How have you done in regular Bible reading? I’ve just finished my Bible reading plan for 2011. I read through the Bible in the KJV in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the KJV, and I also read the New Testament and Psalms in the 2011 edition of the NIV. I’m in the process of planning my reading for 2012. It doesn’t take the beginning of a new calendar year to plan to read the Bible, but it is a convenient time to think about it.
Regular Bible reading is a great privilege. We have easy access to the Bible. Some of you may even have a Bible on your smart phone that you carry in your pocket or purse. With that kind of convenience, you can take advantage of the unexpected waiting that comes to all of our lives.
Why read the Bible? We worship a God who has revealed himself in the words of scripture. We come to know someone through words. We listen to one another’s conversations. We read letters. We read articles and books. Just think how limited we would be if all of life’s communications were like a game of charades. Given the importance of words in general in knowing another, it is not surprising that we come to know God through his self revelation in scripture. Coming to know God through the Bible is consistent with his nature.
The Bible is also central to Christian instruction. Paul states:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16–17, ESV
Paul also affirms that moral transformation which is a goal of Christian living is achieved by the renewal of our minds (see Romans 12:1-2). Although it is possible to read the Bible and not be transformed morally, since it is an activity that must be approached in faith, it is impossible to have moral transformation as God desires without the words of scripture guiding us.
Finally, the Bible contains God’s dealing with his people. We read about God’s unfolding plan and mission for his people in the world. N.T. Wright notes scriptures’s relationship with our mission in the world.
The idea of reading a book in order to be energized for the task of mission is not a distraction, but flows directly from the fact that we humans are made in God’s image, and that, as we hear his word and obey his call, we are able to live out our calling to reflect the creator into his world.*
Many reasons exist for regular Bible reading. Make your plans today.
*N.T. Wright, The Last Word, p. 34.