Is it possible you are consuming bite-size pieces of scripture from various sources – an Instagram post, the verse linked to an online devotional, or a text thread from a friend with a Psalm to cheer us up – but not savoring a steady diet of Scripture? Are you enjoying snippets of an appetizer served by someone else or the satisfying entree of God’s own words?
You may feel threatened by the exhortation to read the Bible for yourself. I get it. It’s a big book with lots of words, character, themes, laws, prayers, stories, and more. You may feel unqualified to jump in. I get it. But, since I’ve walked down this threatened, unsure, unqualified road already, may I assure you up front it’ll be worth it! In case this is all new to you, let me start by saying the gospel of God’s love, peace, and pursuit of your heart is found on every page of the Bible.
The Bible is rewarding, revealing, and relentless.
And, it’s just waiting to prove this to you.
If you do feel unsure about reading the Bible on your own, may I share some unexpected rewards from your personal Bible reading?
Hunger – The Bible is like a chips and queso 🙂 Not really, but kinda – you can’t enjoy just one chip! Once you get that basket to dip to lips motion going, you just can’t be stopped! I digress…but truly, when you get a taste of the flavors of Scripture, you simply don’t want to stop. You want to keep dipping in, keep on enjoying, keep on learning, keep on resting in the truth only offered in the thin pages of your Bible. Next time, you consider picking up your Bible and feel any hesitation, remember there is goodness in there surpassing the best chips and dip!
Faith – Do you feel like you know your faith is inside you somewhere but the circumstances and complexities of your life leave you overwhelmed and unsure? Exposing yourself to God’s Word and experiencing Jesus for yourself will cause your faith to deepen and your foundation to steady. Proverbs 4:21 says, “keep them (my words) in the midst of your heart.” It’s the examples of God’s faithfulness to his people and to his promises over generations that encourages our own daily walk with and trust in the Lord. Relying on anything else to fuel our faith will leave us running on the fumes of uncertainty.
Fear – The Bible is about God. He is the central figure of the Bible. The simple fact is we cannot deeply love who we do not deeply know. We will not fully trust him with our lives or develop a healthy fear of God if we do not deeply love and know him. Knowing about the God of someone else – even those we trust and consider wise – will not satisfy. Let’s not take Jen Wilkin’s, Jennie Allen’s, or Lysa Terkheurst’s word for it; let’s use the tool he has given us, the Bible, to know him for ourselves. (I trust these wise women would tell you the exact same thing!)