I was six years old when I was given my first Bible. I was awarded this red covered book with gold “Holy Bible” inscription for my efforts in memorizing Bible verses in my Sunday School class. I still can remember that day, how excited and proud I was of my new gift. My teacher encouraged me to underline in pen all the verses I had been working on. I didn’t want to mess up my new treasure but I reluctantly obeyed as she told me this would help me keep God’s Word in my heart always. Wise words given to a small child.
As a young girl my Bible was something I treasured and found comfort in reading. I even would place it under my pillow when I felt afraid of the dark. Somehow I felt safe sleeping on the Word of God. As a teenager I attended Young Life and FCA and would take my Bible out less frequently as my life became full with gymnastics and cheerleading, school activities, and boys.
In college my Bible found it’s way onto the bookshelf alongside more frequently read books with titles of English Literature and Chemistry. I literally dusted it off when I wanted to read the words I had underlined as a little girl. That changed when my neighbor began hosting a Bible study in her home for college kids and asked if I would like to join her. I wasn’t sure I had the time but thought that sounded like something I should be doing. I started attending and my love for God’s Word was rekindled. I found myself wanting to know more about who God was and what He had to say to me through this amazing book. I loved the challenge and the discussion with my peers, the community of studying God’s Word with others was a great investment of my time.
I am now a middle aged woman with a husband and four kids. I have a dozen or so Bibles in my home in various forms of translation. However, my NIV Study Bible is the one that is most used. I still underline and circle all the words I have found that speak to me personally or that I have studied over the years in the many Bible studies I have attended. It is a treasure for sure. I was asked this question recently by a young lady, “Why should I bother reading the Bible? There are so many good books about the Bible I can read that are easier to understand.” This got me thinking and here is my response to why I read and study the Bible…
• Reading My Bible Strengthens My Relationship With God
If you only know me by my first name, you don’t really know me. When I start to tell you details of my life, stories of my past, my hopes and dreams for the future, it starts to put together a more complete picture of who I am. The same holds true for God. When you read in your Bible that God is just, He is full of mercy and grace, He is loving and kind, you start to understand his character and He becomes more to you than just a figure head, He becomes personal.
• Reading My Bible Gives Me Guidance In Living a Christian Lifestyle
There are so many magazines and self help books all telling us what we should do to live a better life. God’s Word trumps all of those books as He shares with us how to live a life that is pleasing to Him. The Bible has answers to real life questions.
• Reading The Bible Teaches Me To Have A Genuine Faith, Not Just Practice Religion
When we study God’s Word we realize the wow and wonder of who God was, is, and always will be. His promises grow our faith as we seek him personally and not just respond to religious activity.
• Reading The Bible Equips Us To Serve God And Love Others
As you read through the many magnificent stories in the Bible you learn from the mistakes of others. You see first hand what pleases God and how we can live a life that is honoring to Him. There are many lessons and instructions given to us on how we can care, serve and love others. God commands us to do so.
My little red Bible now rests in my nightstand. The binding is broken, the pictures are faded, but the truth remains. My time spent in God’s Word holds eternal value.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
What have you learned from reading the Bible?
By Sherri Crandall
Wife to Rusty, Mom of 4
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Associate Director of Women’s Ministry at Mission Hills Church