Why read the Bible?
We may read the Bible to gain more Bible knowledge, to get a sense of achievement at having read the world’s greatest book or to develop greater spiritual discipline. These things may be important but our higher goal is to meet the Author as the Holy Spirit reveals things to us as we read.
The Bible is the world’s most important book. It has sold more copies than any other volume in history. It is the reference point for both the Jewish and Christian religions and has affected the culture, law, art and morality of nearly every society on earth.
But the Bible is more than just an influential book. It is not just a book about God - there are hundreds of thousands of those, and they can be very helpful. But the Bible is God revealing himself to us: it is truth made known by God about himself, ourselves and the world in which we live. It is the historical record of the most important story of all time: God’s interaction with humankind. The many episodes and genres of writing in the Bible combine to tell one main story: that God created the world, that humans rebelled against God, and that God initiated a plan to save the world - a plan that culminated in Jesus Christ. That’s the ‘big story’ that makes sense of the Bible and all of life.
The Bible itself tells us what it's purpose is. For instance, Paul writes to Timothy:
From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15-17
Paul says where Scripture comes from and what it is intended for. It is God-breathed and it is useful.
That’s great isn’t it - to know that it is useful. It’s really easy to put off reading the Bible for those practical tasks which can seem more immediately useful - like getting the house cleaned, buying that much needed item from the shops and catching up with the emails.
Let’s read the Bible with this in mind: it is useful because it is God-breathed and contains his truths for us. Let’s remind ourselves that reading the Bible is useful and help each other to give it a greater priority in our lives.