I’ve talked a lot about reading the Bible lately. And I have sensed that God is moving me toward encouraging women to read the Bible consistently. I’ve learned that when I read the Bible consistently, I can better live out my faith in a way that honors and glorifies God.
Maybe you want to read the Bible consistently but just can’t get motivated to start. It could be that you find the Bible hard to understand. Or you don’t know how the Old and New Testaments relate to each other. It’s possible you think you don’t have enough time to read the Bible where you’ll understand it or get something out of it. Any one of these reasons could make prioritizing reading the Bible a challenge.
I want so badly for you to experience the fullness of what God has done for you through His Son, Jesus. And I want you to fall in love with the Bible just as much as I have. Now this is not to say we are idolizing the Bible itself. I’m talking about loving it as God’s Word and desiring to read it to know what God has to say to us.
So in this episode, I will share three reasons for prioritizing reading the Bible. Hopefully, these will resonate with you and give you some ideas about prioritizing your Bible reading.
As I’m recording this episode, I have just finished two seminary classes and am starting a new class. The new class I’m taking is on the New Testament, specifically the books of Acts through Revelation. I’ve watched the first week’s lectures and am amazed at what I’ve learned.
My professor spent several of the lectures explaining the history between the Old and New Testaments as well as a high-level overview of the Old Testament that would have been on the minds of the writers of the New Testament. I wish I had the time to share all I learned. Maybe I can do that in some other setting.
I share this excitement and amazement with you because this class has further deepened my desire to read and study the Bible. And as I mentioned in the introduction, I want you to experience the joy, excitement, and amazement that comes from reading the Bible and beginning to make connections from the promises of God in the Old Testament to the fulfillment of those promises in the New Testament.
I’ve shared numerous times on this podcast that my seminary professors have said that to be able to understand the Bible, you have to read it and read it a lot. I’ve come to see that play out in my own life. Today, the passage from my devotional reading made me think of another place in the Bible that discussed the same topic. I’m beginning to make connections much more easily these days.
That being said, I know the main reason I am reading the Bible more consistently is because of my classes. I have to prioritize reading the assigned books of the Bible so I can get through them all.
I’ll be honest and share that there have been times when I didn’t prioritize reading the Bible. Yes, I’ve had times when I used a devotional resource. Or I participated in a Bible study that required me to read the Bible. But going straight through a book of the Bible has not always been a priority for me. As I’ve mentioned in other podcasts, we have to read the Bible as a whole to start making connections and seeing what God has for us.
Three Reasons for Prioritizing Reading the Bible
Reading the Bible consistently is the way we learn how to handle the Word of God accurately.
2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
If we are not reading the Bible consistently, how can we interpret and apply it correctly? We, as Christians, have to address so many issues in our world today. We can’t keep our heads in the sand and disengage from the world. Reading the Bible will help us understand God’s perspective on current events to know how to engage with the world.
Also, handling the word of God rightly means we are accurately interpreting what it says and applying it to our own lives. For example, I hear the verse Psalm 46:5, “God is within her, she will not fall,” interpreted as God will help the woman reading the verse not to fall because He lives within her. This verse refers to Zion, the city of David. We have to be so careful about not taking verses out of context. And the best way to do this is to keep reading the Bible to learn how everything fits together.
We need to learn what the Bible says for ourselves so we can discern when it is being taught incorrectly.
This reason connects to the one I just mentioned in that we have to read the Bible to know what it says and interpret and apply it correctly. But we must also do this for ourselves and not always rely on pastors or other Bible teachers to teach us all we need to know. I’m not saying quit listening to your pastor. Being a student of God’s Word helps you understand what the Bible says.
We live in a time when many false teachers present their viewpoints online. And some of them say things that sound true but offer a little twist that makes what they say untrue. And then you’ll see people take the Bible and twist it to make it fit their agenda in life. Another verse in 2 Timothy speaks to this. “The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.” (2 Timothy 4:3)
So we must read the Bible to know if what is being taught is correct. One of my professors encourages us to be like the Bereans and search the scriptures to make sure what he tells us is accurate. Acts 17:11 describes the Bereans this way. “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” They were excited about what Paul and Barnabas shared concerning Jesus and his fulfillment of God’s promises in the Old Testament. So they searched the Scriptures to make sure what they said was true.
Reading the Bible helps us to share the gospel.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
We have to know what we believe to be able to explain what we believe so others have the opportunity to believe in the saving work of Jesus. I think the last part of that verse that talks about sharing the hope of Christ with gentleness and respect is key. If we better grasp what salvation means by reading the Bible, we will be better equipped to share the gospel. I know for me that it’s intimidating and sometimes scary to share the gospel. And I think I’ve felt this way because I had not read the Bible enough to connect what the Bible says about salvation with my own salvation experience.
We don’t have to have all the answers. But it’s clear from this verse that we need to grasp what it means to experience salvation to share it with others.
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