I want to grow in my love for the Bible. And I’m sure you do too. We struggle to pick up God’s Word, peel it open, and actually read it—and enjoy it. We have good intentions, but often fall flat with our actions.
We have a weak love for the Word. Let’s be honest. I love Duck Dynasty and I won’t miss an episode because I love it. The Bachelor will never woo me away from Si Robertson—or my good senses. Strong love equals a strong draw. Weak love results in a flimsy commitment. And when it comes to our relationship with the Bible, it can all change for the better.
Here are two ways to grow in your love for the Bible.
Repent of Self-reliance
We think we have it all together and we know how life works and we know what we need to do next. None of that is true. We don’t have it all together, we don’t know how life works, and we don’t know what we need next.
Know one thing: we need God.
God calls out the nation of Israel in Hosea 8, “They made kings, but not through me. They set up princes, but I knew it not. With their silver and gold they made idols for their own destruction” (Hosea 8:4 ESV). They went after the Israelite Dream—more like the Canaanite Dream, or American Dream—and learned how to fend for themselves and even tried to take care of their future by getting Princes. So what’s God’s fuss? They did it all without God. They operated in their self-reliance.
The placebo of self-reliance stifles hunger for God and his word.
God told self-reliant Israel, “Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing” (Hosea 8:12 ESV). Not only does the Bible seem un-inspiring to the self-reliant, it becomes irrelevant, silly, and foreign.
So, run Hosea 8:12 backwards—why does the Bible seem strange? Because we live Hosea 8:4 kind of lives, scurrying around doing our little kingdom building and living like a functional atheist—or polytheist, bowing down to many idols and gods except the true and living God. We cannot have two masters (Matthew 6:24). We cannot bow down to God and self. Jesus don’t play that.
Once we realize our self-reliance, we can repent and believe that we can’t live without the words of God (Matthew 4:4), that we need his word like a baby needs milk (1 Peter 2:2).
Once this clicks, it makes sense to run to the word. We have to believe that our eyes won’t adjust to the darkness around us and we need the light and lamp for our journey (Psalm 119:105).
How often does the Bible inform what we do? How often are we thinking biblically—which is to think with the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)?
If we believe that without Jesus, The Word who is God (John 1:1), we can’t do a single thing (John 15:5), we will sprint toward the word of God (Hebrews 4:12).
Realize you’re meeting with a Person
Bible reading isn’t a time to only gather facts and data about God and his glorious activities—we are meeting with a person. We are drawing near to God that we read about (James 4:8). The Bible is alive. It’s not static. The aroma of Christ is on every page.
We can guarantee boring Bible reading if we read it like a textbook. Yuck. Read in anticipation of meeting with God. Right now, there is a Jewish man sitting on the throne, interceding for you, he rose again from the dead for you, and he is ministering to you—Jesus of Nazareth, God in flesh—that’s who we meet in the Word.
If you Struggle Understanding the Bible
If you have a hard time understanding the Bible—which isn’t a strange occurrence, there are head-scratchers (2 Peter 3:16)—don’t fret. You aren’t alone. But don’t use this as a reason to wuss out. The clear passages outnumber the difficult ones. You might struggle with God’s word for sinful reasons.
Do you struggle to understand the Bible because you rely on your natural abilities and brain power and not the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit? No one understands the Bible by themselves, it’s always by the Spirit.
“For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10–13 ESV)
We struggle to understand the Bible because we are self-reliant in our study; we need to pray for the explosive power of the Spirit to open our eyes and shine his light (Psalm 119:18). The hope to understand the Bible is found outside of us (and inside of us)—the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit is here to help us understand the things spelled out from cover to cover. We have all we need to grasp the word; let’s let go of our self-reliance. We ought to be Spirit-reliant people—and the Spirit loves the Word, he wrote it (2 Timothy 3:16). The more we are filled with the Spirit, loving the Bible will come naturally—or, supernaturally.