Friday, August 20, 2010
DO YOU READ THE BIBLE?
Ok, pop quiz time.
What is the best selling book of all time? Answer: The Bible.
What is the most stolen book? Answer: The Bible.
What is the most unread book? Answer: The owners manual for your car.
I know, you thought the answer was going to be the Bible.
If we are going to be technical, the owners manual is not an actual book, but then again neither is the Bible. The Bible is actually 66 books, written by about 40 different people, from Kings to fishermen, over a period of about 1500 years, all inspired by God. This makes the Bible unique among all other books.
Unfortunately, next to your cars owners manual, sits the Bible, the 2nd most unread book ever written.
Many people have a Bible. It sits on the shelf somewhere. It lies in a drawer somewhere. It gathers dust in a closet somewhere. Yes, many people have a Bible, but few use it. This is to be expected among those who are not professing Christians. For them, the Bible is nothing more than a coffee table type book...something to glance at, but no one expects you to actually READ it, much less spend any time attmepting to undertand it.
Sadly, statistics tell us that it's not much better among those who profess to follow Christ. A recent poll by the Barna Group showed that just 4 out of 10 Christians read the Bible on a weekly basis….people that is less than 50%!!!
To make matters worse, of those that DO read the Bible on a weekly basis, commit on average, about 1 hour per week….that is 1 HOUR PER WEEK, NOT PER DAY! In other words, the average Christian in America will spend more time in the shower each week than in the Word of God! Which goes along with our consumer mentality believe-ism in this country. We’re more concerned about LOOKING good than being set apart, and living holy lives honoring to God!
Why have we lost the desire to read the God-breathed words of the creater of the universe? Why do we no longer desire to dig for the nuggets that God has hidden in the Scriptures? This is not a dusty old book with a lot of nice philosophical sayings. This is the only book that has the cure for the disease that each and every human being is infected with: sin.
One of the tragedies of the modern church is that we are largely Biblically illiterate. We know more about the Kardashians than we do the Scriptures. We can name all the top ten finalist of the current season of American Idol, but cannot recall the names of the 12 apostles. We have lines from our favorite movies memorized, but can only recall John 3:16 and maybe the 23rd Psalm from the live giving, inspired word of God.
I am amazed at the number of times I have heard of people going to church and they don't have their Bible with them...that's like going to work or school and not having any pants on! When you ask them where their Bible is, the general response is, "I couldn't find it." You couldn't find it. You couldn't find it?!?! Do you use it so sparingly that you cannot remember where you last had it? The other day at church someone told me that they could not find their Bible. I lovingly, with a smile on my face asked them when the last time was that they forgot where their underwear was. They replied, "I've never forgotten where my underwear is." And of course, they looked at me kind of puzzled. I went on to explain to them, "You've never forgotten where your underwear is for two reason: 1) You put it in the same place all the time, so you always know where it is and 2) You've developed a good habit over many years that you don't go anywhere without your underwear. It is the same with the Scriptures. If we got into the habit every day to read it the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, we would soon always know where it was, because we would seek it out at the end of the day and at the beginning of the day. In addition we would develop a pattern over the years of daily, ongoing, regular Bible reading and would find that we just don't go anywhere without it." They smiled at me, nodding their head and told me, "I get it. I get it."
I hope they do get it. I pray that they get it, and that it gets them. If those who call themselves followers of Christ, disicples of the living Savior, students of the Messiah do not read the owners manual that He has written for them...how do we ever expect to carry out what He told us to do? The great commission will not be carred out as long as we remain a part of the great ommission of Bible readers.
So join me won't you, on one of the greatest adventures you will ever have. Turn off the tv and tune into the Word of God.