Today I had the opportunity to talk with the men of Church180 at the “Band of Brothers” monthly huddle.
I talked with them about the three reasons I have to read the Bible. I thought it would be helpful to share with you.
I started by sharing one of my favorite quotes from Charles Spurgeon:
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”
My experience has proven this to be true.
So here are the three reasons I need to read the Bible:
#1 It confronts me.
A few weeks ago I was at the gym when five young guys walked in and started working out. They were kind of loud, obviously filled to the brim with testosterone, and maybe even showing off a little bit. They got on my nerves… perhaps because they reminded me so much of what I was like when I was their age (and maybe even still a tiny, little, very small amount like that still).
In my mind I began to assume the worst. I even found myself using expletives, in my head, to describe them. After I was completed I took my pious little butt right on home… grumbling all the way.
The next morning I poured my coffee, opened my Bible, and prepared my saintly heart to hear from God… and boy did He have something to say. This is what I read from His Word that morning:
…no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! (James 3:8-10 NLT)
ARE YOU KIDDING ME! That’s what I read! And then it hit me…
“On Sunday you sang songs to God and told Him how awesome you think He is and how you are glad He is in your life. Then on Monday you called young men, who He made, some words that you won’t even put on your blog. This is not right!”
I confessed my sin to God. Asked for forgiveness, and a change of heart. Since that point I have approached those young men to talk… and found that they are none of the words that I used to describe them. I am embarrassed of my thoughts and grateful for God’s Word that confronted my stupid behavior. I am a better man because God confronted me through the Bible!
#2 It instructs me.
A few Sundays ago I had an older lady at our church put her finger in my chest and tell me, “I need to talk to you.” I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was not happy. I suppose the finger in the chest was a pretty good hint too!
My first instinct was to ROAR… overwhelm her with Scripture, arguments, emotional noise, and a bunch of other crap. My second was to IGNORE. Just ignore her.
Roar or ignore… neither approach was right, and here’s how I know. Earlier that morning I had read something from the Bible; instruction from St. Paul to his protege, Timothy, instructing him how to deal with older ladies in the church. Here’s what he had to say:
Treat the older women as you would your mother. (1 Timothy 5:2 NLT)
Well, as you can see this didn’t really look like either of my initial instincts. I wouldn’t roar at or ignore my mom. I would sit down and listen to her, talk with her, and work towards resolution.
So do you know what I did with this older lady? I spent about 1 1/2 hours in her living room listening, treating her like my mom. And guess what… that situation turned out a WHOLE LOT BETTER because I did it God’s way!
Paul wrote Timothy some insightful words regarding the purpose of the Bible:
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
All I can add to that is that I am so much better because God teaches me through the Bible!
#3 It affirms me.
In a world filled with negative, the Bible speaks words of grace, love, kindness, hope, mercy, goodness, and optimism into my life.
While reading it I learn that I am a child of God with a bright future. I am forgiven, loved, gifted, called to a mission, capable, and desirable. And that’s just a few of the affirmations I received when reading the Bible.
(Hang in there… I’m almost done!)
This post has gone for a long time, so let me end with a couple of things…
- If you’re not reading the Bible, you are missing out on some great reading that will help you as you make decisions about money, work, friends, faith, etc. It’s packed with wisdom, and my personal experience has been that I am always better when I read it.
- The quote from Charles Spurgeon sounds right, “Bibles that are falling apart belong to people who aren’t.”
So, if you ready to read let me share a couple of ideas:
- Read one chapter from Proverbs every day for one month and you will cruise through that classic piece of wisdom literature in one month!
- Try this reading plan that guides you through the New Testament in 30 days - C180 30 Day Reading Plan 3. (I just finished my second tour in as many months of the New Testament on this plan… and loved it). We got this idea from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC and C180ized it.
- Try this reading plan that guides you through the New Testament in 60 days - C180 60 Day Reading Plan 3. We got this idea from One Community Church in Plano, TX and C180ized it.
OK, that’s a good start! Now go pick something up, start reading, and watch what happens in your life!