What’s the longest book (or book series) you’ve ever read? Did you read through all the Harry Potter books, Lord of the Rings, or Chronicles of Narnia? Have you ever tackled a Russian classic – maybe even War and Peace? As I sit in my office this morning, I’m struck by how many books on these shelves I’ve read – and these are just a sampling of my favorites. Many of these books are quite long, yet I loved reading them all.
So, what holds us back from reading the Bible? It’s no longer than these other books. The Harry Potter series adds up to almost 1.1 million words. The Lord of the Rings, plus The Hobbit, comes in at 550,000. The Twilight series is almost 600,000. War and Peace alone is 561,000 words.
How many of these have you read and not thought twice about the length? Well, the Bible ranks in at 727,000 words – somewhere between Twilight and Harry Potter in length.
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Why do we so often hesitate to pick up the Bible and read it?
The length was often a stumbling block for me, maybe most of all because the words can be hard to read – especially in some older translations. The Bible felt unapproachable; that is until I actually opened it and started reading.
We’ve been talking about the 3 keys to a better change that Peter learned by following Jesus. Knowing Jesus is one of those. Peter lived and walked with Jesus while he was here on earth, so Peter knew Jesus intimately. We may not have that same opportunity to walk beside the living Jesus, but we can get to know Jesus in a real and personal way through scripture.
Reading and studying the Bible is a critical component to A Better Change.
We saw how Jesus was able to heal Peter’s mother-in-law because he was there in the house. Peter KNEW Jesus; in fact, he knew him so well he invited him over for dinner. What if we also knew Jesus so well that he was a regular house guest? So well that Jesus was right by your side when you need him the most?
Getting to know scripture is one way we develop that relationship.
- Walk beside Jesus through the Gospels.
- Learn the mighty power of God throughout the Bible.
- See how the Holy Spirit provides counsel and equipping through Acts and the growth of the early church throughout the New Testament.
The more I read the Bible, the more my relationship with God deepens. Like peeling back the layers of an onion, a little more is revealed to me each time I read a passage. When those dots started to connect for me and I began to see how the books relate and how God’s story is woven throughout all the pages, I realized this was indeed a book I had to read. And not only read, but reread and study!
[callout]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. (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)[/callout]
Whether you’re new to reading the Bible or an old pro, I encourage you to open those pages and keep reading!
Getting on a first-name basis with God and committing His story to your heart is the first step toward A Better Change!
For some great resources and ideas to help you get started or go deeper, check out 18 Resources for Digging Into the Bible and 6 Ways To Use Technology for Bible Study.
[reminder preface=”Question: “]What describes the relationship you have with your ‘go-to’ person? How could you cultivate that same type of relationship with God so He becomes your ‘go-to’?[/reminder]
[callout]This post is part of the “A Better Change” series. For more information on this series and to find related posts, click here: A Better Change Series – Overview[/callout]
Sharing with: #GiveMeGrace, Sunday Share, Motivation Monday, Testimony Tuesday, Make a Difference Mondays
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I wonder if we’d rather pick up a novel or an easy reading book because they’re, well, so easy.
God’s Word can be hard. To understand, to apply. And those of us who’ve been around for a long time grew up with devotions as a ‘must’ rather than a compelling invitation.
Ah … to see His Word as a love letter instead of a discipline good Christians must do …
Sabbath joys, Kathryn …
Too often it does feel like a ‘must do’, a chore. Yet, there are those times when the words speak so clearly to my soul that I want and crave to read more. I long for more of that desire so reading the Bible becomes more of a ‘want to’ than a ‘must do’.
I like the length comparisons to other books/series; very interesting! 🙂 Committing His story to our hearts is definitely the path we all need to take in order to grow, love, and encourage others. It takes discipline and dedication to build a solid routine, and the reward is a deeper and more intimate relationship with our Father! ❤️
Blessings and joy Kathryn!
Definitely takes discipline and dedication, but it also should be something we WANT to do. To WANT to spend time learning about and listening to God.
I love the question at the end-what describes the relationship you have with your go-to person? I’m intentional, invest time, and am ready to listen at a moment’s notice. Great points to help me with my relationship with God, right??? Being intentional in getting to know God’s word will then deepen the relationship that I desire. I have also read your Bible study references-great list. So thrilled to be your neighbor today at Holly’s place. It was a great wake up surprise. Have a beautiful day!
while I grew up in church, we didn’t have a big focus on reading the Bible – so it’s only been recently that I’ve dug in and met God on those pages. Investing that time and being intentional pays off and the time spent together does build the relationship. Glad you liked the list, too! Nice being your neighbor this morning!
Holly Barrett says
Love your encouragement to be in the Word, Kathryn. It makes all the difference in our lives! Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!
I’ve been itching to read this post since I saw it in my inbox yesterday! I think reading God’s Word is the number one thing that has helped me grow as a Christian, yet it can be hard to develop the discipline of daily reading and study. (Maybe because we have an enemy who wants to keep us out of that book at all costs!)
I think the world throws every temptation at us to keep us out of that book – but what amazing things await when we do open its pages and let God speak to us through its words.
Well this is a great thought! I like the idea of a better change altogether and getting to know Christ through his story is powerful!