Pastoral Perspectives

Why Read the Bible?

Have you ever asked yourself this question: “Why read the Bible?” When you were first introduced to the Christian faith, you accepted Christ Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, and then, you were instructed to read the Bible regularly. You were told to spend time with the Lord Jesus to get to know Him more by reading the Bible. You were told to start a little at a time. Perhaps, to read a few Bible verses and to write down your reflection from what you have read.

Each of us reads the Bible for different reasons and with different motivations. Some follows a sequence/schedule to read the bible, but some reads haphazardly, without regularity or consistency. “Why read the Bible?” may stir up in your heart hopefully! The basic answer to this question is: “To know Christ Jesus and His Word.” Being a child of God, one’s desire is to know God more and to love God more. To know and love God more, we need to set aside time to spend with Him alone at a conducive place at a definite time to listen to Him speak through the reading of His Word, the Bible. Bible reading is a good spiritual discipline which we should cultivate for our good and growth. You cannot know God without first making the effort to know His Word. As you read the Word of God, you will get to know Him more because God has revealed Himself through His Word.

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we learn that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” These Bible verses set the fundamental basis why you and I should read the Bible. We read the Bible because it is the very Word of God breathed out by Him. That is what Matthew 4:4 stated: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

All Scripture, which refers to the Bible, is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. Do you see all the benefits of knowing the Word of God and putting them into practice in your daily life? God’s Word teaches us how to live the Christian life, how we should order our life in a manner that pleases God. It shows us the path of righteousness and holiness that we are to walk. God’s Word also reproves us, reprimands us when we go on the wrong track or way. God’s Word also corrects us when we are stubborn in insisting on our own selfish way. God’s Word also trains us in areas of righteousness that are fitting for the Kingdom of God. Our thoughts are trained to think purely and purposefully for the advancement of God’s Kingdom and purpose, putting His agenda first, and not ours. God’s Word equips us for every good work. We are equipped to do the good work of our Lord when we follow (obey) His Word. “Obedience” is the key to living the victorious Christian life.

We read the Bible because we love God and delight in Him. In 1 John 5:3, I am reminded that “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” Loving God is obeying God’s Word, which is keeping God’s Word. If you love someone, you will do what he/she is pleased. Similarly, if you love God, you will do what God is pleased. I have always treasured what Job said in Job 23:12, “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” Similarly, Jeremiah the prophet also said in Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.”

Finally, “reading the Bible” keeps you and me close to God and connected to and with Him. It enhances your walk with God and enables you to know what God wants you to do, and then to please Him by doing what He says. In Psalm 37:4, I have learnt this: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” The desires of my heart are to delight in God, to draw close to God, to dwell richly in His Word, to discern concisely the Will of God and to distinguish wisely between good and evil, and between right and wrong.

Preacher George Ang

January 20, 2021