the Bible would then be the quality of love that we show.” Richard J. Foster, Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation

– “To our shame, we have hungered to be masters of the Word much more than we have hungered to be mastered by it.” D.A. Carson, Collected Writings on Scripture

– “Reading God’s Word and meditating on its truth will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart, and will be demonstrated in your life. Let nothing take the place of this daily privilege.” Billy Graham, The Heaven Answer Book

– “It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true Word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him.” C.S. Lewis, Letters of C.S. Lewis

– “The Bible is the Word of God because in it Jesus, the Word incarnate, comes to us. Any who read the Bible and somehow do not find Jesus in it, have not encountered the Word of God.” Justo L. Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity

– “It would be a pity if, in a desire (rightly) to treat the Bible as more than a book, we ended up treating it as less than a book by not permitting it the range and use of language, order, and figures of speech that are (or ought to be) familiar to us from our ordinary experience of conversation and reading.” John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science 

– “The truly wise man is he who believes the Bible against the opinion of any man. If the Bible says one thing, and any body of men says another, the wise man will decide, ‘This book is the Word of Him who cannot lie’.” R.A. Torrey, Ten Reasons I Believe the Bible is the Word of God

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Ten Things You Can Do To Improve Your Engagement With The Bible

To know God and be godly, we must know God’s Word intimately.

Here are ten things you can do to improve your engagement with the Bible:

Use reading plans. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin. Check out Bible Gateway for a great selection of reading plans. If you want to read through the New Testament in a year, try the free 5/52 Reading Plan from SGM Canada.

Use reading guides. Informed commentary that helps you explore the wonders of the Word and apply it to life are invaluable. If you want to grow in godliness and intimacy with God, try the Scripture Union printed or online Bible reading guides for all ages.

Join a Bible study group. We need the help of others to better see and hear from God’s Word. Bible study with a group of like-minded believers will strengthen and enhance your Bible engagement.

Listen to expository Bible preaching. There are pastors, teachers and authors who you can learn from. Sites like Sermon Index provide a great selection of audio sermons by gifted speakers.

Take notes/journal. Writing down what you’re learning about God and yourself helps formulate your thinking, clarify the fuzzy, and aid your memory.

Slow it down. The Scriptures are best digested if we “eat them” slowly. Take your time. Masticate on each word. Listen for what God is saying. Enjoy the moment. Open your heart. Pause to pray.

Help others. A deeper level of Bible engagement comes when we help others engage with the Bible. Teach the Scriptures to your children, family, or friends and you’ll find that it “forces” you to go deeper in your own study of the Scriptures.

Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a transformed life doesn’t happen overnight. Changes in your attitude, outlook and behaviour happens indiscernibly over years of reading and re-reading the Bible.

Be realistic. Don’t expect to master the Bible in a month, a year, or a decade. There are depths to the Scriptures you will never plum, mysteries you will never understand, and contents that will leave you puzzled (cf. 2 Peter 3:16).

Be heavenly focused. Read the Bible until you can no longer read it, then when you close your eyes for the last time, know that you’ll open them to see the Word of God in the flesh!

Have your say. Add your suggestions by making a comment.

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Receive the Word of God

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. James 1:19-21 .

The Word of God can’t work in our lives unless we take delivery of it in the right way. According to James 1:19-21 here’s how we should receive the Word:

Be swift to hear (v.19a)

God gave us two ears and one mouth – probably because He wants us to spend twice as much time listening over talking! Basic to receiving the Word is paying attention to what God says. “He who has ears, let him hear” Matthew 13:9. “Consider carefully how you listen” Luke 8:18. Listening is vital because “faith comes from hearing the message . . .” Romans 10:17.

Be slow to speak (v.19b)

We should know when it’s appropriate to speak or not to speak. “He who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19) and “a man of knowledge uses words with restraint” Proverbs 17:27. For the Word of God to work in our lives we must be careful to say only those things that both edify those who hear, and honours the Lord on whose behalf we speak.

Be slow to anger (v.19c-20)

Anger impedes the righteous life God wants us to pursue. “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly” Proverbs 14:29 . If we have a hostile outlook to the Word or resent it when it exposes an ungodly lifestyle, reveals sin, upsets comfort zones, or challenges opinions and false ideas, we will not be able to grow in spiritual maturity.

Be submissive in spirit (v.21)

A selfless, willing, humble and teachable disposition is the final requirement for receiving the Word as God intended. “We might wonder why the ever-practical James does not proceed to outline schemes of daily Bible reading or the like, for surely these are the ways in which we offer a willing ear to the voice of God. But he does not help us in this way. Rather, he goes deeper, for there is little point in schemes and times if we have not got an attentive spirit. It is possible to be unfailingly regular in Bible reading, but to achieve no more than to have moved the bookmark forward: this is reading unrelated to an attentive spirit. The word is read but not heard. On the other hand, if we can develop an attentive spirit, this will spur us to create those conditions – a proper method in Bible reading, a discipline of time, and so on – by which the spirit will find itself satisfied in hearing the Word of God” J. A. Motyer.

