As with all Jesus Habits, we read the Bible to deepen our relationship with Jesus and there is no greater reason.
Yep, you read that right. There is a part of the Bible you are missing and it isn’t found in the minor prophets. But it is the most impactful part of scripture. Hebrews tells us that “the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” It is powerful. The word of God has the power to convict, comfort, encourage, and push us to be the people God has called us to be. But the word of God isn’t the Bible, though the Bible does contain the recorded word of God. The word of God is on a much grander scale than a simple collection of books.
We see in John 1 that Jesus is referred to as the word of God.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
It is important to understand this because often times we place the authority with the Bible rather than with the author, God Himself. The Bible is simply the recorded word of God, not the word of God itself. The word of God is in reference to God’s character. We have the character recorded in the Bible, but the character of God is much larger than simple words.
Now, what I’m not saying is that the Bible isn’t important or that we should take things not recorded in the Bible as truth even if it contradicts scripture. God isn’t going to contradict Himself. He was, and is, and is to come. His character isn’t going to change.
The Missing Part of the Bible.
Why do I bring all this up, because it leads to the part of the Bible you are missing. In one word, it is relationship.
Our faith’s foundation isn’t the Bible. If God didn’t have His words recorded in the Bible would Christians still exist? Absolutely! It isn’t the Bible that we find our hope, freedom, and life in. We find that in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The sacrifice for our sins and the power to overcome death. Jesus’ sacrifice restored the relationship between God and humanity. Those that recognize their sin and its ability to destroy the relationship between God and themselves, believe Jesus was who He said He was, God in the flesh, and trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior have had their relationship with God restored.
Now let’s bring this back to the title of this article. We don’t read the Bible for more information or knowledge. We read it in a relationship with Jesus; expecting His words to speak through the pages deep into our souls.
That is the part of the Bible you are missing… relationship with Jesus. If you aren’t walking away from your time reading scripture like you spent the last hour talking with a great friend or a caring father, you haven’t spent time with Jesus.
We practice the Jesus Habit of Bible Reading as a tool to foster a relationship with Jesus. Not because it is what good Christians do, but because God has given it to us as a tool for relationship.
Tips for Reading Scripture with Jesus
Start with the Gospels and Keep Going.
We need to view everything through Jesus and His Gospel. Start reading through God’s Word in relationship with Jesus with the Gospels (John, Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and get a clear understanding of the way of life Jesus taught (what Jesus calls the Kingdom). The rest of the New Testament writers take this new way of life and expand on it.
Pray, Read, Ask, Pray
Reading scripture in relationship with Jesus starts with a conversation with Jesus (prayer). It is as simple as “Jesus, I’ve got all these thoughts, feelings, and worries going on right now. Things I need to talk with you about, but I want you to start the conversation. Clear my mind and heart so I’m ready to hear from you.” Read and then asking what is Jesus trying to tell you and what should you do about it. And continue the conversation.
Take a Look at Helpful Resources.
If you don’t have a bible or don’t know where to start, download the Bible App to your smart device. They’ve got almost every translation (NIV and CSB are great easy to read translations) and lots of reading plans. If you don’t have a physical Bible we really like the Jesus Bible Journal in the NIV. So much so, that if you fill out this form I’ll send you a copy free of charge.
Helping Others Find the Full Life,