Studying the Bible.
A vital key to our spiritual maturity and growth as a Christian is found in reading, learning, and understanding scripture.
We have unprecedented access to the Bible through print, audio, and online versions. In America, a free Bible can be made available to anyone who wants but cannot afford to purchase one. It's easy to forget how very blessed we are as American Christians when it comes to God's word.
In 2013, Barna Research Group did a study for the American Bible Society called "What Do Americans Really Think About The Bible. Here's some of what they learned:
- 88% of Americans polled own a Bible.
- 80% believe the Bible is sacred.
- 61% wish they read the Bible more.
- 56% believe the Bible has too little influence in our culture.
And only 1 in 5 Americans read their Bible.
When you consider how important reading, knowing, and studying scripture is ("All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 NIV) it makes sense to be proactive, engage in reading it, ask the Holy Spirit to teach and lead as we commit God's word to our hearts and minds. The majority of American Christians, however, simply don't do it.
Here's something to inspire us all though. I've discovered an awesome opportunity to create a (new) habit of studying the Bible.
Beginning March 1st, Joyce is encouraging people to study the Bible for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. Signing up for this free challenge allows you to receive a daily encouraging email from Joyce, special audio and video clips and teaching downloads, scripture verses to encourage you, study guides, and tips from Joyce on how to become a serious student of the Bible.
The 3030 Challenge is a great opportunity to create a habit of studying the Bible and making it a part of your daily walk with the Lord. It's great motivation and incentive to grab God's word, dig into it, and cultivate a love for scripture. I signed up. Every one of us can use a little push or motivation from time to time, you know?
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105 ESV
The Bible is God's word and it's a precious gift to us. Remember how easy it is for us to find a way to read it (and to forget/dismiss/discard even when it's under our very noses)? There are people in parts of the world who've never seen a single copy. There are some countries where the Bible is banned or there are laws which restrict printing, selling, importing, or even owning one. We forget, how in this country, we have the scripture at our very fingertips.
I hope you'll join me in the 3030 Challenge. Even if you haven't cracked the cover of your Bible in months (or years) there's no time like the present to start.