I grew up attending church, my mom made sure of that. I attended all the Sunday School classes I had, not out of a desire to, but because my mom made sure it was a priority and I didn’t really argue about that. I just did it. That doesn’t mean that I actually bought in or followed Jesus. I attended, had the knowledge and was exposed to Jesus, the Bible, and churchy things.
I remember people in my church always telling me I should read my Bible. I had no clue why I didn’t really see any need to do so. My main objectives at that point in my life included defeating Contra, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out (without getting knocked down at all) biking all around my hometown. Reading an ancient book that didn’t read like any other kind of book I’ve ever seen wasn’t on my priority list. It wasn’t even close.
So I ignored them! I challenged these people I know I frustrated these individuals some of them were patient, most of them were downright mad. Like really mad. As a kid, I set a record for making the most Sunday School teachers quit. The record I’m still pretty proud of!
When I actually made the decision to follow Jesus when I was 16 years old I remembered ‘you should read your Bible’ but really had no clue as to why. So I started asking leaders I knew why should I read my Bible. One of the leaders I asked was finally honest and told me because that’s what our pastor tells us to do.
After a couple of weeks of this, I started reading my Bible… well, because I gave into peer pressure and because the people I asked seemed happier, more centered in their lives, they were friendlier for sure. I also realized that what I had been doing with my own life for those 16 years wasn’t really panning out the way I wanted them to. I was a bitter young man full of angst for the world. So I started reading. Like most people, I started at page 1… Genesis chapter 1.
I started reading the first chapter of the Bible that God made the earth, everything in it. I came to Genesis 1:26 and stopped. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
The Bible says that God made me in His image… I had no clue why I was made, I had no clue who I was. If I could discover more about God by reading the book that He supposedly wrote through humans (Sunday School teachers told me that much) over the course of centuries and was broken down into 2 major parts, the Old and New Testaments. If the Bible says that God made me in His image, the more I discovered of God could tell me more about myself and my relationship with God.
As I kept reading my Bible I discovered what the Bible says about God and myself. God loves me, (Psalm 86:15, Psalm 136:1,26 John 3:16, 1 John 4:19 among so many others). I knew and understood conditional love. After I kept reading the Bible the first times and realizing what it says about God loving me, I finally discovered why I should read the Bible. I wanted to know how much God loved me, I wanted to discover more about what God thought of me. Being made in His image drove me to discover more about God. I also started to discover more about who I am.
This is the beginning of a mini-series on this blog, Reading the Bible. Our goal is to help people discover the benefit, helpful tips as far as translations, how often, how much should I read, how to remember it.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
WHy a blog?
RE.THINK Church values being a church that is casual. Casual Church goes far beyond the way we dress, it's more about we expect people to take this journey at their own pace. We are here to journey with everyone. So we've created a blog so people can check us out before they show up for a service.