To Benefit from the Bible, You Have to Read It

“Happy is the one who reads this book.”

Revelation 1:3 (GNT)

Do you ever feel like you just don’t understand the Bible? Do you wonder why it’s not making a big difference in your life? If so, let me ask you this question: How much time do you spend reading the Bible?

For much of Christianity’s history, only priests had Bibles. As a result, they were the only ones to interpret Scripture. Everyone else just had to accept what they said.

Then, around 1440, Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable-type printing press. For the first time, common people had regular access to Bibles. “What the priest is telling me and what I read in the Bible don’t match!” they said.

Getting the Bible into the hands of ordinary people led to a type of revolution—a major church upheaval that we now know as the Protestant Reformation.

Thanks to the printing press and the Reformation, you and I can read the Bible every single day—but do you?

I know some Christians who are more faithful to the sports page than they are to God’s Word. People might spend three hours a day on social media or watching TV, while spending just a few minutes reading the Bible. They expect that formula will transform them into spiritual giants, but it just doesn’t work that way.

To understand and grow from the Bible, you have to read it. And reading the Bible is easier than you think. If you read it for 15 minutes every day, you’ll read through it once in a year. If you replace one 30-minute television program a day with Bible reading, you’ll read through the Bible twice a year.

Think about what you spend your time reading every day—a favorite blogger, the morning newspaper, or your social media feed. Do you believe everything you read in those places? What about what you read in the Bible? Many people say, “I believe the Bible from cover to cover.” And I want to respond, “Have you read it from cover to cover?”

If you don’t have a regular Bible reading habit, start today. Take one of those sources that isn’t completely reliable and replace it with the Word of God. Remember what the book of Revelation says: “Happy is the one who reads this book” (Revelation 1:3 GNT).

Talk It Over

  • What media do you consume every day? Which of those sources is completely reliable?
  • List specific ways you’re shaped by the media you read or watch every day. Make another list of the ways reading the Bible daily might shape you.
  • Think about that list of media you consume daily. In the next week, which one media source could you replace with Bible reading? For example, if you spend 10 minutes every evening scrolling through Twitter, you could spend those 10 minutes in God’s Word instead.

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.