According to Barna research in 2019, only 5% of adults said they interact with the Bible frequently, and that the Bible is transforming their relationships and shaping their choices.
I think at least part of the reason for this statistic is because when we finally get the time or the courage to try and read it, we jump in with enthusiasm, but not much context. We don’t know the story of the Bible, so we hope to read something that is inspiring. We hope God will speak to us like a message in a fortune cookie, and he does… sometimes. But most times, we’re left scratching our heads wondering what it means and why it matters.
Let’s face it, the Bible can be intimidating.
- It was written over a period of roughly 2,000 years, from three continents, and in three different languages.
- It is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 different authors, by farmers and fishermen, poets and prophets, kings and generals. It was written in caves and palaces and prisons.
- It contains all kinds of different literature, from history to law to poetry to prophecy, and even an apocalyptic ending.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be inspired when you read the Bible, but the Bible is not just inspiring, it’s inspired. What does that mean?
It means that even though the Bible was written by men and assembled by men, and printed by men, it is not a manmade book. God put the words he wanted in the order he wanted to say what he wanted. He simply used people to do it.
The Bible is literally the “words of God,” which means that not only were the words inspired by God, they are still inspiring. Any reader at any time in history can receive a relevant message from God. It never expires.
According to Hebrews 4:12, the Bible doesn’t just speak to you it talks back too.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
In other words, when you read the Bible the Bible reads you.
Sitting on your bookshelf, kitchen table, or an unopened app on your phone, is a living, breathing, active, Holy Spirit inspired message from God. All you have to do is open it.
Mark Twain said, “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” I would suggest, “the Christian who doesn’t read the Bible has no advantage over a person who doesn’t believe it’s true.”
I’m not saying that every time you open the Bible you will be inspired, but you will get to read the inspired words of God, and if you let it, His words will guide, teach, correct, and empower you.
What are you waiting for?