Why read the Bible? Why pick up one more book? Why consider one more religion?
Because the Bible is a book unlike any other. It’s the bestselling book ever, it includes every genre imaginable, and was written over thousands of years by multiple authors.
However, the Bible is not merely a book—it’s an open door to reality. In the Bible, the first thing you encounter when you come to the Bible is the comforting truth that you’re not alone. You face the relieving truth that life isn’t just about you, or just about humanity. There’s someone else in the picture. Someone other than us who is still intimately involved with us. That someone is God.
This is God’s world. You wouldn’t be a part of it if it weren’t for him. You are his created being. You were made – with your talents and quirks and humor and personality – according to his creative design, just like everything else in creation.
Because of the nature of the relationship you have with God, you’re not the master of your fate, captain of your soul, or author of your story. This makes some of us nervous. We want to sail our own ships, and whenever someone “takes over for us” at work or at home, we get anxious. We want to control things.
The truth is, however, you didn’t choose the day you took your first breath. You don’t make the sun rise each morning. “Have you ever given orders to the morning or shown the dawn its place?” (Job 38:12 NIV). No. No one really has control over their life. But, the God who does, who chose your birthday and will choose the date on your gravestone, generously chose to fill you with the breath of life today. And he has done so for a reason. We read the Bible to discover our purpose, God’s plan, and his precious promises to those who trust him.
The Bible Speaks with the Voice of Our Creator
We search daily for objects to fix our gaze on that will add value to our life: work, a lover, our commendable qualities, friends, or money. We think that these things add significance to our life. We look for reasons to keep living because deep down, we don’t quite know why we’re here. But you have a birthday—you’re alive! The Bible tells you that’s enough evidence that you have a purpose and you matter. In fact, the Bible discloses to us the dignity of every human being on the planet. A person’s value isn’t based on their ethnicity, or social status, or economic situation. The Bible puts every person in one category: created in God’s image.
You don’t matter because of your performance, prestige, upbringing, or even because of the type of person you are. You matter because someone of infinite value has assigned value to you. You’re valuable because of your relationship to God as his creation. He made you in his image to look like him to the world.
God’s reason for creating you is to know you and have a relationship with you. He wants to delight in you, and for you to know and delight in him. How do we know this? Because he said so himself in the Bible (See Genesis 1:26-27; John 17:3; Psalm 16:11; Psalm 73:25-26).
So why read the Bible? Because the Person who wrote it is inescapably related to you. In the Bible, your Creator is speaking to you, his creature.
The Bible Tells Us a Story We Need to Hear
The Bible is the tangible record of God’s Word to us. He has something to say; he spoke to be heard.
Now, before you say that’s too crazy to believe, let’s talk about common human experience. Part of the reason you are even taking the time to read this is because you have longings in the deepest part of your heart. You have questions that are begging to be answered. We all do.
Yet, there’s an unbridgeable gap between what we long for and what we experience.
Wherever we go, we can’t find answers to our questions or satisfaction for our cravings. We want to be good people but we know we do wrong. We don’t have a sneaking suspicion but a firm conviction that there is a lot wrong with us and with our world. How come love comes with heartbreak? Achievement with loss? Why is there war? Why is joy easier lost than gained? Why does cancer spread easier than kindness? All our longings met by disappointment lead us to a fundamental conclusion: Suffering is inevitable.
What if someone could label all human suffering under one cause? What if we could explain all human longing with one diagnosis? What if someone looked at everything in your life and could definitively say, “I know what the problem is.”
The Bible gives us an answer. God has told us our problem. It’s called sin. Early on in the Bible, we learn that, because of sin, we have a soul-deep problem. And we can’t fix it ourselves.
But God doesn’t stop there. Like every other story, God tells us about the conflict so that he can wrap us into the wonder of its resolution. The Bible is the story of God himself redeeming broken humanity. What he wants us to hear in his Word is the only thing we truly need to hear—how to be saved from the sin in our own hearts that separates us from God.
The Bible Guides Us to Our Only Hope
God gave us the Bible to beautifully, intelligently, and urgently tell us about the only Way that we might enter back into a loving relationship with him. He is the only Way we can get through this life with joy, and the only Way we can have a hope that lives beyond our death.
That Way is God himself, Jesus Christ. The Bible reveals to us the only true superhero, the King of all kings, the real knight in shining armor, and the embodiment of love. He suffered more than any human being in history ever has or ever will so that “suffering wouldn’t have the final word” in the lives of those who put their trust in him (Colin Smith). He suffered to free us from sin and death and to restore us to a right relationship with God.
So, will you listen to what God has to say? Will you take time to read the story that is the story, our story? And will you believe that it really, like none other, is true?