I lived overseas for several years. One day a local friend came to the apartment for a visit. During the visit she noticed my Bible on the table beside my favorite chair. She asked if that was my Bible and why it was beside my chair. I told her that every morning the first thing I did was read from the Bible and that it was my custom to read the entire Bible every year. With some curiosity she asked how long I had been reading through the Bible. I told her it was my custom for many years and couldn’t really remember how many times I had read through the Bible. This seemed to confuse her. She was highly educated and was even a published author. The question quickly came, “The Bible, like any book, doesn’t change so why would you need to reread it? It’s the same every time you read it.” I told her that she was correct, the Bible never changes and has not done so through the ages. But every year I’m different and each year God shows me something different. A particular truth was always there but I wasn’t ready for it until just the right moment. The Bible doesn’t change but I do, that’s why I discover new truth each year. It was always there but God finally made me ready for it.
There are many reasons people do not read the Bible. For some it’s merely optional or a good idea. Others say they get biblical truths at church or through a podcast and that’s enough. I don’t have time or don’t understand it are common reasons. Others say the Bible just doesn’t work for them or that it’s outdated. The list could go on and on. There is an unlimited list of reasons people don’t read the Bible. I’d like to share with you two reasons for reading the Bible that I believe are beneficial for daily life.
God created us for reading the Bible.
The biblical creation story is quite simple. Before there was anything else, God was there. He “spoke”, and things were created. The concept translates bara ex nihilo. Bara is to create something; ex nihilo is out of nothing. Men can create things but only God could create something out of nothing. Simply put, God spoke and there it was! Something out of nothing. Everything God created was done in this manner, except for the creation of man. In creating humankind God neither spoke nor created from nothing. The Bible says, “Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person” (Genesis 2:7, NLT). When God “breathed” into man He transferred the image of Himself into humanity. Man is the only thing God touched and transferred His image into. That makes us unique in creation.
God created us for a connection with Him.
Through the Bible, God continues to breathe into us. “All Scripture is inspired (literally God-breathed) by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NLT emphasis added). At creation God prepared man for a relationship with Himself. The “breath” of God is how He continues to shape, refine, correct, and instruct us as we are continually transformed into the image He desires. The Bible is how God chooses to breathe into us today. That’s why it is vitally important to continue to read the Bible, not just “one and done” but daily as He shapes us. The Bible is how God planned to stay connected to His creation.
When we read the Bible, we connect with God Himself.
That all sounds good, but do I really need to read the Bible year after year? Good question! It’s easy to imagine that you can read the Bible carefully and thoroughly to become filled with God’s breath and instruction. Perhaps an illustration can be helpful. Imagine that you open a bank account with a deposit of $100,000. Get even more fanciful and imagine the initial deposit was a million dollars. Wow, that would be more money that I could ever need, or at least I think it would. With the account you are issued a debit card, credit card and book full of checks. With all that in place you move through life being diligent to make wise purchases and pay the routine bills of life. With that kind of a balance, you feel confident that you can continue to live life healthily and frugally. Over time you become accustomed to life and the routine you have created. Then one day you receive notification from your bank that your account has insufficient funds. What? I made a significant deposit and have lived wisely after that. What’s the problem here? The problem is simple. You only added to the account once but have been continually withdrawing from it until there’s nothing left. You have withdrawn more than you deposited. The truth about bank accounts is that you must make deposits into them to be able to make withdrawals from them.
This example may seem fanciful, but many people experience more month than money. That means that their income runs out while there is still a need for money to pay expenses. Suddenly they have insufficient funds. Something similar can happen in our spiritual lives. It’s easy for our spiritual out go to exceed our spiritual income. When that happens, we develop insufficient spiritual funds in our life. “But I go to church every Sunday and I’m involved in a small group Bible study.” Through the sermon you might receive 30 minutes of “breath” from the Bible. In small group you might receive 60 minutes of “breath” from God’s Word. That should be enough, right? How many hours are there in a week? Even though some weeks seem to fly by, and others drag on there are 168 hours in a week. Let’s say you need just 10% of them to be filled with God’s breath to keep your account in balance. That would mean you need 16.8 hours of allowing God to breathe into you from His Word. But at church you get 1.5 hours. How long would it take for your life to become spiritually overdrawn, and you develop insufficient spiritual funds? I’m not a math wizard but it would seem not very long. You would be living life spiritually overdrawn or with insufficient funds. How healthy would that be? How long do you think you could survive spiritually living like that? Not long, really.
We need the breath of God’s Word for our daily living.
There are many reasons people give for not reading their Bible daily. I hope these two examples or illustrations help you to see the value and really the necessity of reading your Bible daily. Is it easy to develop this habit? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! It won’t be easy unless you make it a priority. Please know that God is ready to breathe into your life daily so that you can be guided by the One who loves you and created you. God wants to give you unlimited funds in your spiritual bank account. He’s ready to make the deposit, you must only open His Word so that He can do it.
One way to stay in the Bible daily is to listen to God’s Word as you read it. Download the free Courage For Life app to listen to the Bible daily as you connect with God.