How to Read the Bible: Come HungryPosted: January 14, 2010
Continuing a series of posts on how how to approach Bible reading. Be sure to check out Part 1 also.
2. Your Bible reading is not for God’s benefit or appeasement.
Undoubtedly, this has already happened. You set your appointment with Jesus to read the Scriptures, only to hit the snooze button one too many times. Now, you must hustle just to make it to work on time, get the kids dropped off, etc. You resolve to make it up the next day or on the next Grace Day, but that rolls around and the same thing happens.
At some point, the guilt of missing so many days becomes so great that in obligation, you begrudgingly sit down, open your Bible and begin to plow through the missed reading while you daydream about getting a root canal…which oddly enough, seems more appealing at the time.
No wonder we often give up trying to read the Bible! If we think we owe it to God to read the Bible, then we are approaching the Bible all wrong. If we think we earn some more of God’s good graces by keeping a consistent quiet time and subsequently receive His wrath for missing quiet times, we’re missing the point.
The Bible is given to us as a meal to feast on, not a project to complete before Judgment Day. You and I live under grace…grace given to us by Jesus and Him alone, not by our quiet times and holy living. Missing a quiet time could never compromise God’s love and grace for you just the same as having a super extended quiet time cannot earn you more merit in God’s kingdom. Our hope is Jesus, not ourselves. Our confidence is in His finished work, not our work still progress.
When you miss a meal you get hungry. But you don’t stop eating. You long for a meal and when it comes, you are grateful and you chow down with great delight. Approach the Bible the same way. If you miss a meal, don’t stop. Approach the Bible hungry to see the glory, grace, and gifts of God in every text and on every page.
As one writer has said:
“In the same way that skipping breakfast is more of a missed opportunity than a morally dubious choice; not going to the scriptures for nourishment is not a matter of calling down the anger of God, but of omitting to take advantage of his good gifts to his children.”
It’s not for God’s benefit that we read the Scriptures. By His grace, it’s for our benefit and delight. Come hungry!