How well do you know God? How do we get to know God? There is one place for us to find these things: The Bible. As a pastor, I presume to tell people what God says and wants. How do we know what is true? The Bereans in Acts searched the scriptures daily to see whether the things Paul said were true. If they had to check Paul, it is reasonable to assume that I and other pastors must be checked as well.
Today, we have some of the greatest access to the Word of God in the history of the world. We often have more than one Bible per person. We also have digital ways in which we can read, listen-to and search the Bible with the touch of a finger. Reading the Bible is one of the main ways in which God speaks to us today. When we pray, have we listened to God’s side of the conversation? If we have a friendship in which only one party speaks, is that really communication or a friendship? How do we know what God says if we don’t listen to Him. How do we get to know God?
As we read the Bible, we see how God deals with His people (as well as their opponents) throughout History. It gives us an understanding of what makes God angry and what pleases Him.
Many times we have the question of what to do next. I have often heard the statement that “I can’t find anything in the Bible to tell me what to do in this situation.” Often the Bible speaks to our situation, not in commands, but through the lives of our fellow believers through History. As we read through the Bible, we get to know the believers who have gone before. We learn that they struggle with sins similar to ours; that we are not alone in our trials. We learn how God brought them through those things and gain confidence in our own experiences.
Perhaps one of the reasons that we don’t read the Bible is that it seems difficult. Certainly there are difficult passages to read (geneologies, etc.). I would not recommend starting with those. I would recommend starting at the beginning (OT or NT) and working forward from there. Just read a chapter a day and you will have read the entire Bible in about three years. Make it a habit to read after meals and at three chapters a day, you will have read the Bible in about a year! As Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Rev. James Grossman