By Jimmy Witcher, Senior Pastor, Trinity Fellowship Church July 2022
What it Is
Hey there! I’m Jimmy. I’m the Senior Pastor at Trinity Fellowship Church in
West Texas and also the host of the Biblecast, where we spend 10 minutes
reading the Word of God every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
But something I haven’t had a chance to do on the Biblecast yet, is talk
about WHY we read the Bible. Something you might not guess about me is
that I was actually a science major – I have a degree in Chemistry! I’m a logic
guy, I enjoy research, and I love the scientific process. Sometimes, perhaps
when we get overly religious, asking “why” in the context of church, God, the
Bible, and other Christian practices is seen as wrong or bad. But I LOVE the
question – “why?” Asking why isn’t a lack of faith, it’s a sign of intrigue and
God is amazing, mysterious, and powerful. He is the most interesting being
in the universe! It’s fun to learn about God. Something amazing happens
when we “research” and “study” God – unlike studying Mars or
microorganisms, the more we learn about God, the more our relationship
with him grows – he’s a friend, teacher, mentor, father, coach... everything
you need! It’s a delight to learn about God, because it’s a delight to know
Experiencing this delight, often starts with curiosity – so I’m glad we’re
talking about “why” we read the Bible. There are many reasons, but I’m
going to give you three today:
1. Reading the Bible has a quantifiable impact individual’s lives.
2. Reading the Bible is how we get to know our Creator.
3. Reading the Bible is how we stay rooted in the principles of our faith.
First, reading the Bible regularly – meaning, at least four times a week –
including during a church service or small group if that’s already a part of
your spiritual practice – has real, quantifiable benefits. A study from the
Center of Bible Engagement polled 40,000 people between the ages of 8 and
80. For those that read the Bible four times a week or more:
- Experiencing loneliness dropped by 30%
- Reports of anger issues was 32% less
- Experiencing bitterness in relationships dropped by 40%
- And, the feeling of being “spiritually stagnant” dropped by a
This data is amazing! What’s even more interesting is that the researchers
discovered that those who read the Bible three times a week or less showed
almost no improvement in these areas compared to those who didn’t read
the Bible at all in a given week. I think it’s pretty incredible that we can
know, we need to read the Bible about four times a week or more to get the
most benefits in our lives.
Here's the other thing, for the four-times-or-more group, they also saw
greater breakthrough in some common areas of temptation and addiction.
This group reported struggling with alcoholism 57% less, and, regarding
sexual self-control, they reported casual sex 68% less and viewed
pornography 61% less.
Of course, it is great to see a counselor, to read helpful resources, and to
seek help from friends & family if you are looking to break a habit or get free
from an addiction. But, let me just say this, don’t discount the power of
reading the Bible! If you need freedom, encouragement, and hope – make
a commitment to reading the Bible four times a week and see what happens
over time. If it’s not something you’re already doing, it’s likely the missing
piece of the breakthrough you seek.
Okay, so second, reading the Bible is how we get to know God. As a pastor,
I’ve spoken to many Christians for whom the living, triune nature of God is a
frustrating mystery. And I get it! God definitely does not fit into a box that’s
easy to understand. But he gave us the Bible as a tool to get to know him.
Reading the Bible is not a passive experience. For example, when we read a
textbook, we are seeking to understand a concept to the point of putting it
into practice. Maybe it’s understanding biology to one day become a doctor.
Textbooks can be mastered – eventually you know the information so well
and use it on such a regular basis that you no longer need the textbook. You
probably don’t need to reference your 2nd grade reading primer anymore.
This isn’t how the Bible works. In Scripture we learn that the Bible is a living
Word. We can never “master” the Bible – we will never not need it, no matter
how spiritually mature we may become. What does this mean in practice?
It means that God uses the Bible to reveal his character to us, to allow us to
get to know him, and to demonstrate his love for us. Because he is a living
being, so is the Bible. This is why reading the Bible is a vital part of your daily
spiritual exercise. There’s something new waiting for you every single day
that was not there the day before! Now, the text itself, of course, is the
same. But the experiences and perspective you bring to it and what God
reveals to you through it will change – don’t miss out on what is waiting to be
Make The Change
Finally, at least for this list, we read the Bible to stay rooted in the principles
of our faith. There’s a lot we could talk about here about culture and Biblical
interpretation and other Abrahamic religions, but let me just keep it plain
and simple... it’s impossible to live out the principles of the Bible without
knowing what they are. Hearing the Bible preached is one way you can learn
to live the Christian life, but it’s important for you to do some of this
discovery on your own as well!
The Bible is there to help course correct you to live the way God calls us to
live! It’s not about following a strict set of rules for the sake of following
rules, but rather submitting to HIS way over OUR way. That’s our ticket to
the BEST life possible – to feeling purposeful and passionate and giving us
the ability to fulfill our destiny and change the world!
You can do this!
The Biblecast is great way to get started. But I want you to be able to do this
on your own as well! I created a free resource you can download today that
has everything you need to get started. Download it today and unlock this
critical part of your spiritual health practice.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments we would love to answer them!