Summary: Why should I read the Bible? The Bible shows us God’s love, power, and holiness. It also tells us how to think, live, and love. Learn more about how the Bible can transform our lives and give us hope for eternal life with Jesus.

Summary: Why should I read the Bible? It can transform our lives, teach us how to live, and give us hope for eternal life.

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Why Should I Read the Bible?

Here’s why God says its really important to read his word

Doug Britton, MFT

Woman asks herself why it's important to read the Bible?

“Why Should I Read the Bible?” is adapted from First Things First

 

Introduction

Why should I read the Bible? The Bible is God’s word, yet many people rarely read it and are unaware of the truths found in it. In fact, the only time many people are exposed to the word is when they hear their pastor’s sermons.

Why is it important to read the Bible? In this study you will read some key reasons.

What do you think?

1. What are some reasons many of us rarely read the Bible?

 

God tells us to read (or listen to) the Bible

Why should I read the Bible? Throughout the Bible itself, God tells us how important it is to know and meditate on (or think about) the Bible. Let’s look at a few verses that make this point.

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

It’s good to read books about the Bible, watch Christian TV shows, or listen to Christian radio and podcasts. But don’t stop there. Read the Bible itself.

What do you think?

2. According to Joshua 1:8, when should we think about (or meditate on) the Bible? In practical terms, how could we put this into practice?

 

The Bible teaches truth and corrects falsehoods

It’s obvious that God is serious about wanting us to get into his word. Yet many take this command casually and allow themselves to be guided by the world’s ideas, not God’s. A passage in Hosea troubles me, for I have seen it fulfilled in the lives of many people I know.

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)

Pilate, the Roman ruler who ordered the execution of Jesus, asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Many people ask the same question today.

The Bible gives us the truth. Plus it corrects false teachings. For example, in many places in the New Testament we are warned against the false idea that we can earn our salvation. We are told, instead, that we are justified through faith, not works (Galatians 3:1-27 and Romans 3:22-27).

What do you think?

3. What does Hosea 4:6 mean?

 

The Bible shows us God’s love, power, and holiness

Many people have a vague idea of who God is. Or they think of him as a spiritual force, not a personage. He is very different from that.

The Bible tells us of God’s love, power, and holiness. As we read it, we are encouraged in our faith and motivated to draw closer to him. Read what David wrote about delighting in God’s word:

I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. (Psalm 119:16)

Make it personal

4. Have you ever felt “delighted” as you read God’s word? If so, when? Why were you delighted by what you read?

 

The Bible tells us how to think, live, and love

The Bible, written long ago, is relevant today. It covers all areas of daily living, including marriage, parenting, communication, forgiveness, decision-making, finances and overcoming temptation.

We need God’s instructions, for we are exposed to many voices in the world, voices that in many cases give wrong information as well as a big thumbs up to immorality of every kind. Our exposure to the Internet, newspapers, magazines, books, teachers and professors, TV, movies, plays, and other influences have a major effect on our thoughts and opinions. We need God’s life-giving instructions.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. (Psalm 119:105-106)

Make it personal

5. Circle “lamp” and “light” in Psalm 119:105-106 (above). What do these words mean? How do they apply to our daily lives?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Make it personal

6. Circle the word “all” in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (above). What does “all” mean?

Sometimes our “flesh”—our human nature—rebels against God’s commands, and we don’t want to obey them. At those times it’s good to remember that all God’s commands are for our good—even those that are hard to understand.

And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

Make it personal

Circle the words “for your own good” in Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (above).

7. What happens when we do things our way?

8. What happens when we do things God’s way?

 

The Bible transforms us

When you read the Bible, you learn important information, but something else happens when you have an open heart. Reading and meditating on what you study actually changes your attitudes, motives, and emotions. It transforms you on the inside. It renews your mind.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

What do you think?

9. How does the Bible transform us?

 

The Bible comforts, inspires, encourages, and challenges us

The Bible comforts and inspires us through stories of God’s faithfulness, verses about God’s love, examples of faith in action, and psalms of praise. It encourages us to draw close to God, to be brave in our faith, and to overcome fear. It tells us who we are in Christ and challenges us to live for him.

Make it personal

10. Has reading the Bible ever comforted, inspired, encouraged, or challenged you? Describe one time this happened.

 

The Bible convicts us of sin and warns us against rebelling

The Bible encourages us to live righteous lives by showing us the serious consequences of sin and rebellion. Thankfully, it also teaches us about the grace of God and the forgiveness he offers when we turn from sin and ask for his forgiveness.

The Bible deals with our hearts as well as our outward actions.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

What do you think?

11. Sometimes we are mainly concerned about whether our actions are good or bad. Hebrews 4:12 (above) says God’s word judges “the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Why is it important for our thoughts and attitudes to be judged?

 

The Bible gives us hope for eternal life with Jesus

The Bible is full of encouraging promises about our eternal life with Jesus.

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

 

Memory verse

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. (Psalm 119:105-106)

 

Personal application

1. What is one thing you learned from the Bible that has helped you think, live, or love?

2. Write out one verse in today’s study that motivates you to read the Bible.

3. Why did you choose that verse? How did it impact you?

4. Which of the reasons to read the Bible are most motivating to you? Why?

5. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

a. According to these verses, how much of the Bible is “God-breathed”?

b. If you wanted to do well at a job and the boss gave you instructions, would you make an effort to learn those instructions? Why or why not?

6. Read Romans 12:2. How can your mind be renewed by reading the Bible?

7. Have you found Hosea 4:6 to be true in any area of your life? Why or why not?

8. Have you ever gone through a period of time during which you read the Bible regularly? What difference did this season of Bible reading make in your life?

Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life.

Copyright © 2018 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.)

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