Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Read and Study the Bible For Spiritual Growth
I think every Christian should try to read through the Bible once a year at least. But there are dangers even there, and the danger is this: you have your system of Bible reading; you read so many chapters or so many verses each day; you get out your little guide and you say, “Ah, I am going to read this,” and you rush through it. Right! Tick it off. Read the Scripture portion for today, and all is well. Or sometimes it is more than that with a little commentary, and you think you have read your Bible and that you know it. But you many be completely ignorant at the end.
We must read the Bible in the Spirit. We need to be prepared to read the Bible; we must pray before we read the Bible; we must pray for the Spirit of God to come upon us. We must “Take time to be holy,” as the hymn says, but we must also take time to read the Bible. I suppose modern men and women need this exhortation more than they need anything else. Why are you reading the Bible? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Are you only reading it because you have been told by somebody to do it, somebody who instructed you? They say, “Every Christian should read the Bible.” I agree, but is that your only reason for reading it? Are you reading it merely to say that you have read your daily portion and so you will have completed the Bible in a year?
Indeed, let me go further. Are you reading the Bible only so you may have a knowledge of the contents of the Bible so that if somebody says to you, “Well now, what does Genesis teach? What is the teaching of Matthew? Mark? John?” you can give an account of the content? Is that the way in which you read the Bible? My dear friend, that is merely to read the letter, and if you put the letter before the spirit you are missing the whole value of Bible reading. The whole object of reading the Bible is so we may get at the spirit of the teaching and so the spirit of the teaching may get hold of us. And that is why I say it is essential that we should take our time in reading the Bible.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Experiencing the New Birth: Studies in John 3,” pg.317-318