- I don’t know where to start!
- I don’t understand!
- The Bible is boring!
- How can something written 2000 years ago relate to my life?
If you can relate to some or all of these statements — then I thank God that you’re here! I am writing this article with you in mind.
I’m no authority on the Bible, but I am passionate about reading the Word and I’ve come to know that it’s anything but ordinary. By sharing a few things I’ve learnt over the years, maybe we can better figure this out together.
RELATIONSHIP BRINGS REVELATION
Search rigorously for the truth, but don’t make a god out of extracting wisdom and knowledge from the Bible. It takes meekness to submit to God who is watching over us — teaching us as we read His Word.
Incomprehension should lead to more earnest searching. But there are also spaces in the Bible where incomprehension reflects the beautiful mystery of God’s design. It takes humility to see that. It may sound like a cop-out, but I’ve learnt that there are things I don’t have to understand.
Quality time is one of God’s love languages. When you’re together with someone, you may not always learn something new about that person every time you hang out. But each time you do hang out, it strengthens the bond you share.
It’s the same with God. There will be days where you just don’t seem to get anything out of reading the Bible, but don’t lose hope: As long as you’re intentional about spending time with God, the relationship will deepen.
KNOWING ABOUT GOD ≠ KNOWING GOD
It’s not the same. Being able to teach in a Bible school is not the same as being a friend of God. Having said that, in order for one to know God — one has to know about Him.
What we need is to strike a balance. Think of a superstar: You can know his hobbies, address, favourite foods — but you will never truly know that person until you are physically present with him, hanging out and getting to know him personally.
But God isn’t far away like a superstar. No, He’s much closer than many of us know (Psalm 34:18).
If all we get from Bible-reading is mere information about God — all while never truly being intentional about enjoying the relationship — then all we’re getting is head knowledge. God wants so much more for us than that! He wants both head and heart knowledge, and to deepen our relationships with Him.
REAL AND RELEVANT
To me, the Bible is real and relevant. Though it was written 2000 years ago, we still have the privilege to draw life-giving truths from the timeless Word about God, ourselves and the world today!
When you read the Bible, think of what the passage says about these kinds of things:
- Who God is — His nature and Character
- The Israelites
- The Jews
- Humankind in general
- The world, society and culture
Ask the right questions, and God’s revelation will show you the right way to live. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
We renew our minds when we take in the Word. So when you learn a spiritual principle from the Bible — apply it in your daily living. If we do, then our scripture reading is a catalyst for transformation in our hearts — and we’ll know this transformation by our fruits (Galatians 5:22-23).
The Bible is relevant. The question is whether we choose to make it relevant to our lives.