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3 Reasons Why to Read the Bible
Reading the Bible can be a daunting task - particularly if you've ever noticed how big a book it is, with at least 3-4 columns of text per page. Add to that the thee's and thou's, extensive lists of family names and supplies, and specific instructions for sacrificing animals, and...well, you can easily become frustrated and decide that you don't really need to read the entire book. After all, you can get the highlights of the individual books of the Bible or certain themes by just browsing online or listening to sermons.
But here's the thing - if you go to church (even some of the time), or consider yourself Christian (whether or not you decide to attend a church), you owe it to yourself to be familiar with the Good book. Why? Because if you want to really understand what the whole institution of church is all about, and who God is, the Bible is the only complete authority. Everything else is just bits and pieces, with personal opinions thrown in. And since people all think differently, you run into the danger of believing one person's views, rather than reading for yourself and gaining your own knowledge. It's that knowledge that determines the kind of faith you'll eventually develop.
Reading the Bible: Getting Past the Obstacles
Children have it easy when it comes to the Bible. There are so many children's versions of the Bible - from specific story books covering one event at a time, to a series of children's bible volumes with ample amounts of pictures and easy-flowing language that anyone can follow. For that reason, it is best that if you are unfamiliar with the Bible, or find it hard to concentrate on the unabridged version, a children's Bible is a great way to start. Once you have gotten down the basics of the major story-lines, you can start to make sense of everything.
If you are way past all of that, consider yourself an avid reader, or have read through parts of the Bible (but not in its entirety), it's time to delve into the whole book. Here's why:
- Daily reading instills a habit. If you read for at least 5-15 minutes a day, you can stay plugged in to God a lot better than just trying to reach out in prayer only when you need something from Him. You will also help combat boredom - because before you know it, you've completed your daily reading! You may even find yourself eventually reading more scripture at a time. If you are a goal-setter, print off a Bible Reading Plan to help keep you motivated.
- You develop a more peaceful and contemplative attitude. By exposing yourself to the Bible on a regular basis, you will start to think differently. In a way, it works like an exercise routine. Only in this case, you are conditioning your mind, rather than your physical body. The worries of your life, the pressures from your schedule, the frustrations of your relationships - all these things can melt away as you focus on God. If you've ever found it hard to pray, you'll find that the daily reading will evoke emotions within you that will get you praying like never before! Skeptical? Try keeping a journal and pen with you while you read... soon you will find yourself jotting down notes, your thoughts, and eventually your prayers.
- You will learn about the Bible. Sounds simple enough, but not many people take the challenge of really trying to analyze every story of the Bible and what it all means. When you have it segmented into what will fit into your attention-span, you can concentrate on what you are reading more fully. And there's something about reading the Bible that you'll notice from one year to the next - you will always read it and glean something new every time. It may be something that speaks to you about a situation in your life, or a deeper understanding of one of God's characteristics. Either way, you will feel blessed.