“Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book. . . Recent estimates put the number at more than 5 billion.” –The Guinness Book of World Records
Most of us own at least one Bible, and many of us own two or three. We have given Bibles as gifts to children, graduates, and newlyweds. But how much of the Bible have we read? How much of God’s Word do we know?
One of the spokes on the wheel of Christian growth advocated by the Navigators, an international, interdenominational Christian ministry, is the Bible. So, what makes it so important?
One reason the Bible is so important is its author. Thirty five different writers, some educated, some uneducated, penned the 66 books of the Bible over a period of 1500 years. Among them were an adopted prince, several kings, a few fishermen, some public officials, a farmer or two, a couple teachers and at least one doctor.
Despite the varied backgrounds of all these writers, the Bible presents a unified message with a common theme woven throughout. How do we explain 35 different people writing in absolute harmony? In 2 Timothy 3:16 we find the answer: “All Scripture is inspired by God.” The true author of each of the 66 books of the Bible is God; therefore it makes sense that they are unified.
If the Bible is not inspired by God, then it is merely the writings of men. If we do not believe that the Bible is God’s Word, then we are saying that what it teaches may or may not be true, and we have no basis for our faith. But the Scriptures ARE inspired by God and ARE true.
Not only was the Holy Spirit needed in penning the Bible, He is needed in order for us to understand it. (1 Corinthians 2:10-16) He knows the mind of God and can explain it to us. John Wesley recommended we begin Bible reading and study by praying that the Spirit will teach and guide us to a better understanding of God’s Holy Word and end our time in it by praying that the Spirit will help us follow God’s command in James 1:22, “Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to [God’s] word; instead, put it into practice.”
The Word of God is certainly worthy of living out. John 17:17 tells us it is truth and Isaiah 40:8 says it lasts forever. Hebrews 4:12 proclaims that the Word of God is alive, active and judges our hearts. Psalm 19:7-11 reminds us that it gives us new strength, wisdom, happiness, understanding and knowledge. Romans 15:4 declares that God’s Word gives us hope, patience, and encouragement. 2 Timothy 3:15-16 advocates that Scripture teaches truth, rebukes error, corrects faults, and gives instructions for right living!
Wow! That’s a lot of powerful direction and loving encouragement to be gained from one volume! No wonder it’s a best seller!
What other great reasons have you found for reading, studying, and applying the Word of God?