It’s nearly the end of summer, which means that our routines are getting ready to get back into gear for the fall, including our Bible reading. Already this summer we have found ourselves several chapters “behind” where our plans tell us we should be, and no amount of alerts, notifications, or dated pages can inspire us to “catch up.” Throw in the melee of fitting in every activity possible for the remaining days of summer, and we may not read God’s Word until September.
So, rather than pile on the guilt you may already feel, can I spread a little liberty your way? Take a look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and be inspired to read your Bible for at least two reasons.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
First, notice that the Bible must be read and trusted because of its origin. The Bible is inspired by God (that is, God-breathed). It is where God has spoken, and it is from where he continues to speak. As John Piper puts it, “It is a great wonder that God still speaks today through the Bible with greater force and greater glory and greater assurance and greater sweetness and greater hope and greater guidance and greater transforming power and greater Christ-exalting truth than can be heard through any voice in any human soul on the planet from outside the Bible.” Because of this, I must fight fiercely to read and trust it.
Second, the Bible must be read and trusted because of the purposes it aims to accomplish in us. The Bible equips us with what to believe and how to live by it (vv. 16-17). Teaching and rebuking are about doctrine (what we must believe and what we must not believe). Correcting and training are about our lives (what we must not do and what we must do). In doing these four things, the Bible equips us to live out our salvation, which is its ultimate aim.
Our lives are fueled by the glorious truths of the Bible. In it we hear from God, and everything He says matters more than anything else. So finish this summer strong—pick up your Bible, Christian. It can be read and trusted because God wrote it and accomplishes his work in us through it.
Rob Tims has been married to Holly for nearly 15 years. They have four children: Trey, Jonathan, Abby, and Luke. He has served in the local church for 20 years as a children’s pastor, student pastor, and senior pastor. He currently serves on a team at Lifeway Christian Resources that develops customized Bible studies for groups and teaches two classes for Liberty University School of Divinity Online. He is the author of the book Southern Fried Faith: Confusing Christ and Culture in the Bible Belt.