I served as a youth pastor for many years. One of my former students wrote an article titled, “I Don’t Enjoy Reading the Bible.” He was hoping to encourage people who feel defeated over not getting around to their devotional time. Here is my response to his comments. I thought my comments could not only be helpful to him but to some other people who may be struggling as well.
How about we adopt this slogan: THE BIBLE IS VITAL! As your former youth pastor, let me take a few hundred words to plead with you and to explain how God’s Word goes far beyond your entertainment and is far more valuable than a trivial road map.
There is a lot of confusion about the role of the Bible in church these days. Not only is the Bible important, but I am passionate about the Bible being central to the spiritual life of a growing believer. The Bible is vital!
Throughout history, those who have had the greatest impact on the church have been the men who were not confused about how people’s lives were changed. A truly great man of God recognizes right away that all the answers that people need are contained within the pages of God’s written Word. They realize that their job is not to offer their best advice, but to draw others to God’s life-changing Word.
In Jeremiah 23:29 the Lord asks, “Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” It’s so much more than a nice story or a roadmap. The main role of the Bible is to be a hammer that trashes secular thinking in order to draw us to ultimate satisfaction in Jesus. The Bible is remarkable! God’s Word is like fire!
You can never know or be fully satisfied in Christ if you never read the words that He left behind for us. I’ve never met someone who was able to grow in their love for Jesus outside of the diligent study of His Word. In fact, I have often found that Bible-ignoring-people attribute many things to Jesus that are fictitious. In essence, they will make up a Jesus in their own minds and then worship their own personal Jesus instead of the Jesus that is revealed in scripture.
It is vital that a growing disciple regularly opens the Bible and talks openly about the Bible with their family and friends. Disciples/servants/“slaves” of Jesus are called to actively and intentionally build a Christ-centered community that is not just based on the Word of God but is saturated with the Word of God.
John 17:17 says “your Word is Truth.” The Bible does not only claim to be true, but it claims to be the final source of truth by which all other truth is measured. Every growing believer finds great satisfaction in being immersed in Truth – especially considering that they are usually surrounded by a culture that thrives on lies and deception and selfishness.
Hebrews 6:18 says, “it is impossible for God to lie.” That verse means that truth is simply what God says. We have what God says here in the Bible! 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
The truthfulness of everything else is measured by the ultimate source of truth, the Bible. It was never intended to be a starting point that we move on from. There is no higher discipline than the study of God’s Word.
- Christianity’s not a spiritual elementary school that you’ll graduate out of some day.
- A Christian never needs to seek deeper, more spiritual things found anywhere else. The Bible is enough!
- We don’t move on from scripture to other things like science or philosophy or metaphysics or eastern mysticism.
Science, philosophy and other belief systems are all subject to the Truth we find in God’s Word. If they don’t line up, then they are not in line with Truth. Nothing supersedes the Bible. Everything submits to it. Doesn’t everyone want more truth in their lives? For these reasons alone, someone might want to grab a cup of coffee and joyfully read the Word in the morning.
- It is vital to sit under Biblical teaching.
- It is vital to be a student of the Word and diligent in prayer.
It’s the joyful privilege of all those who call themselves God’s people.
We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10)
I would plead with you to encourage your friends and family to love the Bible and to fall more in love with Jesus as He is revealed in the Bible and to read it diligently.