This is the second entry in a series of posts by Brian Hardin, author and founder of Daily Audio Bible. In his previous essay, Why Read the Bible Every Day?, Brian shared his own testimony about the power of regular Bible reading. In this new essay, he looks at some of the common reasons that we use to avoid reading the Bible. This essay is drawn from Brian’s book Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You.
I believe the Bible is the very Word of God, and that what we need for the life we were created to live is contained within its chambers. This Word is a lamp to our feet, and in the dark it will light our path (Psalm 119:105). In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a story: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44). This is the reality of the Bible. It offers us a complete change of paradigm that leads to authentic freedom.
Surveys have shown that most people believe the Bible is the truth and that it holds the answer to the basic questions of life, and yet few of us spend any extended time in Bible study. Even though we claim to need it, we seem to avoid it. Where is the disconnect? Why don’t we read the Bible if we believe it is God’s Word and contains the answers to life’s questions?
There are the obvious distractions. There is no shortage of excuses. But how could something so important seem to mean so little? The ironies compound themselves because we want to have a better relationship with God, we believe the Bible is the truth, and we believe it contains answers for our lives, yet reading the Bible is the one thing we continue to ignore.
There’s a sobering reality lurking just beneath the surface, one we probably wouldn’t say out loud: maybe we don’t really believe reading the Bible will work for us. Maybe it will work for really spiritual people like pastors and missionaries, but not for us. The problem is that this line of thinking makes confetti of the faith we thought we had.
But maybe it’s time. Maybe unraveling the layers of life and what we thought we believed will lead us to what we’ve been searching for all along: the truth, a foundation, a holy context for life.
It’s time to abandon the limitations we’ve placed on the Bible. The Bible is written as a story, a story that has not yet reached its conclusion. The story has wound its way through battlefields and wedding nights, through birthing chambers and funeral parlors, from transcendent pleasure to utter hopelessness. The story has come through voices around Bedouin campfires to stone tablets, from the skins of animals to the printing press. It has passed through ages long forgotten to ages dark and forgettable. Its echoes bound from enlightenments to reformations. This is the unstoppable story of God and his profound love for humanity.
You are a part of this story. Your ancestors and heroes are contained within these pages. This is your story. To become intimate with the Bible is to finally find yourself. To understand that the stage is set and you have a role to play in God’s story is finally to come home. Once you do, you will begin to see with the eyes of your heart, the way you were meant to.
Watch for the next post in this series next week! In the meantime, you can read more of Brian’s writing in Passages, or follow his work at Daily Audio Bible. You can keep up with him each day at his blog, Twitter feed, or Facebook or G+ pages.