Jesus said, "If you continue in my word . . . you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." -- John 8:31-32 (RSV)
Less Than 20% of Churchgoers Read the Bible Daily
"In a fresh study of 'Bible engagement' LifeWay Research surveyed more than 2,900 Protestant churchgoers and found that while 90 percent 'desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do,' only 19 percent personally read the Bible every day." [Christianity Today, September 7, 2012]
Three Reasons Why You Don't Read Your Bible
by Daniel Hames
From the earliest years of your Christian life – whether as a child raised in a Christian home, or as somebody brought to faith and discipled in a church group – you have been told how important it is to read your Bible regularly. You decided to try some sort of Bible read-through and set to reading four chapters a day. Early zeal meant you tore through the Gospels and enjoyed the drama of Genesis, but before long you ran into rock-solid Romans, or life-draining Leviticus. You missed a few days out, and then... well, it's been a while since you found the will to pick up your Bible again.
Every now and then, first thing in the morning and last thing at night, you see your Bible on the bedside table and it stares you out. It's at these times that other things tend suddenly to grab your attention: "I really ought to mow the lawn!'', "I never did write that thank you card to Aunt Daisy!", or "Wouldn't it be lovely to bake some bread?" It's so easy to drop Bible reading down the list of priorities just a little bit, and never get around to it. Why is that? There are three very common reasons, and they all have solutions that aren't so much to do with how well disciplined you are, but more about the way you think about the Bible. The first reason isn't even a proper reason, so we'll start with that one and get it out of the way.
Source: "Three Reasons Why You Don't Read Your Bible" by Daniel Hames at theologynetwork.org
Why Should I Read the Bible?
- We should read and study the Bible because it is God's Word to us. The Bible is literally "God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16). In other words, it is God's very words to us. There are so many questions that philosophers have asked that God answers for us in Scripture...
- We should read and study the Bible because it is totally reliable and without error. The Bible is unique among so-called "holy" books in that it does not merely give moral teaching and say, "Trust me." Rather, we have the ability to test it by checking the hundreds of detailed prophecies that it makes, by checking the historical accounts it records, and by checking the scientific facts it relates...
- We should read and study the Bible because God does not change and because mankind's nature does not change; it is as relevant for us as it was when it was written. While technology changes, mankind's nature and desires do not change. We find, as we read the pages of biblical history, that whether we are talking about one-on-one relationships or societies, "there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9)...
- We should read and study the Bible because there is so much false teaching. The Bible gives us the measuring stick by which we can distinguish truth from error. It tells us what God is like. To have a wrong impression of God is to worship an idol or false god. We are worshiping something that He is not. The Bible tells us how one truly gets to heaven, and it is not by being good or by being baptized or by anything else we do (John 14:6, Ephesians 2:1-10, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:10-18, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-13)...
- Reading and studying the Bible helps us see beyond the attractive "bait" to the painful "hook" in sinful temptations, so that we can learn from others' mistakes rather than making them ourselves. Experience is a great teacher, but when it comes to learning from sin, it is a terribly hard teacher. It is so much better to learn from others' mistakes...
- The Bible is a book that is not merely for reading. It is a book for studying so that it can be applied. Otherwise, it is like swallowing food without chewing and then spitting it back out again—no nutritional value is gained by it. The Bible is God's Word. As such, it is as binding as the laws of nature. We can ignore it, but we do so to our own detriment, just as we would if we ignored the law of gravity. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough just how important the Bible is to our lives. Studying the Bible can be compared to mining for gold. If we make little effort and merely "sift through the pebbles in a stream," we will find only a little gold dust. But the more we make an effort to really dig into it, the more reward we will gain for our effort.
Source: "Why should we read the Bible / study the Bible?" at gotquestions.org
How Should I Read the Bible?
Let's lay out the way to read the Bible to let it build on itself:
- Read "Mark." (It is written in chronological order.)
- Read "Matthew." (It goes into better detail of some events and adds more about Jesus.)
- Read "John." (It contains a lot of the life of Jesus not read before, especially his last two weeks before his crucifixion.)
- Read "Luke" then "Acts." (Both written by Apostle Paul's traveling companion Luke. Acts is a continuation of Luke. It describes the early church and contains the examples of New Testament conversions.)
- Read "Galatians." (It deals with the reasons why we do not follow the Old Testament Laws in a more simplified way than does Romans or Hebrews.)
- Then read the rest of the New Testament starting at Romans and going to Revelation.
Your voyage through God's Word will take about six weeks. It will be the best traveling you can ever take. You will laugh and you will cry. It has everything that makes a very good book, and lots more, but all true. It can teach you the most important things for this life and the one to come.
Source: "How To Read The Bible For Better Understanding" by Butch Walker
Additional Ways to Read the Bible
- Bible Verse of the Day - each day a different Bible verse is displayed with a magnificient photogragh.
- Online Bible Reading - enter the Bible passage (e.g., John 3:16), keyword (e.g., Jesus, prophet, etc.) or topic (e.g., salvation) that you want to read, then select one of 46 English language Bible translations (translations into other languages are also available) and start reading by clicking on "Search."
- Online Bible Listening - select one of six English language translations (translations into eight other languages are also available) and then enter the verse, passage, chapter or entire book of the Bible you want to hear. A choice of reader is available in some translations. Start listening by clicking on the "Play audio" button.
- Daily Bible Reading Plans - chose from five Bible reading plans, save it in your computer and/or print it.
- Read the Bible in a Year - chose from 16 plans to read the Bible in one year.