They say that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but actually it does! It’s called the Holy Bible.
Several years ago, our pastor felt that our congregation didn’t know enough about the Bible. We came to church faithfully every Sunday to listen to his sermons, but most of us didn’t have a systematic way to read and study the Bible.
He asked us as a church to begin a daily reading plan that took us through the Bible in one year. Today, this discipline has become a part of the daily devotions for many of us and the result has been life-changing as well as church-changing.
Being a Christian most of my life, I’ve studied the Bible and even memorized many key verses, however, reading it from cover to cover unveils a storyline that you don’t get by just reading various chapters out of sequence.
It’s very unpopular today in some circles to say that you believe in the Bible, but I find it ironic that many of those who discount the Bible and say they don’t believe it to be the inspired Word of God, have never read even a small portion of it, much less cover to cover. While we would never purchase an expensive appliance and refuse to pick up the instruction manual to see how to operate it safely and efficiently, many of us try to make it though life on our own without ever consulting the manual God has given us for our time on earth.
Will we understand everything we read in the Bible? Certainly not, but we will understand some of it. The beauty of reading the Word is that we almost always learn something new or see a principle in a new light, even from a familiar passage.
Many people mistakenly think that the Bible should have all the answers to life’s questions, and since it doesn’t answer everything, it’s not valid. But God hasn’t revealed everything to his creation – just what He wants us to know. The Bible, rather, is the story of man, and God’s plan to redeem him from his sins. It shows us how to live triumphantly in this life and how to prepare for the next. It doesn’t tell us everything there is to know about God. That’s for another time and place. Today we know in part, the Bible says, but when we see God face to face we will know fully. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
If you’ve never read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, I encourage you to do so this year. Some of it won’t make sense, but a lot of it will. Numerous Bible Reading Apps online have a scheduled reading plan, and many will read it audibly to you so that you can listen while driving or getting ready for work, etc. This one from Life Church is fantastic, but there are many other options.
What’s actually in there?
Some verses tell us what to do when we feel weak, anxious, worried, betrayed, or sad. It shows us how to be at peace and joyful instead of stressed and gloomy, and how to love instead of hate. There are verses for when we need forgiveness and when we need to forgive others.
The Bible tells us how to be a good friend, parent, neighbor and child. It teaches us to trust God and believe in something bigger than ourselves. It provides comfort through our sufferings while challenging us to become better people.
We may not always like what the Bible says to us, but everything written there is for our good. There are answers for dealing with the sins in our life and how to get deliverance from them. Not everything we read will make us happy. Biblical truth is sometimes hard to swallow. God’s word claims to be sharper than a two-edged sword and, believe me, I have felt that sword in my own spirit many times. But no matter how it hurts, a reality check is sometimes just what we need.
The Bible truly is a Living Word. Nothing will grow our faith more than the Word of God. It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, (Psalm 119:105) showing us the way on this journey of life. It’s a love letter from God to us, His children, and is more precious than any treasure we could ever find.
Its words bring comfort to us when we are burdened, hope when we are in despair, and joy when we are in sorrow. All the while convicting us when we are doing wrong.
We’ll never master the Bible completely, no matter how much of a scholar we become because it is a living, breathing book, and the more we learn the more is revealed.
There is much to be gleaned from the Scriptures. Everything from how to eat, how to manage your money, to how to treat your neighbor. There are numerous ancient prophecies through those pages that have now been fulfilled and other prophecies showing us what’s to come next in our world.
Why not give God’s Word a try this year and commit to reading it through just to see what it has to say to you. I think you’ll be impressed and blessed!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.John 1:1