Most of us would probably say we don’t read the Bible as much as we should, so I think this is a good question to ask.
Why don’t I read the Bible like I should? It comes down to two things for me. I share those in this episode, plus, some encouragement for you.
Welcome to the simple truth big change podcast. I’m your host, Heather Duff, and this is where we read and explore the simple yet powerful truth of the Bible.
That truth makes a Big Change in our lives.
I titled this episode with a question, “Why don’t I read the Bible like I should?”
The question isn’t meant to make me feel guilty, but really, I think most of us would say we don’t read the Bible as much as we should.
I think this is a good question to ask.
We’ll start with me, first. (So you’re off the hook for now.)
Why don’t I read the Bible like I should? It comes down to two things for me.
Number one, I’m busy.
And number two, I’m tired. I’m tired because I’m busy all the time.
These are reasons. Not excuses.
I’m taking ownership of the problem. Admitting I should read more. But I can’t ignore the obstacles.
Recently, I started reading a book by Howard and William Hendricks. I guess it’s sort of a classic, titled Living by the Book.
Chapter One is titled Why People Don’t Study the Bible. Great, I have a problem, and it looks like this book might address the obstacles.
They list a few common reasons, like
We don’t think the Bible is relevant for today. We live in a modern, complex world with modern, complex, relationships and problems.
Or maybe we doubt what the Bible says.
Maybe you’ve tried to read the Bible before, you’ve tried to develop a daily study program, but you just felt like you weren’t making any headway.
Maybe you think that it’s too complicated to understand
Or, like me, you feel like you’re too busy.
I’m not sure what your reasons are, most of us would say we don’t read the Bible as much as we knowwe should.
The first paragraph of Chapter One of Living by the book makes a great statement.
I highlighted it in bright yellow.
It says “you’re either in the Word, and the Word is conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ, or you’re in the world, and the world is squeezing you into itsmold.
And that’s really true, isn’t it?
Even if we’re really trying to live according to what the Bible says.
If we don’t spend time reading the Bible and learningthe Bible, and LIVING the Bible, then we end up that being more influenced by the world than we are by the word of God.
So what about you?
If I was to ask you why you don’t read the Bible as much as you’d like, what would your reason be?
And I say as much as you’d like tobecause I think we really would like to. But things get in the way. Doubts, busyness, frustration.
I generally have a pretty good discipline for reading the Bible. I haven’t always. It’s been a battle, but I’m pretty consistent.
Admittedly, I don’t do it every day.
But I want to. I really do.
So on those days that I don’t open my Bible, what’s going on?
I’m busy and I feel like I’ve got so much to do that I can’t take those precious moments in the morning and spend them with the Lord, which really is sad when I say it like that. But I’m just being honest here.
Last week, I was having a particularly busy day and I woke up in the morning and I was feeling tired. I felt like I didn’t have the energy to even focus on reading. So, I was going to skip it for that day but then I realized, no I skipped it the day before.
I picked up my Bible, and I started walking around the living room, reading it out loud. It didn’t take long before my heart was just so touched by the words that I was reading.
Even to the point that I started to get emotional about what I was reading out loud, the awesome things that Paul was writing in his letter to the Philippians. By the time I finished—and it didn’t take me long, Philippines is four short chapters—but by the time I finished I felt completely different.
My heart was softened.
I didn’t feel overwhelmed, like it was me alone against my monstrous to-do list.
I wasn’t stressed.
Sometimes when I get tired I can just get kind of unemotional and indifferent about things. I guess I go into task killer mode, like I want to get everything cleared of my list so I can relax.
But spending time in the word that day last week, I could really tell how it softened my heart. And it made me morefocused on what the Lord was doing. What the Lord was doing in my life, but also in the world. And that’s important.
Sometimes we get so focused on our little corner of the world, but our God is big. He’s the almighty Creator of the universe, and he’s doing a work of redemption in the earth.
We have a very important part to play in that, together as the body of Christ, and also individually.
Getting into the word is the best remedy for any reason we have notto.
Back when I was a little bit more regular with exercise, okay, a lot more regular, I was into riding my bike. There were days that I didn’t feel like going. But every time I went, I just felt awesome.
I would ride around a nearby neighborhood, and it was just a really nice. It was pretty quiet, sort of suburban. There were nice, older homes it just had a really neat neighborhood feel that reminded me of the neighborhood I grew up in.
So, all that to say that it was an enjoyable experience, but still, there were some days, and actually most days, that I just didn’t FEEL like riding my bike.
So I made a deal with myself. I said, Okay, Heather, get your bike out and take one loop around the block, and if you still don’t feel like riding, then you can come home.
I never once did a loop around the block and came straight home.
I got on my bike and rode to that nice little neighborhood. I’d ride in the evenings and occasionally I could smell the aroma of someone’s supper. It reminded me of days when I’d come home to a nice warm meal cooked by my mother.
Riding my bike made me happy. During and after. But usually not before.
I think it can be like that with any discipline. Reading and studying the Bible is no different.
Some days it’s harder to than others. But we gotta do it anyway. No matter how we feel. Because feelings are just that, they’re feelings. They change from day to day moment to moment. So they don’t get a vote here.
It’s okay to feel tired or stressed or frustrated. We feel what we feel. But we gotta be doers anyway. So, just like me and that bike ride through the nice neighborhood. When you don’t feel like it, take your Bible out, open it up and usually within a few sentences you can already sense the word of God coming alive in your heart.
This is just a little encouragement today to get yourself into the Word.
And a challenge…Pose the question to yourself.
What is it that keeps you from studying the Bible like you should?
Repent if you need to. But don’t stay in the guilt. Confess, be cleansed, and ask God to help.
Let’s look the obstacles in the eye and deal with them.
Like the Hendricks say in their book, studying the Bible is essential if you’re a Christian. It isn’t optional.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ then it’s important for you to be in the word every day. I know I don’t need to convince you of that if you love the Lord. You know what I mean.
We’re all battling against the same thing here, the same enemy.
Let’s help each other to be accountable on this. We all need it.
There are several things I’ve done over the years that have helped me to be more disciplined in Bible study. Some of those things helped me for a season. Others help me every day.
I’ll share some of those things in the next episode.
I’m not an expert. I don’t always get it right.
But maybe by sharing a bit of my battle, it may help you too.
Thank you so much for tuning in!
I hope you’ll join me next time on the Simple Truth, Big Change podcast.
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