Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why is the Bible so hard to read?

Why does the prospect of Bible reading so often seem like self-administering a lethal injection?

Well, because in a sense, that's what it is. Scripture is a death sentence for the flesh. And by the "flesh" I mean all of our sin habits that are contrary to God and His Word.


For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12, ESV


To have our thoughts and intentions discerned is not often a comfortable activity. We know that if we go to the Word of God, we're in the Holy Spirit's territory. He's going to convict us of sin, expect us to repent, and we're going to have to change. And that's a painful prospect.

When we look at the Bible, it's no wonder we don't want to read it.

But, friend, let me tell you a secret. If you are a Christian, you don't have to fear reading your Bible. And if you are afraid and if you do think of it as uncomfortable, chances are you're being fed Satan's lie that God only means to condemn you. Which isn't true.

If you are a Christian, God is for you and not against you--you are not condemned. So, when the Holy Spirit convicts you through His Word, He does so as a loving Father disciplining and chastising His children for their good.


For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. - Hebrews 12:6, ESV

And God also promises that He will not break those who are already broken and contrite over their sin. He is merciful and He is meek. He is gentle with those who need gentleness.

Of course, discipline is not a pleasant experience. But, it yields something beautiful--righteousness.


For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. - Hebrews 12:11, ESV


God is all about making His children more like Christ. The question is--will you let Him? Will you surrender to His conviction? Will you allow Him to rebuke and correct you to make you more like Jesus? Or will you resist?

Let me assure you that He's going to have His way, whether you like it or not. He doesn't need your permission to make you more like Jesus. But there are many advantages to being cooperative (and even proactive) in this process of becoming more Christlike.

  1. You will have a healthy relationship with God.
  2. You won't always have to endure correction and chastisement.
  3. You will be filled with the Spirit and the fruits thereof: patience, peace, kindness, joy, etc.
  4. You will sin less.
  5. You will please God.
  6. You will become holy and of greater use in God's service.
The list is pretty sweet, if you ask me! =)

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