Christians ought to be readers, too---diligent, faithful readers of the holy, inerrant, inspired word of God.
We know that there’s nothing more important for a follower of Christ to be ingesting than the word of God. The author of Hebrews teaches us that the word is alive, active, sharper than any two edged sword, and that it is a critic of the thoughts and intentions of the human heart (Heb. 4:12).
I don’t know about you, but I need God’s word to test my heart daily (Psalm 139:23).
Concerning the Bible, Charles Spurgeon once said, “This Bible is God's Bible, and when I see it, I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, ‘I am the book of God; man, read me. I am God's writing; open my leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for he is my author, and you will see him visible and manifest everywhere.’"
If Spurgeon was right, then we can only conclude that the Bible is one of God’s most precious gifts to us. It is not simply a set of “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” It’s the grand narrative of God, by God, for man’s good, and God’s glory.
There has never been, nor ever will be a work of man’s imaginative, creative ability that will parallel the wonder of the story of the creation, fall, rescue, and restoration of all that is or ever will be.
The pages of Scripture are not hard and dry. Those are descriptors reserved for the unregenerate heart of man. Every letter of Scripture that falls on us is like a drop of pure water falling in the desert. It is a work of unimaginable grace in a world that deserves judgment and condemnation.
As the new year approaches, many of us are looking forward to “turning over a new leaf,” starting that exercise plan for the shedding of excess holiday pounds, or establishing a healthier diet. Each of these, in and of themselves, can be a good and worthy endeavor.
Yet, none of them can save our souls---none of them draw us nearer to Christ, of whom the entire Bible speaks (Luke 24:27).
A recent report published by Lifeway Research revealed that just 19% of churchgoers are daily consumers of a Bible reading plan, despite 90% of those surveyed agreeing with the statement, “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all that I do.”
At this anemic level of engagement with God’s special revelation of himself to his bride, it’s no wonder that the church suffers from historic levels of lethargy and biblical illiteracy.
It doesn’t need to be this way, though.
We live in an era of unparalleled access to the Gospel. Resources for every Christian, particularly in the free world, abound, both in print and on the Internet. The Scriptures may be a mystery, but they need not be a stranger.
This year, I’m embarking on a plan provided by Blue Letter Bible and YouVersion for a chronological, year-long reading of the Bible. These resources aren’t by any means the only online providers available, but they’ve done a nice job of coming alongside the believer, and making Bible reading accessible, systematic, and holistic.
Spurgeon, a ravenous devourer of the word, said of Christians in his own day, “There’s dust enough on some of your Bibles to write 'damnation' with your fingers.”
Let’s not let this be true of us today.
Let’s not be the 81% in 2013!