Reading Scripture everyday can be a difficult yet promising practice that originates from a deep desire to discover who God is.
The Bible asserts that faith is not based on a Christian’s actions, but rather on Christ’s decision to act for humanity. Because Jesus Christ loved people enough to die for them, those who accept him live in relationship with him. God granted his people the opportunity to get to know him better through his word.
Believers know that letting this practice become legalistic can lead to a dangerous attempt at earning salvation. The Bible is clear that God has already provided salvation through the actions of his son, Jesus. Once Christ is in a believer’s heart, salvation is freely given to them. This is not caused by anything the believer has done, but rather because of what God did.
Kierra Jones, California Baptist University alumni and challenge staff member in Spiritual Life, pointed out guilt is not a healthy motivator for reading the Bible.
“Guilt is not an emotion that comes from God. The Holy Spirit will not guilt you into reading your Bible,” Jones said. “The love of Christ will drive you to read your Bible. It is important to read the Bible for yourself because Christianity is an intimate relationship with Jesus. How can I be in a relationship with someone that I haven’t gotten to know for myself?”
Dr. Dan Wilson, professor of biblical studies, said reading Scripture allows God to soften his heart.
“Every time I read my Bible, it feels new. God’s word will never stop being great, deep and rich. Each time I read it, I experience the freshness of God,” Wilson said. “I don’t approach the Bible and ask myself, ‘What can I get out of this?’ Instead, I use it as a way to remain sensitive to the spirit and say, ‘OK God, here I am.’ When reading Scripture, I place myself in a posture of submission, and listen to the Holy Spirit in order to obey.”
Wilson said he recently read a book called “Praying the Bible” by Donald Whitney. He mentioned that even though this book was small, it had a huge impact on his prayer life and the way he reads the Bible.
Many resources abound to guide in Scripture reading. The Gospels in the New Testament are a great place to start because they describe the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, which is the center of Christian belief.
Jenesis Andrews-Kendale, sophomore applied theology major, said she reads her Bible every morning. She explained God calls all his people to read his word, which is a huge responsibility and a great honor.
“For those who are starting to read their Bible, be patient and prioritize. The fact is we need salvation and we can’t do it on our own. We need God’s help, and the only way to get that is by listening to him,” Kendale said.
Reading Scripture is a spiritual discipline that provides growth and wisdom, but what is most important is a believer’s relationship with God.