Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15 KJV)
This past Sunday, my nephew, Rev. Keith G. Stevens, the pastor of Friendship Liberty Ministries, preached a message, “The Importance of Why We Should Read Our Bibles.” Even though I did not get the opportunity to listen to the entire sermon, one of the points that he stressed that stood out to me is “Reading the Bible is not a quick fix!”
Our lives have become so busy in this day and time that we sometimes find ourselves looking for a quick fix to our problems. Some of the ways we use for that quick fix end up hurting us more than helping us, further complicating the problems. A drug addict feels, “If I can just get that next ‘high,’ everything will be all right.” No, it will not! An alcoholic yearns for that next drink to take him away to an imaginary land called “One More Drink Will Set Me Free”! No, it will not!
So it is with us Christians. We sometimes think that if we rush to pick up the Bible, read a couple of Scriptures, and keep on about our busy lives, we will get a quick fix. This, too, will not! There is more to just reading the Bible.
Let’s take a look at what some have said about reading the Bible and the purpose:
Paul, in his second epistle to Timothy said, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (v.15 KJV)
The late Rev. Billy Graham declared, “Reading the Bible is not where your engagement with the Bible ends. It is where it begins.”
“Fill your mind with God’s Word, and you will have no room for Satan’s lies.” (Anonymous)
“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
“The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure.” (Anonymous)
“The Bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions.” (Anonymous)
“The primary purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible but to know God.” (James Merritt)
“Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like trying to eat without swallowing.” (Anonymous)
“A lot of people do not know that when they do not read the Word of God to feed their spirits, they will have no strength spiritually.” (Rev. Daniel Olukoya)
“The Bible is the only book, where the author is in love with the reader.” (Anonymous)
“Ultimately, the goal of personal Bible study is a transformed life and a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ.” (Kay Arthur)
One of the best pieces of advice to me about reading the Bible is what Paul said in II Timothy 2:15. Just reading and calling the words is not enough. As Christians, we must study God’s Word so that we will know what is His purpose and plan for us. In order for us to know how He expects for us to live, we must study the Word. Carrying around the Bible and quoting Scriptures to others is not enough. Remember that the unsaved man sometimes knows the Bible too. The question is: Are you living the Bible? You can talk about the Scriptures all day, but if you are not allowing your reading of the Bible to transform your life to live for Jesus, you’re talking loud, but saying nothing.
Think on this illustration for just a moment: “In a certain place, a man was preaching at the back of the house of a university professor. He described the birth of Jesus Christ — how a virgin gave birth to a son called Jesus. Hearing this, the professor was upset and described his sermon as illogical, because to him, there was no way a virgin could give birth. To further discredit the sermon and the Bible as a whole, he bought a copy of the New Testament and studied it for 13 years. By the time he was through with it, he became a born again child of God. It was then his turn to preach the Word with even greater fire than that of the man he set out to discredit. Such is the power in the Word.” (Anonymous)
Here are a few of my “nuggets of wisdom” that I want to leave with you about reading the Word of God:
• First of all, reading the Bible will never be a quick fix for any of your trials and tribulations.
• Set a daily time and goal for your Bible reading.
• Don’t just read the Bible; study the Bible!
• When you read and study, get understanding.
• Believe in the power of the Word that it will change your life and get you through any problems that may come upon you.
• Live the word so that others will see Christ through you.
• Share the Word with others, but be sure you have done your “homework”!
• Don’t “shortchange” God because He doesn’t “shortchange” us.
Have a wonderfully blessed week, stay safe, get involved in righting the wrongs of social injustice, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at email@example.com)