The biggest take-away I’ve had so far during this sermon series is how few of us actually dust off our Bibles, open them up and READ.
Crazy, I know.
Read the Bible? Why would anyone want to read a book about a bunch of rules that tells us how horrible we are? Not to mention the fact that the Bible is chalk full of stuff that we just don’t understand. Sigh.
Considering the Bible is the most published document EVER…it is strange how very few people actually read it. I’m still a little confused why people buy a book that they don’t read. Huh.
Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book. A survey by the Bible Society concluded that around 2.5 billion copies were printed between 1815 and 1975, but more recent estimates put the number at more than 5 billion. By the end of 1995, combined global sales of Today’s English Version (Good News) New Testament and Bible (copyright for which is held by the Bible Societies) exceeded 17.75 million copies, and the whole Bible had been translated into 349 languages; 2123 languages have at least one book of the Bible in that language. – Guinness World Records
First of all, bad attitudes and cynicism will never help us open the Bible. Furthermore, if we are bent to believe that the Bible has nothing to offer…we will miss the point completely.
I can speak with great authority on this subject because I ONCE STAYED AWAY FROM THE BIBLE LIKE A PLAGUE.
Essentially, keeping my Bible closed was pretty simple.
In case you didn’t know, the popular belief is that reading the Bible isn’t easy, nor is it thought to be very relevant to today. Another shocker… I know, right?!?!
BUT…these excuses of mine not to read the Bible were just that…excuses based on little or no experience!
Once I opened my Bible with God’s help and a whole lot of nudging from the Holy Spirit, I have been AMAZED at what I have found!
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
What exactly have I found? Well, here’s just a smidgen.
- Love that never ends even when I am the perpetrator of no good.
- Forgiveness that never runs out…uh…thank you, God. I need a ton of that one on a regular basis!
- Hope for a better and brighter future.
- Joy that is better than any happiness I could ever dream of.
- Peace that really does transcend human understanding.
- Security in my future.
- Provision for my daily needs. (I haven’t ever had a day that God didn’t hold my hand – some days tighter than others.)
- Most importantly, I have found a friend who listens, guides, loves, shows mercy, provides understanding and wants the best for me…even enough to die for me.
Contrary to popular assumptions, the Bible is not a record of the blessed good, but rather the blessed bad. That’s not a typo. The Bible is a record of the blessed bad. The Bible is not a witness to the best people making it up to God; it’s a witness to God making it down to the worst people. – Tullian Tchividjian (Billy Graham’s grandson/bold and underline mine)
The truth is that we will never get to know God or Jesus Christ if we don’t open the Bible and READ IT.
Personally, I’ve only been reading the Bible (really) for the past five years.
It started with my best friend, Wendi, telling me that she and her oldest son were going to read the New Testament in one year. I decided to sign up for the same email and did it, as well.
The second year I read the New Testament again because I just didn’t think I was ready to delve into the scary Old Testament. The third year, I read the Old Testament and the New Testament each day. The fourth year I only read the Old Testament and this year I’m back to the New Testament.
Each year I have learned something new and throughout the last five years my life has changed DRASTICALLY because of this disciplined scripture reading.
Don’t get me wrong, life has still happened and we all know it’s not always good. BUT…I have been different in the good and bad times.
t really is amazing and I continue to be excited to open my Bible (or email depending on the day) to find out what God is going to say to me today.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
Please try reading the Bible today. You’ll be really glad you did!
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 3:5 – Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.