Read the Bible for yourself

Read the Bible for yourself

There is a difference between religion and relationship. Just like our relationships with our family and friends is personal, our relationship with God should be personal. A true relationship can only be developed by spending time with one another. We can’t really get to know God unless we spend time with Him.

A good friend of mine told me once that his prayer to God was, “God, I really want to know you.” What he heard in his spirit was, “Have you read my book?” He hadn’t read the entire Bible at that point in his Christian journey. Those words from above are what prompted him to read the Bible cover to cover over the course of a year.

According to only 1 in 5 Americans have read the entire Bible.

Read the Bible for yourself

As Christians, it is absolutely necessary for us to read the Bible from cover to cover, especially when God’s word is readily and freely available to us all.

As an undergraduate student, my professors would routinely assign a couple of chapters to read from our textbooks. When we got to class, they would lecture on the subject from the assigned chapters. The tests and assignments were often more geared toward the lectures than the reading itself. As a result, you could actually do pretty well on the tests if you never actually read the assignment and just paid attention to the lectures.

In graduate school, my assignments were much more in depth. We usually had to read an entire book of 200-300 pages before each class. The professor did not lecture. They sat around the table with us and lead a discussion about the assignment. The discussion centered on our understanding of the book from our perspective and experiences and whether we agreed with the points in the book. We also were encouraged to ask questions of one another.

No matter what my grasp of the material was coming into class, I always walked away more informed, knowledgeable and enlightened after class even though I might have also left with more questions about the material than I came with. If I came to class having not read all of the material, I was not only letting myself down, but my classmates and professor down, too, by not being able to fully participate. When that happened, I didn’t leave the class with much more than guilt, remorse or even worse, denial.

The Bible is the inspired infallible Word of God. It is the instruction manual for our lives here on earth and a training manual for the hereafter.

For those who do not know God or do not have a relationship with Him, the undergraduate style of instruction available in most churches is fine for exposing people to the knowledge God and Jesus.

Once we have gotten to know Him, especially in the pardoning of our sins, and eventually decide to give our lives to Him, there is really no good excuse for not reading the entire Bible. As seen in the chart above, some of us know certain parts of the Bible especially specific Bible stories, but reading the entire Bible gives you a different perspective on how all of these things hang together.

The Bible is the inspired infallible Word of God. It is the instruction manual for our lives here on earth and a training manual for the hereafter.

Have you ever watched a couple of episodes of a TV series on Netflix that piqued your interest. If you started watching a series after the first season and you were intrigued by the storyline and the characters, you may continue to watch to see what happens. But if you really like the show you will at some point go back to the beginning and watch the entire series. You might even binge watch it all in one sitting.

Watching the whole series will give you much better perspective and insight into the few shows you watched that drew you into the series in the first place. Now imagine if your knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the show was based on just watching clips of the show on YouTube, reading reviews online or talking to other people without actually watching any episodes yourself, let alone the entire series.

The first time we watch a movie, a series or read a book we are usually obsessed with the plot – what happened. The next time we watch or read it we can relax a bit because we know what happened, so now we see little things that we missed before. Every time we re-watch the movie or show or re-read the book, something else might jump out to us that we didn’t get before.

That’s the same thing that happens when you spend time with your family and friends over the years. The more time you spend with them the better you get to know them.

The same thing is true of God and His Word. So, where are you on the chart above?

Have you read the entire Bible? If not, are you interested? What’s holding you back?

There are several different ways that Believers can begin the process of reading the entire Bible for themselves. Many of them are available online.

If you have successfully read the entire Bible, what might be your advice to someone who hasn’t and is interested in doing so?