Ever feel like you’re getting way too comfortable when it comes to Jesus? Like maybe you’re on autopilot, and faith is the ultimate easy button?
This week, we continue our series on reasons to read the Bible with another key reason: it helps us step it up when it comes to our faith and what it means to be a follower of Christ.
Sometimes it’s hard being a Christian, but sometimes it’s easy. The sermons we hear make us feel good about our faith, and the Christian songs we listen to are a balm, protecting us against the wild world outside our bubble.
But part of discipleship—learning to be a better follower of Jesus—is confronting the hard truths in life, too. Perhaps there’s something “good” we’re putting first instead of God, such as our kids or our spouse. Perhaps in our fervor to resist culture we’ve stopped seeking opportunities to love our enemies.
Reading the Bible helps hold us accountable. Through God’s word, the Holy Spirit shines light into areas in our life that God needs us to see. It stops us from getting too comfortable and helps us live more sacrificially.
Jesus told us to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26 NIV).
And we know Jesus read the Bible. He used it to counter the devil during His temptation in the wilderness and to teach the people in the temple with power and insight. If we are to strive to be like Jesus and follow Him, to lose our life for Him, we should know God’s word, too.
The Bible isn’t for sissies. It can be hard. The truths can be painful. What we read can challenge us.
As we’re told in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Romans 12:11 urges, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
And Proverbs 28:9 reminds us, “If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.”
We must grow every day for the Lord. We are His, and we must constantly deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him.
Reading the Bible helps us do that better.
Join us next week as we take a look at the next reason: to give us a lesson from the past.(If you missed any of our previous blogs on reasons for reading the Bible, you can click on these links to find them: The Bible points us toward the truth, it strengthens our relationship with God, it helps us grow in our faith, it offers hope in dark times, and it helps us learn to live in the now.)