Ok, we know how weird it is to try to give you reasons to read the Bible… that are actually in the Bible. That’s why we created this plan; an opportunity to honestly look at what the Bible says and wonder why it says it.
That’s the introduction given on YouVersion by the publishers of this Bible reading plan, and I could kind of sense the question while we were nearing the end of our last series Battlefield of the Mind. You would think that the answers to the question about why we should read the Bible would be obvious. However, let me give you some pretty startling statistics from the Christian world today. I found these statistics on LifeWay’s Website.
- When asked: “About how often do you read the Bible either by yourself or together with family members as part of a private activity.?”
- The Bible Society undertook some research that displayed only 21% of the more than 2,000 church attending participants read their Bible daily.
- The remaining 57% saying they either read the Bible occasionally or hardly ever.
- Now similar studies recently conducted in the United States stated that only 12%.
So, when you look at those numbers it’s no surprise that when you have other number like:
- 52% Of U.S. Christians Believe Jesus Is Not The Only WayTo Heaven.
- 44 percent of Americans believe homosexuality is a sin.
- Meanwhile, 43 percent believe it is not,
- 13 percent are not sure.
- 34% of born again Christians‘ believe good works will get you into heaven.
- 52% of born again Christians’ believe in Satan.
- 74% believe in the resurrection.
- 14% disagree
- 11% aren’t sure what they believe about the resurrection.
- 77% believe in the divine healing power of prayer.
I could get many more statistic by simply writing some of the basic Christian beliefs and Google for percentages of Christians who believe in them. You may want to do that yourself to find out some more stats, but I think you get the point I’m trying to make…and this is just the introduction to my message today.
So, with numbers like these it is a good idea to actually take the time to do a month-long study on why it is important to read our Bibles, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
Let’s look at our scripture for today again shall we? “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16.
Here’s another good statistic for you. As recently as 2009, it’s stated that Americans spent $11 billion dollars on self-help books. I love that the first thing that Paul writes about the Bible here to Timothy is that it is profitable…and then he lists for things the Bible is profitable for.
- It’s profitable for doctrine. That speaks a lot right there. There are several websites out there to help pastors find ready-made sermons. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read on Facebook or Twitter about some pastor wanting to use so-and-so’s new book for their sermon. Why? Since when has it become no longer profitable for doctrine to “preach the Word” 2 Timothy 4:2? As promised, this ministry will always look to the Bible as it’s sole inspiration and illustration for our messages. We may borrow the reading plans and use the quotes in the reading plans that we get from YouVerison’s Website, but I promise you the rest is ours. And we will always seek to use Scripture to back up our points, and we will also always urge you to read the scriptures for yourselves.
- It’s profitable for reproof. What is “reproof”? It’s actually another word for reprimand, rebuke, or reproach. When you make a mistake at work sometimes you’re boss will write a letter of reprimand. It’s simply letting you know that what you did or said wasn’t cool. So, the Bible is good for reprimanding us when we do things that aren’t cool in the sight of God…like not read the Bible.
- It’s profitable for correction. The Bible is full of ways and practical teaching that helps us to correct the things in our lives that are contrary to what God wants in them. It’s also full of warnings about partaking in things that will harm our relationship with God, others, and ourselves.
- It’s profitable for instruction to righteousness. This is the best book in the world to teach us how to live our lives in a way that’s pleasing and acceptable to God. It’s a text-book for future ministers of the Gospel like me. It’s an instruction manual for how to live life walking with God.
The Bible is the best self-help book on the market, and it’s definitely profitable because you only need to buy one of them. Unless you’re like me, and you like to have several different translations so that you can better understand what you’re reading sometimes.
So, it’s a practical way to save money. I wonder how many people could’ve had the opportunity to have the Gospel preached to them had Americans saved that $11 billion dollars they spent on self-help books. Think of all the pastors out there doing missions work how much $11,000,000,000.00 would help them get the Gospel and make disciples of many nations who have yet to even hear the name of Jesus preached in their native tongues.
I believe that this is going to be an awesome series we’re getting into here, and I’m looking forward to taking a day by day approach to answering the question: “Why Read The Bible.”
Interactive Study Questions:
This is the first time that we’re introducing “Interactive Study Questions”. Do you know what that means? I would like to know from those of you who are following along what YOU are getting out of this study. Interactive means that this is an audience participation kind of series. I want you to take these questions, write them down, and seriously take the time to answer them for yourselves. I don’t want all of our messages to us writing and you reading. I want them to encourage you to become active participants in these messages. I’m going to be posting these questions as an introduction on Facebook, and I would love to see you guys answer these questions in the comments section.
- What is the power that Scripture has in our lives?
- If all scripture is inspired by God, what should our responsibility to it be?
That’s it. Just two questions. Can you handle it?
Conclusion & Prayer:
So, there you have it. Our first message in this series has just been completed. I believe the Lord has a lot to say to us about the importance of being in His Word, and it has to do with the fact that we are most definitely living in the perilous times that Paul described to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. We simply have to have more than 12% of Christians reading the Bible every day. It’s no wonder that the church is losing the battles of spiritual warfare, and the decline of morality even in the church reaches a depth that’s clearly offensive to God. I said it a few times in the last series that the church needs to stop being so worried about offending the world, and more concerned about offending God.
This ministry is more concerned about offending God. If you were hoping to find a seeker friendly ministry that doesn’t care what God thinks or about the Word of God then we’re not the ministry for you. We want to always be accountable to the Word of God, and have it be the sole foundation for what we say, believe, write, and do.
Heavenly Father, we come before You to say that we are listening Lord God. We hear You saying to us “comeback to My Word”. I would ask, Father God, that You would burn a fire in us for Your Word, Lord God, that no water can put out, and a hunger and passion for Your Word that only reading, studying, and hearing Your Word would satisfy. Help us, God, to not grow weary. Help us Lord God to be strong in Your might, and the power of You. Help us to be diligent and committed to Your Word. Teach us, Father, things about You and Your Word that we haven’t known or thought of before. Reveal Yourself to us through Your Word in a way that You’ve never reveled Yourself to us before. Give us a desire for Your Word that we have never had before. Lord God, we love You, we honor You and Your Word, and we praise You for all that You are going to accomplish in us and through us through this study, and through getting more firmly rooted, grounded, and established in Your Word. We ask this of You in the name of Jesus…Amen & Amen.
Friends, this is going to be an exciting series to be a part of. If you have yet to join us on Facebook please visit us at: www.Facebook.com/ChristlikeMinistriesARK. If you haven’t become a part of our WordPress page please visit us at www.christlikeministriesnwa.wordpress.com. Scroll down till you see on the right hand side of the page the little follow button. If you do that, every time we post a new message you’ll get an email.
Finally, I want you to know I love you, and value all of you who follow us how ever you follow. We’re on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, LinkedIn, and we even have a nice profile page on Yahoo, I’m in the process of working on one on Google, MSN, and one of these days we’re going to have a real website where all of our links will be listed.
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.” (1 Corinthians 16:23-24)
Blessing & Grace to you
Bryan J. Kizer