Because Life Is More than Money
One pastor is quoted as stating, “I find 10 men willing to die for the sake of the Bible to every one man I find that is willing to read the Bible.” What’s that? Maybe the pastor is right, but, if so, why are we that way? Why do we so value the Bible that we would forsake our own life rather than forsake the Bible, but most of us do not read the Bible?
In one survey of Americans only 26 percent said they read the Bible regularly. Regularly was defined as four or more times per week. More than half of Americans think the Bible has too little influence on a culture they see in moral decline, yet only one in five Americans read the Bible on a regular basis, according to another survey. If you are in the Bible reading minority, thank you for your good example.
Improved Bible literacy would help America. More than three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) think the nation’s morality is headed downhill, according to a new survey from the American Bible Society.
Psalm 19:7 reads, “The law of the Lord is perfect (flawless), restoring and refreshing the soul; the statutes of the Lord are reliable and trustworthy, making wise the simple.” Isaiah 55:10-11 reads, “For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, making it bear and sprout, and providing seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so will My (God’s) word be which goes out of My mouth; it will not return to Me void (useless, without result), without accomplishing what I (God) desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
God has four ways He communicates with us, (1) His Works – creation, (2) His Word – Bible, (3) His Whisper – the spirit of Christ in those who believe Him, (4) His Witnesses – other people. His Works, His Word, His Whisper and His Witnesses are God’s way of communicating with each of us. God’s Word, the Bible, is the surest way to hear rightly what God is communicating to us. We can read it over and over. We can hear it taught and preached. We can discuss it with others and learn together.
My pastor frequently says, “God loves you the way you are. But, He loves you way too much to leave you that way.” God wants all His sons and daughters to be like His Son Jesus in character. That process from the way we are to Christlikeness is called transformation. We can best and most fully know what Christ is like by reading Him. That is what the Bible is, Christ written down in words.
God can force us through the transformation process, though He seldom does. Rather God’s way is to love us into and through the life-long process of transformation. Being a faithful, frequent Bible reader improves our transformability. Reading the Word is one of the ways God has us get into a position, an attitude, if you will, of transformability. Bible reading is one of our parts in the transformation process.
John 8:31-32 reads, “So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].”
Each of us can have a way better life than we now have, and we can be way better prepared for eternity than we are now, if we will fervently, faithfully, frequently read the Bible.