I can still remember the revolutionary experience it was for me, in my sophomore year at college, to read through the New Testament. I read the Phillips Version, and, for the first time, the Scriptures came alive for me. As I reflect upon it, it’s odd that I don’t often in my sermons or blogs mention the value of personal Bible study. But I think it’s because I have devoted my life to the study, teaching, and preaching of the Bible. On the other hand, though I don’t often specifically say so, I do hope that my preaching and writing illustrate the great value I place on Scripture.
I’ve listed here three reasons why you should read the Scriptures every day.
1. The Scriptures are the Inspired Word of God
The Scriptures are truly unique. They are the indispensable, divinely inspired witness to God’s revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ. Through the pages of Scripture, God has revealed Himself to us. He shows us how he has moved through history, through sinful people, and ultimately through His Son incarnate in order to save and restore us to Himself. Through Scripture, we see the hopelessness of our fallen, sinful state, as well as God’s character and redemptive plan.
2. The Scriptures are a Unique Source of Wisdom for Life
The Christian scriptures are an invaluable source of divine instruction as to the living of life. Life can be filled with pressures and problems, and we need every available resource. Surely we should not ignore God’s Word to us in Holy Scripture. We need the Scriptures. There is no substitute for the wisdom that Scriptures can impart for daily living.
James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (ESV). Let the words of the Bible infuse your life in such a way that they flow out of your words, actions, and attitude. After you read, reflect. What did the Bible say? What did it mean? How does it affect your life and/or thinking?
If you are not a regular Bible reader, I challenge you to become one. I believe I can promise you an exciting, refreshing, life-changing source of spiritual insight and practical guidance.
3. Reading the Entire Bible Each Year is an Achievable Goal
Let me encourage you to read the Scriptures. Practically speaking, it can be done. My NASB has some 1700 pages of large print and single columns, and I have found that I can read it through entirely in 4 months, reading 11 pages a day from the Old Testament and 3 pages a day from the New. It takes me anywhere from 20-45 minutes a day (depending on my level of concentration) to do that daily reading. Or, if I choose to read through the Bible once a year, I can read just under 5 pages a day.
Young Adults Should Read the Scriptures
Students like to tell me that they don’t have time to read their Bibles, but I think we make time for the things that are most important to us. Below I have listed some times a college student could set aside to read the Scriptures. I recommend you try out a few different times on different days to determine what works best in your current stage of life.
- As soon as you wake up: grab some coffee and let reading the Scriptures be the first thing you do every morning before you check your texts, social media, or the news.
- After your first class: find a quiet place on campus to read after your first class. You might find you can focus better because you’ve had time to wake up.
- At lunch time: you can easily grab a quiet lunch by yourself and read your Bible. If that’s the time you have, use it.
- Instead of watching that next episode: I’m not saying that you should cancel your Netflix or Hulu accounts (though you could consider it), but I think you can go one episode less per day to read your Bible and meet with the Lord. This same idea applies to other hobbies or media.
- Before you go to bed: this option isn’t my favorite because I think it will be easier for you to fall asleep. Make sure you’re in a well-lit room and sitting up instead of lying on a bed or couch. If you’re a night owl, reading the Bible at night could be perfect for you.
Whatever time of day works best, I hope you will make reading and reflecting on the Scriptures a priority in your life. The Christian Scriptures contain the divinely inspired word of God, are a unique source of wisdom for life, and reading them all the way through each year is an achievable goal.
- The Beginner’s Guide to Reading the Bible
- Bible Reading Plans at Bible Study Tools
- A Yearly Plan found on The Gospel Coalition
You might have heard a popular Christian pastor recently announce that we should “unhitch from the Old Testament.” Since I mentioned the importance of both Testaments in this blog, you could gather that I disagree with him. If you’re curious, I think this book review outlines the basic problems with this particular pastor’s claim.
Dr. Robert B. Sloan is president of Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. Dr. Sloan and his wife, Sue, have 7 married children and more than 20 young grandchildren. He has recently published the first two books in a young adult fantasy series about an orphan named Hamelin Stoop.
Blog edited by Joannah Buffington