"If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
"If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)
Is it really that important for Christians to read the Bible? Should not Christians be focused more on behaving in a Christ-like manner rather than on reading the Bible from cover-to-cover? It's true that reading the Bible doesn't automatically make you a "good Christian". Your conduct and your faith are certainly more important than your ability to boast about how much of the Bible you have read. There are, however, many benefits that reading the Bible could bring to your life.
Here are four solid reasons why every Christian should strive to make the time to read the Bible:
1) For Spiritual Encouragement
The Bible is brimming with verses and quotes that can provide you with spiritual encouragement in times of need. Scripture is there to give us hope and to help us grow our spiritual lives. In Romans 15:4 Paul himself seeks to convey this message to the readers of the Bible when he says that:
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope."
2) For a Greater Understanding of Your Faith
As was mentioned above, there is more to being a Christian than reading scripture. However, Christianity is a scripturally-based religion, and what we know about God and Christ comes to us from the Bible. The only way to come to a full and complete understanding of your faith is to read the Bible for yourself. You will never know what Christianity truly means for you if you only ever listen to someone else's interpretation of it.
3) To Find Direction in Life
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
Reading the Bible can help you find meaning and purpose in life. It can show you that God has a plan for the world and for every living creature in it, including yourself. The Bible may only narrate that plan through certain points in history, but it assures the reader that God's plan is still unfolding around us today.
4) To Build a Stronger Relationship with God
The Bible is the Word of God, so what better way to build a relationship with him than to listen to what he wants to tell you? Scripture gives you an insight into who God is and what He asks from you. It can provide you with the motivation to pray and to keep God in your thoughts as you go along your day.
Scripture might not be the be-all and end-all of being a good Christian, but it can provide you with the necessary tools to deepen your faith and the inspiration to act in a more Christ-like way. Approach scripture in an honest attempt to grow as a person, and the power of God's Word will exceed your every expectation.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.