Why We (Absolutely, Positively) Can’t Do Without the Bible
Every time I visit the dentist, I know it’s coming: ‘Have you been flossing?’ It’s the question I’m asked every time and every time my answer is the same: ‘Not as much as I could be’. It’s not that I doubt the benefits of flossing, I just don’t value them highly enough to do it every day. Many Christians have a similar attitude towards reading the Bible. We know we should be reading the Bible, but if we’re honest, we don’t do it as much as we could.
This Sunday we finish our series, ‘The Bible: A Story That Makes Sense of Life’. For the last 10 weeks we’ve been on a journey through the Bible. We’ve explored the big picture of the Bible; how it fits together and how it makes sense of our lives. I hope and pray this series has been helpful for you. I hope it has joined some dots and given you a framework to better understand the storyline of Scripture.
But more importantly, I hope it has inspired you to read the Bible more regularly and with greater depth. This has been, after all, our greatest hope for this series. To not just talk about the Bible, but to motivate all of us to turn to the Bible; to read it, meditate on it, and to meet the God of the Bible.
The fact is, you cannot grow as a Christian apart from the Bible. The road to a mature and fruitful faith runs right through the pages of Scripture. Jesus himself said (quoting Deuteronomy 8:3) in Matthew 4:4: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Imagine you stopped eating for a day, or a week, or a month? You’d be severely malnourished, perhaps even dead. What is true physically is also true spiritually. To neglect spiritual bread, the word of God, is to risk spiritual malnourishment, perhaps even death (Heb. 2:1). It really is that important.
If you haven’t come to the table in a while to feast on the riches of God’s word, where should you begin? Gary Millar, in his excellent book ‘Read This First: A Simple Guide to Getting the Most from the Bible’, offers the following advice: “There is an old Chinese proverb which says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Getting to know the Bible, God’s unique book, starts with reading it. Yes, it might seem daunting. Yes, getting our heads around it may take some time. But from the very first page, we can be sure of two things. First, that God will speak to us—because he wants to speak to us and has “breathed out” this book for us. Second, that when God speaks to us, it will change us. We cannot meet with our beautiful and powerful God without being deeply affected. Spending time with this God—who is more tender, more creative, more forgiving, more powerful and more blazingly pure than we can ever imagine—will have an impact on us. As God speaks to us, he has promised to gently correct, shape, humble, challenge, stretch and thrill us. To make us more like Jesus. And if that’s what reading the Bible will do, then I really do want to read it. Don’t you?”
With you on the journey,