I love reading by Bible. But that hasn’t always been the case. When I was around 12, I confessed to my dad that I actually didn’t really like reading my Bible. This is not something a pastor’s kid, a regular church attender, a “good girl” should say.
But it was true.
I wanted to like reading my Bible, but I found it hard to understand, and there were often other things I would’ve rather been doing.
Let’s be honest, reading the Bible can be hard, and we don’t always like to, or want to. But we need to, because God’s Word is powerful. Through reading and studying the Bible, we come to know God more and are transformed into who He created us to be.
After graciously listening to me, my dad spoke a phrase that has stuck with me ever since: A divine interaction takes place when we read God’s Word.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed…”
In Genesis 2, we read of God creating man. Verse 7 says God “formed man out of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Emphasis mine) God’s breath is the breath of life, and it brought people to life. All Scripture is God-breathed, so “The word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). God interacts with us through the pages of His Word. Because of this divine interaction, this God-breathing, the Bible is powerful. 2 Timothy 3 goes on to describe the powerful working of God’s Word in our hearts and lives, saying all Scripture “is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (vv. 16-17)
The Bible teaches us who God is, who we are in Him, and what it looks like for us to live in relationship with Him. From Genesis to Revelation His character is revealed to us and His will is made known to us. His covenant with His people and the Gospel of Christ are told, and we are invited to join in. We are shown our true identity and purpose, and taught how to live out this truth in our actions and attitudes.
When there are actions, attitudes, priorities or perspectives in our life that are not in line with God’s character and will, the Bible rebukes us, convicting us of something that needs to change. Rebuke may seem like a harsh word, but God rebukes out of love, to draw us away from what is wrong and harmful, and draw us closer to Himself.
In the Bible, we learn how to make the changes we need to make to live as who God created us to be. The new attitude we must put on, the new action we must carry out, a rearranging of our priorities, a transforming of our perspectives. There are definitely times in reading the Bible that we find encouragement and are uplifted, but there should also be times of correction; times of growth and transformation. This change can be hard, but “God disciplines us for our good, so we may share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10).”
This discipline has a reward, for God’s Word trains in righteousness. The righteousness of God is our true identity in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Through God’s Word, we are shaped into Christ-likeness, learning how to live like Jesus in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love. Through all this - the teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness - we become equipped. We are enabled and empowered to walk in obedience to God.
During the times of reading the Bible when it seems like you’re not getting much out it, when God maybe feels distant, when nothing is jumping off the page or is stirring your heart, keep going. Because in reading your Bible, a divine interaction is taking place, and you are being equipped. Each chapter read, each encouraging verse hidden in the heart, each time of teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, is a time of divine interaction, transformation, and preparation.
Jessica Faith Hagen is a single, 20-something gal who's learning to live with confidence and contentment in Christ, and writing to help other single, 20-something women find their worth and joy in Jesus. She shares encouragement and teaching from God's Word to help them root their identity in Christ, choose joy, and grow in Christ-likeness, all so they can live bravely and joyfully for Jesus on her site The Overflowing.