BIBLE LITERACY IS IMPORTANT
There are so many ways to avoid reading the Bible today, and all of them have the appearance of being good. We can listen to praise music, listen to Bible teaching tapes, we can read good Christian Living Guides, and we can read “Daily Devotionals.” But none of these are quite the same as just picking up your Bible and reading it.
Why is that? When you are listening to praise music, teaching tapes, Devotionals, and Christian books, you are seeing the Word from the point of view of the person who is speaking or writing. Although God can and will use these things for His purposes, you are still using an interpreter that is not the Holy Spirit.
God wants to speak to you without an interpreter.
For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us that we may hear and do it?”
Nor is it beyond the sea that you should say, “Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 NKJV
Recognize that God said in the first sentence that the Bible is NOT too mysterious for you.
D. L. Moody said: “The devil wants us to believe we will never understand religion or God, or the Bible or Jesus. Would Christ have made a child the standard of faith if He had known it was not capable of understanding His words?”
If you are having trouble reading God’s word, then find a different version! I was raised in a SBC church – one that only advocated use of the King James 1611 Version of the Bible. For the next 12 years after being “saved” and baptized, I continuously tried to read the Bible, and failed miserably each time. The words seemed old, archaic, and seemed to have no use for me today.
Then when I was about 25 years old, I found The Message version by Eugene Peterson. My eyes were opened! I have now read the Bible from cover to cover at least 5 times. And I have read it in 4 different versions (The Message, NIV, NKJV, The Living Bible, and currently AMP). When judged by a single-version-only person for my freedom, I remember what Paul said:
For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? 1 Corinthians 10:29-30
God’s word is food. It is described in the Bible as bread and meat. When we read the Bible, our soul is being fed with the nutrition and vitamins we need to grow spiritually. When we are trying to get our nutrients through Praise, Books, Teaching, and Devotionals, it’s like trying to live on fast food. It keeps you from starving, but might stunt your growth!
If I didn’t read the word of God regularly, I wouldn’t hear Him speak to me so clearly. His word truly is what makes me grow in faith and have the encouragement that I need to succeed in this diet platform.
There are so many times when I open my Bible and Satan whispers to me – “How are you going to get anything out of Jeremiah? He’s so depressing.” Or “Luke sure is long-winded and you’ve read this chapter 50 times, you’re wasting your time.”
He is a liar, and God proves it every time. I pray each time that God will face up to those lies and prove Satan wrong by giving me a special word in my reading that I can use TODAY! God always come through.
So my point in this is: it’s time to let God come through for you. Pray before you read the Bible, and if you’re having a hard time understanding the version you are using, find one that speaks to your heart!
This is the first in a three part series that I am writing this week. Tomorrow’s topic: The Bible is Useful Today!