2020 has finally ended and the opportunity to create a better year has begun. What do you want 2021 to look like? What are some changes you would like to see in your life? All good things come from the Lord!
If you would like to see positive changes and blessings, you can’t go wrong including God! Do you have a regular prayer life? Do you read God’s Word, the Bible? Do you have a relationship with God? He wants to be part of your life and one of the best ways to hear from God is through prayer and Bible reading. Want help with something? Pray and read your Bible. Want Wisdom? Pray and read your Bible. Want comfort and encouragement? Pray and read your Bible. The list is endless. The Bible addresses ANY issues you can possibly have. Need relationship/marriage/parenting advice? Pray and read your Bible. See the pattern here? Join us for why we can trust the Bible, 7 reasons to read the Bible daily, and suggestions on how to begin reading the Bible.
Why Can I Trust the Bible?
Dr. Billy Graham answered this question so well:
“Have you ever actually read the Bible for yourself? I would encourage you to do this — because if you do, it will convince you that the Bible isn’t a myth.
Why do I say this? One reason is because it tells about real people — people who actually lived, and who had the same experiences we have today. Although they lived thousands of years ago, we can understand their fears and hopes — because we have them, too. These aren’t stories someone made up (unlike many other ancient books); they have the ring of truth to them, because they deal with real people who faced real problems.
Another reason we can trust the Bible is because it was written by people who actually witnessed what happened, and wrote it down so future generations could know about those events. As one of its writers stated, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories … but we were eyewitnesses” (2 Peter 1:16).
But the main reason I urge you to discover the Bible for yourself is because it points us to the most important event in human history: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Jesus was more than just another religious teacher; He was God in human flesh. It tells us also that He came to make our forgiveness possible, and to bring us back to God. Don’t be afraid to open your life to Him, for when you do “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). “(Dr. Billy Graham, Answers Column)
A personal reason that has always helped me to trust the Bible is just looking at the numbers. Over 350 Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus! Crosswalk has a great article on this:
“But could Jesus have merely fulfilled these prophecies by accident? Could it be that he’s just one of many throughout history who have coincidentally fit the prophetic fingerprint?
“Not a chance,” comes the response of Louis Lapides, a Christian convert from Judaism. “The odds are so astronomical that they rule that out. Someone did the math and estimated that the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion. That number is millions of times greater than the total number of people who’ve ever walked the planet!
“That same person calculated that if you took this number of silver dollars, they would cover the state of Texas to a depth of two feet. If you marked one silver dollar among them and then had a blindfolded person wander the whole state and bend down to pick up one coin, what would be the odds he’d choose the one that had been marked? The same odds that anybody in history could have fulfilled just eight of the prophecies.”
Scientist Peter Stoner estimated that the probability of fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Our minds can’t comprehend a number that big.” (Crosswalk)
7 Reasons to Read My Bible
Ok, so now we know some reasons why we can trust the Bible. But why isn’t just hearing about it at church or sunday school enough? Why should I read it for myself…regularly?
1. To Grow our Faith
- “For our faith to grow we need to let the Bible saturate our mind and soul.” (Dr. Billy Graham)
2. To Gain Wisdom
- All wisdom comes from the Lord!
3. To Hear From God
- God can speak to us in so many ways – music, other believers, circumstances, prayer, His creation, and more! This includes His Word, the Bible!
“That means God is whispering, and sometimes shouting, all through His Word, giving us instructions and principles for life. As we interpret Scripture by other Scripture, we avoid the false logic and misinterpretations that sneak into our world. If someone claims, “God told me to go kill my neighbor!” would you believe him? Of course not! God never violates His own Word or principles. That “voice” does not belong to God.
I needed help for raising my children. God “told” me about that in His Word, especially in Proverbs. Marriage difficulties? God spoke about that as well. Times when I was afraid? I “heard” Jesus’ words to His disciples as they feared for their lives one stormy night: “Peace, be still!” and it was as if God was speaking to me, too (Luke 8:23-25).” (Crosswalk)
4. To Protect Yourself from False Teachers
- It is critical that we know what the Bible says and DOESN’T say. Satan, the Father of Lies, is always on the prowl to deceive us. This deception can come in so many ways – unbiblical religious leaders, unbiblical books and movies, cults, and more. But when we arm ourselves with knowledge from the Scriptures, we can protect ourselves from his deception, cults, half truths, and more!
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.“
5. To Find Encouragement
When I am having a bad day, I often can link it back to missing my quiet time with God that morning. However there is an easy fix. Later that evening when I have some quiet time, I will read my Bible and pray and I always leave more at peace and encouraged.
Any time I am feel down and discouraged, I always know I can open my Bible and find hope, encouragement, and direction from God.
6. To Avoid Sin
Reading the Bible regularly helps us to make better decisions, follow God’s directions, control our words and actions, avoid temptations, and more. Seek God today and His will for your life! His Word helps you to not only discern His path for you, but also to persevere when hardships come your way.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
7. To Set the Example For Your Family
If you are married or have kids, reading your Bible in the mornings is a great example to your spouse and kids! Make it a priority and tell your kids that this is special time with God. Our relationship with God needs and should be #1. Spouse is #2, then kids, family, friends, etc.
We started encouraging our kids to start reading their Bibles or a youth devotional on their own at breakfast when they reached around 10 years old. You know your children and their reading levels to know when it is a good time. A really good devotional book that helped our oldest to start reading the Bible was Amazing Stories for Young Believers (Dave Strehler). It walks through the Bible in 366 days. After that she transitioned to reading the Bible at breakfast.
There are so many types of Bibles. Where should I start?
Dr. Billy Graham answered this question well:
“The Bible was written many centuries ago in two of the major languages of the time – Hebrew (for the Old Testament) and Greek (for the New Testament).
Over the centuries, the Bible has been translated into hundreds of other languages – including English. (Even in Jesus’ day, the Old Testament had already been translated into other languages.) And because the Bible’s language is so rich and profound, various translations have been made into English to try to bring out its full meaning – including the many translations you saw in your bookstore.
Which one is best? The “best” Bible translation for you is the one that makes the Bible’s meaning clear to you. It also should be accurate and faithful to the original languages. For the purposes of this column, I usually use the New International Version – but I probably have 20 or 30 other versions in my library. Your pastor may have a recommendation; you might also take a passage (like John 3) and read it in several translations.” (Dr. Billy Graham, The Answers Column)
I use the New International Version Study Bible – other ones we have liked are ESV, HSBC, KJV, NKJV, The Message, NLT, or The Amplified version.
How to Read my Bible
There are many ways to read your Bible! If you are a new to the faith or the Bible, it is helpful to start reading in the New Testament, or the book of John.
Here are a few resources for new Bible reading plans in 2021:
- YouVersion (The Bible App) has many Bible reading plans and devotionals available.
- Having the Bible App on a smart phone makes it super easy to access the Bible or devotionals at any time!
- Joni Earackson Tada, the disability advocate, has put together a year long Bible reading plan.
Start one of the best ways to improve your life and those around you – and begin the habit of praying and reading your Bible daily! Your faith will grow, as will wisdom, knowledge, hope, encouragement, love, and MORE! Find a Bible translation that makes sense to you and begin the best relationship of your life with Jesus Christ!