The one thing no one tells you about reading the Bible

You probably agree that reading the Bible is an important spiritual discipline for your spiritual growth.

Yet, only 2 out of 10 Christians in the US read the Bible daily. And 6 out of 10 wish they could read the Bible more often. It’s not surprising then that 8 out of 10 Christians in America believe that there’s a Bible verse that says, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Shockingly, an average American home has more than 4 Bibles. Previously, I thought people don’t read the Bible because they don’t love God enough. But who among us really love God enough?

After talking to several people who struggle with reading and understanding the Bible and listening to those who claim they read the Bible regularly, I discovered the one thing no one tells you about reading the Bible. Today, I strongly believe that the key to effective and fruitful Bible reading is your answer to the question:

Why should you read the Bible?

This article is for people who are like me who failed to meet their Bible reading goal in 2016 and would like to have a better experience in 2017.

 

The Most Important Question about Reading the Bible you should ask

 

A guide on reading the Bible

 

You probably know what to read in the Bible, how to read the Bible, where to read your Bible and when to read the Bible. If you’re like most Christians who really want to improve their Bible reading habits, you probably own one or two books on how to read the Bible. But has anyone ever told you why should read the Bible?

I have a son who is turning 5 in a two months. When I ask him to do something, his first question is why. My answer to that question gives him the motivation to either obey me or disobey. I always make sure I give him the best answer possible.

If your answer to the question why should you read the Bible is not solid it can negatively affect how you view the Bible. For example, look at these 5 reasons Got Questions gave on why you should read the Bible.

 

  1. It’s God’s word that answers most of our life’s questions.
  2. It’s reliable and without error, historically, scientifically and prophetically.
  3. It helps us to discern false teachings saving us from idolatry.
  4. Equips us to faithfully serve God by giving us knowledge and wisdom.
  5. It helps us in fighting temptation and encourage us to lead a godly life.

 

All these responses are true but they are not the primary reason you should read the Bible?

This is why.

All these 5 reasons from Got Questions can best be summarized as, “You should read the Bible because, in it, you obtain eternal life.”

In an article, Why Should I Read the Bible published by Christian Today, Mark Galli seem to agree, “We read the Bible to help us understand where we’ve come from and where we’re going on this strange and wonderful journey.” Dane Ortlund, the Senior Vice President for Bible Publishing at Crossway wrote, “Daily Bible reading is how we calm down, tank up, get wisdom, go deep, get busy, and commune with God.”

But contrast these statements with what Jesus Christ said to the religious leaders of his time.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
John 5:39

So then, why should you read the Bible?

Because it bears witness about Jesus Christ and thus helping you know the Scriptures and the power of God (Matthew 22:29). Your goal as a Christian is to know Jesus Christ and the power of his resurrection and not just verses and chapters.

 

5 Good Questions about Reading the Bible that aren’t helpful

 

Answering why should you read the Bible is good, but knowing who you should read the Bible for is golden.

 

I believe the questions you ask about the Bible determine how you read the Bible and how you will understand the Bible. They will also determine your attitude when you read the Bible. And effectively, your Bible reading habits.

But before you can ask any other question you need to ask why. This is what Simon Sinek teaches in his book Start With Why. I think the concept applies to Bible reading.

The following questions are excellent, but useless if you don’t start with why. And this is why.

 

1. Where should I start reading the Bible?

You will only come up with a name of a book from the Bible. This question will not help you to read the Bible regularly and effectively.

2. How should I read the Bible?

This is a good question that will show you it’s good to read the Bible in chunks rather than snacks. Although this question will ensure you understand the Bible better, it won’t solve your consistency problems.

3. Where should I read the Bible?

I love this question because it will help you discover that you can read the Bible anywhere. In transit, in the park, at work or behind closed doors in your bedroom. But this question won’t help you to understand the Bible.

4. When should you read the Bible?

You might be a morning person, so it’s best for you to read in the morning. The best answer is every time. Unfortunately, this question only addresses the consistency problem and leaves the effectiveness question unanswered.

5. What order should I read the Bible?

Most Bible scholars encourage reading the Bible chronologically. This will help you see how the history of redemption unfolded. Sadly, the question will not guarantee that your Bible reading will always be effective and consistent.

 

Why should you read the Bible?

 

Forget about the 21 reasons why you should study the Bible, 10 sound reasons you should read the Bible and 17 benefits of reading the Bible. Jesus Christ gave us one reason. You should read the Bible because it bears witness of him.

It’s true that the Bible is God’s word that answers most of our life’s questions. But when we read the Bible we want to receive its witness concerning Jesus Christ. Knowing that the Bible is historical, scientific and prophetic doesn’t help us avoid the error of Jannes and Jambres who were ever learning but failing to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The Bible reveals Jesus Christ to you. And it is that revelation that can motivate you to set aside time to meet with Christ in Scripture, to fall in love with the beauty of his holiness and to savor his glory.

But…

In an article on Forbes, Simon Sinek Says ‘Start With Why,’ But Sales Experts Disagree, Ken Krogue argued,

Great salespeople always start with Who.

Then they move to Why, What, and How. And then eventually to When, and How Much.

They know that far more important than what you say is getting to the right person to say it.

Yes, answering why should you read the Bible is important, but knowing who you should read the Bible for is golden.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
John 5:39

So then, who should you read the Bible for?

 

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