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  • Writer's pictureRobert Hasler

So You Want To Read Your Bible, Part 1

Bible reading begins with the proper motivation



New year’s bring new resolutions. One popular resolution of Christians every January is to read through the Bible in its entirety. Though most reading plans only require reading a few pages per day, even ambitious Bible readers can hardly get past the first few books.

 

It is easy to blame the subject matter. Tedious instructions about the Tabernacle or the intricacies of food laws can seem dull, but the truth is that most people fail to see the significance of many biblical passages not because they are bored but because they lack the proper tools to understand them. 

 

There are many means to become a better Bible reader, but more important than good reading skills is godly motivation. 

 

The Motivation: Why Should I Read My Bible?

 

The Bible is an important book in the Western intellectual tradition. Few things about our laws, culture, and way of life will make sense without understanding the influence of the Bible. The Bible has also been widely recognized as a worthwhile book, full of gripping narratives and beautiful poetry. But neither of these are the real reasons Christians read the Bible. 

 

We read the Bible because it is the holy and inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). It is where God speaks to His people. God has graciously provided everything they need to know for their salvation in His Word. He has also given them the Holy Spirit, that through His Word, He might shape their hearts after His own.

 

In other words, believers pick up God’s Word because they love God and as their love for God grows, it necessarily fuels their motivation for deeper reflection of His Word (Psalm 1)

 

In reading God’s Word, we learn that God is sovereign over all things including our vocations. Wherever He has placed us, we understand that our job is to serve Him and glorify Him in all that we do (Colossians 3:17)

 

This is no less true for those serving in government. When the stakes of the work are so high, Christians working in government naturally want confirmation that what they’re doing is godly and wise. When Christians seeking wisdom turn to God’s Word in faith, they go with the promise that God will meet them there.

 

Still, there are days when our Bible reading feels empty or rote. We wonder if we are missing out on God, and it can push us into the arms of people and programs who claim a more direct connection to God. 

 

In those moments, we should remember the words of the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1:19-21. Peter was a disciple of Jesus who witnessed miraculous events like the transfiguration. Still, he insists that believers “have the prophetic word more fully confirmed” in the Scriptures. 

 

In other words, believers who never saw the things Peter saw have a sure testimony to the Gospel and the fulfillment of God’s redemptive mission because they have the Bible. 

 

Christians who seek assurance of their faith, who are seeking wisdom in their vocations, or who want to hear God speak to them, don't have to wait for an intense spiritual experience or an audible voice from God. They don’t have to turn to intermediaries or gurus. They simply have to pick up their Bibles and start reading.




Robert Hasler is Project Leader of Ministry to State's Public Theology Project and cohost of The Statement.


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