On a hot Saturday afternoon in August, 1973, I attended an outdoor music festival at a Baptist church in Centerville, Ohio. My experience was similar to one C.S. Lewis commented on. When I went there, I wasn’t a Christian. When I went home, I was. My life was changed forever that day. I had begun my journey of faith. And one of the first things I did as I set off on this now 39-year journey was to get a Bible—King James at the time—and began reading it every day. I needed help in understanding it, which I got in a church where Scripture was highly valued and taught at every turn.
Today I still find that time spent reading my Bible is one of the most important things I can do. To me, it is food I choose not to live without. There are times it is fascinating and encouraging. There are times when it is dull and boring. There are times I can’t put it down, and other times it puts me to sleep. It is not a magic book, with pixie dust surrounding it. It is a book, or rather, a collection of sixty six books written over a period of more than a thousand years, encompassing all of human history. But it is above all other books in that the entire thing was God-breathed. The Spirit of God rests in its pages. I cannot explain this. It just is. And when you pick up this book and read it, you can experience this Spirit.
There are many reasons to read the Bible, but only one way that really makes any sense to me, and that is to encounter God. Any other reason does not interest me. If I cannot encounter the Lord in the pages of Scripture, I would rather read Sports Illustrated or watch a movie or pull pine needles out of my gutter. Ok, maybe not that last one. But you get the idea.
Yet it seems many—actually, the majority—of Protestants surveyed recently by Lifeway don’t read their Bibles at all, or at least not on a daily basis. You can read about the survey and its results here. My question for you is this. Do you read the Bible on a daily basis? If so, why do you do so? And if not, why not? This is not a trick question. I really want to know what part Scripture plays in your faith journey.