The Right Purpose, Attitude, And Objective For Bible Reading

People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4, NLT).

There are wrong reasons to read the Bible, including to prove a point or to debunk. I believe in yearly Bible reading programs, but do we read to accomplish a task instead of hearing the Spirit?

When we read in Scripture depictions of burning bushes, fish that swallow prophets, the lame healed, the multitudes fed, and the dead raised, do we realize that the same God is speaking to us today in the Bible?

The ultimate purpose of Scripture is to know God, hear His word, and experience His presence.

The Bible is doctrinal, but to get stuck on peculiarities of belief without experiencing God produces legalists like the ancient Pharisees. Bible teachers today do place an emphasis on the historical context of Old Testament prophets, Jesus in the Gospels, and the writers of the rest of the New Testament – which is good, as knowing the history of the books of the Bible helps our understanding.

But do we get lost in the context without realizing the application for our lives today? I would rather have a present history with God than the ancient history of what God did and said to others.

Also, there is the Progressive approach to the Bible that suspects anything in Scripture that offends their modern and often misguided understanding of love. They challenge the Bible by pointing out cruelty in the Old Testament and (in their opinion) hurtful comments in the New Testament about women and those of differing sexual orientations.

Agreed, history and context are important. Agreed, God’s love may be hard to understand in application to our lives and trends in culture. But those who approach the Bible through faith that God exists will find both understanding and comfort from His personal love for us.

The right attitude for reading the Bible is faith.

It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

Ask these questions after reading the following verses. Place doubts on hold, don’t read quickly, and don’t think, “Hey, this verse proves that person wrong.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 … 

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Now ask … 

God, will you speak to me now through these verses?

God, what do you want me to do?

The ultimate purpose of the Bible is to know God, the right attitude in reading scripture is faith, and the right objective is obedience.

Be humble and patient when reading the Bible. God desires to talk to us, often more than we want to listen to Him.

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