The biggest deception for this generation’s Christian is by far that the Bible is “too complex”, “too confusing”, and/or “too boring” to read. Many professing Christians have confided in me that they have not read the Bible in entirety, some have not read it at all! And this is not uncommon. Ligonier Ministries claims that nearly 80% of Christians have NOT read the Bible. Shocking. And an estimated 7% of Christians participate in daily Bible study – not READING, STUDY. They are different. To study is to strive to understand, to read outside sources, to pray on what you read, to connect it to other elements of the Bible.. to discover a truth.
The fact that so few Christians are engaged in the Word is alarming to me and I feel the need to exclaim that studying scripture is a command, not a convenience.
Deuteronomy 6 explains.
Following Moses’ speech to God’s people about the ten commandments, he goes on to explain the greatest commandment of all “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might”. THEN he adds, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
You see, we are to have God’s words with us always, constantly, in every situation of each day. We are to talk about His Word often and with power.. How are we to do this if we AREN’T in the Bible? The answer is simple, you can’t.
Another example of God’s command is in 2 Timothy, as Paul puts plainly for Timothy the ways of a Christ-filled life. “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.”
There are several aspects of this passage I would like to address. I’ll begin with “…breathed out by God”. The Bible is God’s way of communicating to us, they are His words. It tells us how to live, the story of redemption, it gives us hope, tells us how to love, tells us of salvation. I could go on and on. The Bible is a Christian’s guidebook, their life-source.
“…profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…”. If you are in Christ, you are made anew. If you die to self, replace your will with God’s, you are a believer. If you accept Jesus Christ died and suffered on the Cross to be the price for your sin and to have a relationship with you in eternity, you are made righteous before God. However, if you are not in the Word how will you learn to be more like Jesus? How will you be able to independently interpret, for yourself, that Jesus came and died for you and that you are precious to Him? We need the Bible, to become more and more like our Savior.
“…that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” This I believe is one of the more powerful statements of this passage. God wishes to prepare us to face the world.
He wishes to bring us comfort. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
He wishes to give us the words to say when faced with persecution. “…and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” (Matthew 10:18-20)
He wishes to display His great love for us. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved…” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
And most importantly He wants to show us how to live like His Son. He wants to show us this so that we can make disciples of all nations, so that we can do the work he has planned for us. (Matthew 28:19, Ephesians 2:10)
The Christian who does not prepare themselves with the Words of the Lord is not a fit servant. To be living for Christ, to be a warrior for the Lord, is to be knowledgable in God’s living Word, to be ready and willing to defend and explain the faith. It is not enough to attend church only on Sundays. It isn’t enough to claim “Christianity” but lack the heart to live for Him.
Be passionate for Christ, be unafraid in your faith.
Many of today’s Christians feel shame or even embarrassment in loving the Lord boldly. Modern churches are evermore backing away from the truths of the Bible to appease their congregations – be it not tithing, allowing women to preach, avoiding homosexuality as a topic of discussion, or neglecting to encourage private Scripture study. This movement will be an infectious disease that strangles the unity of the Church. And it will mean the departure of the Lord from many who call out His name and He claims to have never known them…
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Notice in the verse above that those who called out Jesus’ name were workers of good, and powerful in that goodness. They cast out demons for heavens sake. It isn’t enough to say you believe in Jesus and go to church each Sunday. God uses many stories in the Bible to show us that as followers we must bear fruit, fruit of the Spirit. We must live according to the Scripture, we must pursue God, we must love Him above all else…
Jesus wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him – that is very clear from the Bible – and to deny the Word as simply “boring” or “too confusing” is simply lazy. Be bold in loving Jesus!
Being a Christian means following Christ – following the commandments. God has declared that we put His words on our hearts – and regardless of how bored your are, you must do as He commands. Because being a true Christian means dying to self, replacing your selfish, sinful will with that of God’s. It is your duty.
No doubt there are elements of the Bible that utterly confuse me. Doesn’t matter, its my duty. Many, many Christians before you and I have dissected the Bible for themselves and luckily penned it on paper. There on commentaries, devotionals, novels galore. There are even study apps! There literally is NO excuse in this modern world to not study the Bible.
Be diligent in your study of God’s Word.
I want to close with that I am praying for you all. I pray that you would find peace and sanctuary in the Scriptures. I pray that you will be bold and brave in your love of the Lord. I pray that you will incorporate daily study of the Word into your everyday life, so that you may better know Him.
There are a lot of resources, if not in your church, then in another, if not in another, then online. You have the capability to start now.
Jesus is calling for you to have an intimate relationship with Him, will you answer?