Be Careful How You Read Your Bible

by Joel Littlefield September 1, 2016

Is it possible to read a chapter of the Old Testament or the entirety of the New Testament or even the whole Bible cover to cover, and miss the point altogether? The Pharisees did. Many still do and here's how:

Jesus said, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life."

Going to the Scriptures was not the same as going to the Savior, but it should have been.

Jesus is the essence, the reason and the substance of it all. No person's diligent study or strictly regimented devotional life are equal to life in Jesus. But when that same devotion and diligence is applied to seeking by faith the person and work of Christ in those very same pages, true change is made. Only then will every word, passage, page, and doctrine work to open up and to magnify the life of Jesus and the life-giving power of His Gospel.

Christians struggle with "getting something" from their Bible. If this describes you, then listen to this.: as a redeemed saint you already have the most important thing in your possession; a real relationship with a God who is passionate about you.  With passion He created you, foreordained that you might know Him, called you with a perseverance like no other, and saved you by the precious blood of His Son. He has written a Word for you and you can know Him through it.

No longer should you go to the Bible to fulfill a chore, check a box or to maintain a religious posture. That isn't doing you a favor. In fact, it might be hurting you. Instead, consider that Jesus Christ is in the Bible. Go there because He loves you. Open each page with faith and expectancy even if you are a little unsure what you might or might not hear. Study for His sake and His sake only. If you close the book and you don't feel like you've learned anything, remember why you opened the book in the first place. You opened it, not for the sake of learning alone, but because you know He is there and has already spoken a faithful, saving word to your heart.  The cross was endured, the grave was overwhelmed, and Jesus has conquered hell and death for you. That is reason enough to return to His Word over and over again for as long as you live.

How does God's Word impact our prayers?

God invites His children to talk with Him, yet our prayers often become repetitive and stale. How do we have a real conversation with God? How do we come to know Him so that we may pray for His will as our own?

In the Bible, God speaks to us as His children and gives us words for prayer—to praise Him, confess our sins, and request His help in our lives.

We’re giving away a free eBook copy of Praying the Bible, where Donald S. Whitney offers practical insight to help Christians talk to God with the words of Scripture.