I love good bible teaching.
One of the things I enjoy most is picking a sermon on YouTube while I’m nursing my sweet babe, or turning one on while I am cooking dinner. Paul Washer’s sermon on Psalm 1 is one of my favorites.
There are so many pastors and teachers that I love to read and listen to. Pollard, Sproul, Washer, Spurgeon, Baucham, Lawson, Ryle, my pastor, my husband, and too many others to count. You can learn so much from a solid bible teacher. I’ve learned a lot from each of those men (and more). God has given them the amazing gifts of wisdom and teaching. To say they are far more knowledgeable than myself is an understatement.
But how do you know that the man you are listening to and learning from is a solid teacher and handles the Scriptures correctly?
You know this by what the Bible says, and you know what the Bible says by reading and studying it for yourself.
We should be comparing anything that anyone, including our favorite teacher, says to Scripture. It is our ultimate authority. If we blindly follow what others tell us that the Bible says, then we will eventually find ourselves falling for false teachings.
Reading the Bible for ourselves allows us to know what it says, learn what it means, and absorb God’s truth. So when a teacher is talking about a particular passage, we are able to discern whether he is twisting those verses to inject his own ideas, or if he is expounding on the text correctly and rightly handling God’s Word. We don’t come up with our own ideas or twist scripture to make it fit our opinions, and we definitely don’t agree with someone just because we like their personality.
“It’s too difficult to understand.”- I get that, truly. I struggle with that feeling myself at times. However, true wisdom and understanding come from the Lord. If you find yourself struggling with understanding, pray for it. He is faithful to give it, but it comes in His timing, so be patient and don’t stop reading. You can also take comfort in the fact that no one will ever fully understand and uncover all the gold within Scripture. There are some things that won’t be revealed to us until He does. But we should be constantly growing in our knowledge. Spiritual growth is a sure sign of a follower of Christ, and Scripture alone is sufficient to teach us and help us grow.
As a mother of nine children, one of whom is an infant that doesn’t sleep through the night yet, I know full well how easy it is to skip reading the Bible everyday. I am well-versed in all the excuses that we, as moms, have. I’ve used them all myself a time or two…or ten. “The baby was up all night so I couldn’t get up early.” “My kids are too distracting and interrupt me every time I sit down to read.” “There was too much housework to do today.” Etc, Etc. Its so easy to let excuses get in the way and think that we’re fine with just the Sunday sermon, when that simply isn’t the case.
It also comes down to priorities. Is the Word of God a priority in your life? Do you really not have time or are you just putting other activities before reading the Bible?
Can’t get up early? The morning, before everyone is awake, isn’t the only time you are allowed to read your bible. Kids are interrupting? Just answer their question and go back to reading. You’re setting a good example for your children by reading the bible in front of them. Too much to do today? Martin Luther famously said, “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business, I cannot go without spending three hours daily in prayer.”
Christians love God’s Word and desire to be in His Word, so the sermon on Sunday at church should never be enough to satisfy your thirst for God’s Word. We are called to grow in our faith, be mature in the Word, and feast on it. That can only happen by reading your Bible consistently.
Charles Spurgeon once said of John Bunyan, “If you cut him, he’d bleed scripture.” What a beautiful description. I would love for someone to use that phrase to describe me one day. How glorifying to God would it be if that could be said about all Christians!
Read your Bible to glorify, honor, love, enjoy, and worship God…because your life truly depends on it. Challies wrote “But I would venture to say that the Christian life is so dependent upon scripture that a person who has no regard for the Bible and who shows little interest in it would have good reason to seriously consider his salvation.”
If you desire to dive into reading the Bible for yourself, but don’t know where to start, I encourage you to pick a bible reading plan. There are so many good ones out there. I am personally using this one.
Or just open your bible and start reading whatever page you see first. Don’t be afraid to dive in. God loves when his people are in His Word, and His Word never returns void.
So from one mama to another, “Read your Bible.” I’ll be reading mine too!