Why should we read the Bible? Why is it so important to read regularly? Is it really so important? Or is it just some hoop we jump through to make God happy? Does it make us “better” Christians? Whose idea was this anyway? Did Jesus talk to the disciples about their daily devotions? Somehow I doubt it.
So why should we read the Bible regularly? What are we hoping to gain?
Look at what Samuel discovered about God’s word:
“The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.” 1 Samuel 3:21
That’s why we read! God reveals himself through his word! It’s not about clocking your time to get your merit points. It’s not about who is a better or a worse Christian based on how much time they spend reading (or praying – but that’s another discussion). It’s about opening God’s Word with the anticipation of how he will reveal himself through the words on the page.
These words are God’s, given by his own direction, written by his own people who saw him and heard him. And through these words he shows himself to us…as we read.
What expectation do I come with when I open the Bible? What is my hope? My anticipation?
Certainly every time I read God will not miraculously manifest himself in some life-altering way. That’s not how it works. But I think it should be the expectation that as I read, as I consistently return to these words of God, he will begin to reveal himself to me through the words I am taking in; his words.
It comes with a completely different feel if I open my Bible to read with the understanding that God is showing himself to me. It’s much better than the perception that I have to read or God will be disappointed in me.
Reading the Bible is dangerous though. God often reveals himself to us by revealing us to us. See, I’ve learned that reading the Bible regularly helps me see God more clearly because it shows me myself with brutal honesty. The more clearly I see me, the more open I am to seeing God.
Truth leads to truth.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12