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I remember when I became a Christian that I could not stop myself from reading the Bible. I had just met God and fell in love with Him. But I didn’t know Him other than as the one who forgave me. So I had to find out all I could about Him.
As time went on I learned a great deal. But I began to lose interest in picking up the Bible. It seemed like a chore. I wanted to be a good Christian but I just couldn’t seem to read the Bible. So I got it on audio. Even then I didn’t listen to the audio.
I have been in and out of reading the Bible with the best of those who avoid it. But why? I love God and find it hard sometimes to read what He has to say. It isn’t always because I get convicted about what is said in the Bible. Sometimes I simply don’t want to read it.
Do you ever feel this way? What are the reasons you tell yourself as to why this is? I have found that there are many excuses but most of them don’t hold up. So lets just get into some of the real reasons why we sometimes find it hard to study the Bible and what we can do about it.
1 Peter 2:2-3
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Babies don’t have to discipline themselves to desire milk. It comes naturally. As soon as they get that first taste they are hooked. Remember how I said that when I became a Christian I could not stop myself from reading the Bible? It is the same thing with babies and milk.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
When you first meet God and He becomes a part of you at salvation there is a natural desire to read the Bible. This is because you have been forgiven and you fall in love with God. One of the first things you do when you fall in love with someone is get close to them.
God has given us the Bible so that we could know Him better. So naturally we will want to read it to get closer to Him. It comes easy because of the great love that we have for Him. Reading isn’t about anything other than getting to know Him. So if you have never at any point in your entire life had even the slightest desire to read the Bible I could venture to say that you may have never fallen in love with Jesus.
If that is the case I encourage you to read about salvation. But if you have been forgiven and don’t have the desire to study it I want to tell you one reason that may be. As babies grow something happened that turns them away from milk.
They become aware of other drinks and foods. They begin to drink juice, and later may even be given the sugar trap of soda. So their desire for the pure milk becomes a desire for sugar. I have learned that the granulated sugar in most drinks is a high powered drug.
When it comes to reading the Bible this means we substitute the Bible out for other things that are less balanced. At first we may simply read only devotionals or only listen to preaching instead of going to the Bible. There is nothing wrong with those things since they have the word in them…but when we base our theology on what a preacher or devotional says rather than go to the Bible to be sure it is true then we are in trouble.
Later, after not reading the Bible for a time and only listening to other sources, lies creep into our minds and hearts. False doctrine has a way of doing that. When those lies come in everything begins to unravel. Eventually we don’t even listen to preaching, go to church, or even have anything to do with God as a result. All because we were distracted by the pull of sugar (the high that comes from hearing a good sermon or emotions from reading the devotionals).
So what can we do if we find ourselves in a place where we are finding it hard to read the Bible because we have a stronger desire to hear from others instead of going to the source?
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
I bring up this verse in Revelation because it speaks of leaving our first love. When we substitute spending time hearing the word of God from His own mouth (the Bible) and replace it with spending time with others who can just tell us about Him then we have left Him behind.
The cure is to repent. We have to humble ourselves before God and admit that we have refused time with Him for something else. Once we admit that to ourselves and God we can turn away from the thought that we don’t need to read the Bible. We can develop that love again and fall in love all over again with God.
Relationships can do one of two things when one partner strays and it comes into the open. They can forgive and then work on getting closer to each other by spending time together, or they can hold a grudge and part. God will forgive. He just wants you to do your first works. Those works were to praise, thank, and love Him by growing closer to Him.
If I write a book and I want you to read it do you think I would be upset if you did not read at least a chapter a day? Maybe I would be upset if you never bothered to read it at all. But if you read the first two paragraphs and they mean so much to you that you have to take it slow to soak it up that will thrill me!
We have these read the Bible in a year plans and sometimes we call it a challenge to just try to read as much as we can in as short a time as we can. But if we are just reading to say that we “read the whole Bible” then we have missed the point. God wants us to get the meaning of His words.
I have poured over one or two verses for days at times trying to understand them. When I finally do I find a whole new side of God I may never have seen otherwise. The scriptures are wonderful because they point to Jesus. If we can use them to know Him then we are doing good. If we simply read them just because we think we are doing our “Christian service” then we have missed the boat.
I do believe it is important to know as much of the scripture as we can though. But I want to share this verse with you.
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
The disciples were probably not men who could easily tell you the scriptures word for word. But they had been with Jesus!
I can tell you many times when I was a new Christian that I had not read all of the scriptures but spoke them from the spirit. I would say things I had never read and then later find those things in the Bible.
I said all of that to tell you that even though it is important to read the whole Bible, it is even more important to understand what you read in it! Because it gets you closer to Jesus.
So since study wears a person out don’t try to study like a college student and cram it in as best you can. Instead take your time to understand it. Take time to get to know God.
July 13, 2015 at 6:39 pm | | No comment