In his book, “God in My Corner,” former heavyweight boxing champion, George Foreman, shares this personal story about the Bible.
“In 1974, before I went to Africa to fight Muhammad Ali, a friend gave me a Bible to take along on my trip. He said, “George, keep this with you for good luck.”
“I believed the Bible was just a shepherd’s handbook, probably because the only verse I knew was “the Lord is my shepherd.” But I was always looking for luck, so I carried that Bible with me. I had lucky pennies and good luck charms, so now I added the “lucky” Bible to my collection of superstitious items.”
“After I lost the fight, I threw the Bible away. I never even opened it. I thought, The Bible didn’t help me win, so why do I need it? I thought I’d get power simply from owning it; I didn’t realize that I needed to read it and believe what it says. Since then, I’ve come to understand that the Bible is my road map, not my good luck charm.”
People sure do have some interesting views regarding the Bible! I’m reminded of the little girl who said, “I know everything that’s in the Bible. Let’s see . . . there’s a lock of hair, some dried flowers, a picture of grandma….. ” Some people use the Bible as a place to store mementoes!
Too often people merely give lip service to their allegiance to the Bible. Charles Spurgeon put it this way: “I can find ten men who will die for the Bible for every one who will read it!”
Of course, Bible reading is problematic for many. Like Mark Twain once quipped, “Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.”
Many people begin the new year with a goal to read the Bible. This a worthy objective. However, reading the Bible should be more than just doing our Bible reading. Much more!
Bible reading connects us to God. You cannot get close to God without getting into the Word of God. The Bible tells us who God is. It describes his character, nature and personality. The Bible reveals the Will of God. And His eternal purpose for the human race. Read Genesis, the Psalms and the Prophets. They will connect you to the God of the Bible.
Bible reading reveals who Jesus is. A quick Amazon search of “Jesus” informs me that there 240,842 books about Jesus! Actually, I’m surprised there are not more! However, there is only one book, that really reveals the truth about Jesus. The prophetic affirmations about His coming to earth. His virgin birth. His Deity. His life. His teaching. And his death, burial and resurrection to the Father. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John will reveal who Jesus is!
Bible reading give us understanding, insight and purpose in life. It tells who we are. Where we came from. And why we are here. It opens us to us the mind of God in a special way. Paul expressed it like this:
“…the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. (Ephesians 3:3-5)
Bible reading will profit you spiritually. Consider just a few of the benefits God’s Word offers.
It keeps us from sinning (Ps. 119:11)
It gives us hope (Ps 119:114)
It purifies the soul (1 Peter 1:22)
It perfects God love within us (I john 2:5)
It strengthens us spiritually ( Ps. 119:28)
It revives the soul ( Ps 119:154)
It comforts the heart (Ps 119:50)
It alters attitudes (Eph. 4:23)
Purposeful, introspective Bible reading will empower you spiritually to make better choices. Exercise spiritual wisdom. Sharpen your spiritual focus. And satisfy your spiritual appetite.
Begin reading your Bible today!
–Ken Weliever, The Preaching!