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Read the Bible
by Brian Price 9/19/2010

INTRO

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." - Matthew 4:4
When people ask me if I have read the whole Bible, they are shocked to hear my answer that, yes, I have read the entire Bible. Why is that such a shock? Lots of people have read the whole Bible. But its probably shocking because so many more have not even read one page of the Bible. But God commands us that no one ought to live without His words.

God is no fool. He knows the way we think. King David said to his son Solomon that God "understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts" (2 Chronicles 28:9). He knows even the most intricate thoughts of your thoughts. Thoughts within thoughts, he knows. In more simple terms, he knows you better than you know yourself. He knows that we are prone to hate God and our neighbour. That's why he commands us to make his words as frontlets between our eyes. We're supposed to keep the Bible always before our eyes so we can be prosperous in all that we do, and that it might be well with us always.

Jesus, when tempted by the devil to make bread out of stone, answered back that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. By the way, the Bible says that every word of God is pure (Proverbs 30:5). Jesus quoted the Bible when he was tempted to sin. That verse he quoted was from Deuteronomy 8:3, which says:

"And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."

One of the Lord's glorious names is actually the Word of God. And rightfully so, because he knew the word of God better than anybody. He inspired it. I suppose one could actually call Jesus the Living Bible.

WHY READ?
Because you can't live without it.

People are funny. We think we can live without reading the Bible. But in all honesty, we can't. Do you want to bear good fruit to God? Love, peace, and joy? You can only do it by reading his words.

"Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." - John 15:4
I'll never forget going to a Young Life camp back when I was 16, and the man who was serving there as a camp counselor said to new converts, "The Bible is God's love letter to you. Just as you would read a love letter from someone you love, so you should read God's love letter. It's part of being in a relationship." God told Joshua, the man who took over Jewish leadership after Moses' death:
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." - Joshua 1:8
You want to be successful in life? Read God's word. You want to be a good husband? Read God's word. You want to be a good father? Read God's word. You want to be a good worker? Read his word. A good steward of money? A great military leader? Read the Bible!

The incredible thing about the Bible is that it is the most widely read book in all the world and in all of history, the most published book, the most famous book, the most quoted book, and yet hardly anybody reads it! What is up with that? If the Bible is so popular, so important, so incredibly famous, why don't people read it???? I think it's laziness. People think, "I know what the Good Book says. I'm a good person. I don't need to read it."

Ha!

Friend, you don't have a clue what the Bible says if you never read it. I remember one time I was sitting in the locker room of a gym with a co-worker. He saw me reading the Bible as I was resting from a work out. He said, "Why do you read the Bible? Why don't you just follow your heart?" I said, "Well because, the Bible says that he that trusts in his own heart is a fool."

He blurted out, "WHAT? It says that?" I said, "Yeah. Here I'll show you." I showed him Proverbs 28:26, and he was so shocked. He never knew the Bible said such a thing.

Brother, you'd be surprised what else is in the Bible! There is practically a Bible verse for just about every single circumstance, whether it be good or bad.

I'll show you.

What do you think when you walk into a church where people are singing and praising God? You might think that they love God, right? Now look at what God says about many people in church who worship him:

"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." - Matthew 15:8-9
You might have never thought the Bible was going to say that. Or how about this verse which promises that the Bible can never be destroyed:
"If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and THE SCRIPTURE CANNOT BE BROKEN..." - John 10:35
Do you have any idea how many different Bible versions there are in this world? There are probably hundreds. Yet, out of all those versions with all their differences, the King James Bible stands alone with its purity, and its accuracy. For 400 years, the King James Bible has been used to evangelize the world, being translated into many different languages around the world. And friend, many people have tried to destroy this book! All have been unsuccessful. Another verse says that "heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Mark 13:31). This earth, literally, will cease to exist, but the Bible will live on. The sun in space will literally burn out, but the Bible will continue to shine. And for thousands of years, we can see this to be true.

I said all of this to drive home the point that you can't know what the Bible says unless you read it. You can't expect to get all of your feeding from the Sunday sermon. I used to think that. You can't bear good fruit like love, joy, faith, and peace without reading the Bible. Reading God's words coupled with having God's Spirit are the ingredients for bearing good fruit. You cannot have one without the other.

HOW TO READ THE BIBLE
I've had one lady say to me, "Why do you use a version of the Bible that no one can understand?" Well just because you can't understand it, that doesn't mean we should use a so-called "modern version." That just means you need to get saved. You need God's Spirit to teach you what the Bible says. The Bible says that the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).

"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures." - Luke 24:45
God has to open your understanding in order for you to understand the scriptures. Plain and simple. I'll be the first to tell you that the thee's and thou's of the Bible do not bother me one bit. I understand the Bible just fine. But it's because Jesus lives inside of my heart. He teaches me the scriptures.

So how should one read the Bible? My friend, I am glad you asked. You need to start reading one chapter a day. That's my recommendation. I would start in the New Testament. Start with Matthew since its the first book in the New Testament. Read one chapter a day. Some people read the Bible in the morning, and some read it at night. Whatever works best for you. Some people read 3 chapters a day. That's fine too.

It's just like eating food. You have to eat to live. Likewise, you have to eat up the words of God like Jeremiah did (Jeremiah 15:16) in order to live spiritually. Otherwise, your faith will die, and you'll become a backslidden unbeliever. Have you ever wondered why your faith is so weak? Ever wondered why its so hard to believe in God? It might be because you don't read the Bible. Or you don't read it like you should.

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." - Romans 10:17

CONCLUSION
So in conclusion, I'd like to exhort you that you need to read the Bible on a daily basis. Don't let that be choked out. The Bible says that there are those who receive the word of God, but they let the cares of this world choke out the word, and they bear no fruit. But those who hear the word are they that hear the word and understand it, and they bring forth fruit with patience. Don't be the one who lets the word get choked out. Read the Bible.

IF YOU DIED TODAY, WOULD YOU GO TO HEAVEN?

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