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On Bible Reading


This weekend I finished my five week series titled Living with Resolve with a discussion of how to identify the promises of God that are available to us today. As a part of that message, I spent several minutes describe how best to read the Bible.

While the Bible possesses a lot of great information, it’s best not to read the Bible with the goal of gaining information. I am genuinely thankful for those who know their Bibles “inside and out,” who can share a plethora of facts, dates, and statistics. Bible knowledge is good, but the problem is that knowledge creates pride (1 Corinthians 8:1). Knowledge for the sake of knowledge creates arrogance. And, more times than not, emptiness.

I also have come to the position that it’s best not to read the Bible with the goad of gaining inspiration. On the day of my ordination in 1985, the Chairman of Deacons of the ordaining congregation was charged with the duty of presenting me a Bible. As he held up the black, leather bound, King James Version Scofield Reference Bible, he said, “This is God’s inspiring Word…” I think he meant to say “inspired,” but “inspiring” was an apropos misfire. Is the Bible inspiring? Sure. The Bible is inspiring, but if the only time you read it is for a nugget that will get you through your present crisis, you really have become nothing more than a moral version of an alcoholic or drug addict, looking for a fix to get you through your day.

The purpose of the Bible is to reveal God to us. When you read the Bible, look for God. Of course you’ll gain some wonderful information, and you’ll certainly be inspired on occasion. But neither one of those outcomes should be the goal of your reading. Read the Bible to know God.

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