By Daniel Diffey, PhD
College of Theology
May 23, 2019
Why do you read the Bible? Or maybe I should ask the question, why do you not read the Bible? As someone who teaches the Bible in both the context of the university and the church it is clear that many Christians do not take reading their Bibles seriously. In this blog post I want to briefly discuss a few reasons why you should be engaged in the spiritual discipline of Bible reading on a regular basis, how you can build the habit of regular Bible reading into your life and some ways to approach the Bible
Why You Should Read the Bible Regularly
What you read impacts you. Think about how you feel when you read your news feed. Reading the Bible on a regular and consistent basis has several benefits. First, the Bible shows us God’s character and provides us God’s revelation of himself to his people. In each section of the Bible we see God’s holy, unchanging, faithful, gracious and loving character.
Second, 2 Timothy 3:16–17 when discussing the topic of Scripture says that it is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.” The next verse goes on to say that this leads to completeness and equipping “for every good work” (ESV).
Third, regularly reading God’s word reorients our thinking so that we can grow in maturity, which is part of the Christian calling (Ephesians 4:14–16; Romans 12:1–2). Have you ever met a mature Christian who did not regularly read the Bible? These three things are really just the beginning, this list could include dozens of reasons why you should read the Bible on a regular basis.
How You can Build Regular Bible Reading into Your Life
Reading the Bible is a spiritual discipline, which means that we need to be disciplined in how we approach it. If you lack the desire to read the Bible, pray and ask that God would give you a desire for his word. Then, build a time into your day to read Scripture and make this time a priority. You should then find people to hold you accountable to a reading plan. Maybe even start a reading plan with someone.
Approaching the Bible Rightly
While reading the Bible on a regular basis is a great start, it is also important to approach the Bible in a proper manner. It is easy to get into a habit of trying to focus only on application when reading the Bible. It is absolutely necessary for the Christian to apply the Bible to his or her life, but sometimes we can make applications that are forced or unintended.
In order to avoid misapplication of texts it is good to read whole biblical books and try to understand the text in light of both its immediate context and in light of the entire biblical book. Always ask what the text says about the character and nature of God.