© Scripture Union Canada 2014


Leave a comment

4/14 Bible Engagement

“Connecting children with Jesus and His Story should be the priority of the church today!” This, according to the keynote message at the December 2014 Forum of Bible Agencies- North America meeting in Niagara Falls.

“God’s Word for a Young World”, the theme of the FOBA-NA meeting, centered attention on the importance of reaching children and youth. “A new focus is needed for a new era . . . what we’ve done in the past will not cut it in the future . . . each successive generation (in the Western world) has fewer Christians than the previous generation . . . we must do all we can to share the Scriptures with our children and grand-children while we still can!”

These impassioned comments were fuelled by the injunction in God’s Word to “Impress them (the Scriptures) on your childrenDeuteronomy 6:7 (NIV). Or, as Eugene Peterson paraphrased this verse in The Message, the task is to first “Get them (the Scriptures) inside of you and then get them inside your children.”

The call to connect children and youth with the Bible is amplified by research. According to the Pew Research Centre, the religious unaffiliated in Canada has gone from 4% in 1970 to 24% in 2011 and in the USA from 5% in 1970 to 20% in 2011. Couple the rise of the “Nones” with the growth of other religions in North America and the need to impress the Scriptures on our children is more urgent than ever before.

So how do we do Bible engagement with a special concern for children? Forum members were encouraged to review, revise and restructure their operational budgets. Finances could then be used to envision and develop new resources. The work should not be done in isolation. Collaboration and working partnerships with children’s/youth agencies should be integral to the efforts as well as the creation of innovative marketing/promotions that invite and encourage children and youth to engage with the Bible.

But the challenge to connect children with the Bible involves much more than the creation of, distribution or marketing of resources. Stress was placed on the fact that “Belief matters! When people love Christ, they will love His Word.” A correlation of findings from Bible engagement studies revealed that most people who intentionally engage with the Bible are people who embrace Christ by faith. Bible engagement paradigms must therefore include evangelism, specifically child evangelism, as a core component of a 4/14 Bible engagement strategy.

With the above in mind, the concluding comment of the opening address was, “The decline in Bible engagement is primarily a relational problem – people aren’t getting connected to Jesus . . . we need more than a Bible reading revival – we need a Jesus revival!”

© Scripture Union Canada 2014


Leave a comment

Why We Should Read The Bible Every Day

There are many good reasons and one essential reason why we should read the Bible every day.

First, several good reasons:

  • to fuel our faith
  • to inform our world view
  • to direct our activities
  • to nurture wisdom
  • to reflect on life
  • to strengthen our convictions
  • to incline our hearts to righteousness

There are many more reasons why we should read the Bible. People have told me they read it; “To know what to do”, “To be changed internally”, “To enjoy God’s grace”, “To think more accurately”, “To get a word from heaven”, “To be emotionally and psychologically nourished” and so on. If you’re a regular Bible reader you probably have a few more reasons why you make it a priority to read/listen to the Word.

While there are hundreds of reasons why people read the Bible, there is one essential reason why we should read it every day – to meet with God.

Why should the essential reason for reading the Bible be to meet with God? An analogy with marriage helps answer this question:

A marriage thrives when it’s constantly being renewed. Chatting with one’s spouse once or twice a week simply doesn’t cut it! It’s expected, understood, implicit to the laws of relationships that married couples listen and talk to each other regularly.

Karen and I have been hanging out with each other nearly every day for more than thirty years. During our time together we’ve been able to ‘read’ and ‘re-read’ every ‘page’ of each other’s ‘books’ to the extent that our ‘books’ have sort of become one ‘book’.

When I came to faith in Christ I made a marriage type commitment to love, obey and serve Him for the rest of my life. If I don’t connect with Christ for a couple of days the relationship suffers. My communion with Christ needs to be constantly renewed. Meeting with Him daily is nonnegotiable. For my relationship to thrive I must spend time ‘reading’ and ‘re-reading’ His Book and allowing it to ‘read’ me.

Life is a dash from the cradle to the grave. With the passing of years, I’ll soon be dead. When I come to the winter of my life I doubt I’ll be thinking I should have written better blog posts, spent more time gardening, or gone for longer walks. No, when death rolls in I suspect I’ll be thinking about my relationships.

So remember your mortality. Remember your relationships. And read the Bible to meet with Christ every day.

© Scripture Union Canada 2014