I wanted to take a quick break from our study of Romans to clear up a possible misunderstanding for some of our students. By now, every student in grades 6-9 knows that Mr. Reel is always talking about the importance of reading the Bible. But I am afraid that some of you may not understand why I am always saying this.
I am not saying and never have said that we should read our Bibles to earn God’s love and approval. God loved us while we still sinners (Romans 5:8), and His love for us as Christians does not change based on how often we read His Word. Once you are God’s child, you belong to Him forever. He is the shepherd and as Christians we are His sheep; we know His voice and we are safe in His hands for all eternity (John 10:27-30). When someone has truly accepted Christ, they have been sealed or marked by God as His own possession by the placement of the Holy Spirit inside them at the moment of their salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14). That is God’s guarantee of our place in heaven. That change of heart that you experienced when you received Christ was you becoming a new creation, and the Bible teaches that you can never go back to being lost and dead like you were before (2 Corinthians 5:17). If you have really become alive in Christ, then remain alive in Christ both now and forever.
So if we are saved by God’s grace and not our own efforts, why should Christians read their Bibles? Again, not to check off a box and try to earn God’s approval by completing a ritual. Please forgive me for not recognizing the performance trap that some of you may struggle against. I have no concept of reading the Bible as a chore or something I was supposed to do as a kid or young adult. I did not grow up in the Bible Belt. I did not grow up in a gospel-preaching church. I did not attend a Christian school until college. Nobody ever told me that I should read the Bible. I started reading the Bible before I was saved because I was seeking God. I had met godly, loving Christians from a healthy church. I wanted to know the Jesus they knew. And after I was saved in college, I wanted to read my Bible even more for the same reason. I wanted to know the Lord. No one had to motivate me to read the Bible.
Why did I read the Bible in my teenage years and early 20’s? Why did I start reading my Bible regularly again about three or four years ago in my mid-30’s? For the same reasons that we as your teachers are encouraging you to read the Bible now.
As Christians, reading your Bibles regularly will help you to:
- Keep renewing your minds with the soul-saving truths of God’s Word instead of the soul-destroying lies of the world (Romans 12:2).
- Gain victory over sin and temptation and find strength to live like Jesus (Ps. 1:1-3).
- Keep your eyes on Jesus instead of your circumstances and trials (1 Peter 5:7).
- Allow God to lead and guide you into following His will for your life (Ps. 119:105).
- And most importantly, reading your Bibles will help you to enjoy fellowship with Jesus! Like the apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10, Christians want to “know Christ” and “the power of his resurrection.” That is our greatest desire of all!
So that’s why I read my Bible and encourage others to do the same. How about you?
Scriptures Referenced (NKJV):
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
“1 who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the , and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.“
1 Peter 5:7
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.“
“That I may know Him [Christ] and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”