Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why I Read the Bible (Every Day)

I remember back when I was in high school and I was a brand new Christian, excited to read my Bible all the time. Well that didn't last long. I remember my first couple years in college when I played more video games than I did studying for class. I remember when I graduated from college with two degrees in biology and sociology. I was proud of my accomplishments, but I was still unsatisfied because I hadn't been reading God's Word consistently.

I remember when I met a girl named Jen and eventually married her. I woke up this morning next to her, remembering back many years ago when I was anticipating this married life. Now, I think forward to when we have kids, when they grow up, and when we send them off into the world to fend for themselves. Life is short and it will be gone before we realize it.

Everyone wants to be prepared before doing something important. You don't want to go sky diving without a parachute, go take a test without studying, or go to a job interview without looking presentable. Right?

Well, I wanted to go into my marriage being prepared. I want to go into fatherhood being prepared. I want to be prepared for the rest of my life. How is a Christian instructed to prepare oneself? By reading the Bible. And when I say "reading the Bible," I don't mean reading it like any other book out there. It also includes studying, praying, meditating, memorizing, and applying God's words to one's life. In my life, I am certainly still working on all of these. It will take a lifetime to master. But my lifetime already has 25 years past. That's a lot of catching up to do.

I know that God's standard for being a good husband and father is not what the culture says. God tells me to wash my wife with God's Word and to teach and train my children in the instruction of the Lord. How can I do that if I don't read my Bible? I want to be able to answer any question my wife has, or any question my kids ask me about life. If I want my wife to mature and my kids to grow up loving Jesus, reading their Bibles, and pleasing the Lord, then I must be a good example for them.

After reading very slowly for the past year and a half, I just finished the New Testament. Yep, I'm a slow reader, but it has been wonderful! I absolutely love reading this book. In Revelation, John talks a lot about how Jesus will come again like a thief: when we are not expecting him to. I don't want to have to honestly tell Jesus, "Hi Jesus. I know you were betrayed, beaten, and suffered and died for me . . . and I was trying really hard to do what you instructed me to, but I just get really tired in the morning. I really need that extra 30 minutes to sleep, so I just kept hitting the snooze." I mean, can you imagine that? Talk about pathetic.

And for my last point. I often think to myself, How can I honestly call myself a Christian if I haven't even read the whole Bible? The majority of all of my beliefs have been based on what other people tell me about the Bible. I want to be personally responsible and knowledgeable about what I believe in. I don't want to misrepresent Jesus' name. I find it very refreshing to open it up and allow God's words to go straight from Him to me.

So that's why I read it every morning. I enjoy it while I eat my breakfast. Yum. I like to eat it up. It strengthens me.

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