Where I worship, the attendance board displays the number of members who read their Bible every day. On Sunday night (unless yours truly leads prayer before he can), Tommy Blewett stands before the congregation and encourages everyone to read his Bible every day. I’ve been in other congregations where daily Bible study was strongly encouraged – at Dale Ridge, where I preached for three years, the bulletin always had a daily Bible reading schedule.
I fully understand the push to read the Bible daily. After all, the Bible is the Word of God. Scripture points us to the God of heaven. The Bible will give us the ability to resist the tempter. The Word of God will judge us at the Last Day. Nothing at all wrong with reading the Bible every day; in fact, there’s everything right with it.
So, why ever would I say that you should STOP reading your Bible every day? Simply because I’m afraid too many people simply read the Bible without studying the Bible. Simply reading the words which came from the mind of God will do very little unless they reach the heart of man.
I’m very troubled by things I’ve heard some people say: “Justin, I read through my Bible yesterday. I didn’t understand a thing I read.” “Justin, I hate reading through the Minor Prophets, so I skimmed the Bible yesterday.” “Justin, I know that part of Scripture so well that I read through it really fast.”
Scripture urges us to do more than simply read the words on a page (or a tablet or other electronic device); we’re to study those words and make them a part of our lives. Notice:
- “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” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
- Hezekiah read “from [the Law] facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law” (Nehemiah 8:3)
- “Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading” (Nehemiah 8:7-8)
- The righteous man’s “delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2)
- “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11)
- The Bereans “were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11)
- “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)
- “Put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21)
- “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3)
Please stop reading your Bible and start studying your Bible. Allow the word of God to penetrate your heart and influence your thinking and your life.
Tomorrow I’ll give you some pointers for studying your Bible.