Did you Know that Believers are Commanded To Learn How To Read The Bible So They Will Grow in Godliness?
I sat in a church one day and a man came down to the front to dedicate his life public to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I was immediately dismayed when the pastor held up a Bible and told the man. “Now I want you to go home and get into this book.” Why was I dismayed to hear this? Because the man was not given any instruction of HOW to properly get into the book.
Many times, this leads to confusion, a person returning to a life of sin, or even doubting that their salvation experience was really real. This moment reminded of a story that I was told about another man who tried to get into the Bible without someone to help guide him. [Read the necessity of doing this by every believer in Acts 8:26-40]
I similar story I recall is about a man whose devotional reading consisted of opening up his Bible at random and reading the first verse his finger touched. One morning this was his verse for the day: “And Judas went out and hanged himself.” That can’t be it, he thought. So he tried again. “Go thou and do likewise” was his second hit. Annoyed, he thought, The third time is a charm! It wasn’t. It read: “What thou doest, do quickly!”
Now to avoid this happening to you I suggest doing the following things daily:
The most obvious advice is: “Just do it!” Millions of Christians don’t, and it shows in their attitudes and life-styles. A Charles Schulz cartoon from the book Young Pillars shows a gangling teenager on the phone with his girlfriend. The caption reads: “I’m beginning to unravel the mystery of the Old Testament; I’m reading it!”
- READ PRAYERFULLY
You’re not reading a secular book or even a great Christian one; you’re reading God’s inspired message to you. Ask His blessing and the Spirit’s enlightenment every time you read.
- READ SYSTEMATICALLY
Read entire books of the Bible, not just your favorite verses. And remember to keep a record of what you’ve read.
- READ GRACIOUSLY
Don’t make Bible-reading a legalistic fetish: “I missed this morning, so everything will go wrong today” or “No Bible, no breakfast.” When you’re ill, under special pressure, or rushed to leave home, a short passage read with care is worth three chapters rushed through to satisfy your conscience!
Your Bible is God’s love letter to His people and when cynics read it to ridicule or find fault they’re reading someone else’s mail! (If you’re one of those, dear reader, do keep reading, but look for God’s grace in Christ, not faults!)