God's word is not for armchair philosophers and hobbyists; it is a tool you can use to make your life better and prepare for eternity!
The most important book in the world is the Holy Bible. Chances are, you have a Bible somewhere in your home. Yet, most human beings know little about this amazing book and what it contains. This book reveals the mysteries of life. It reveals the future of mankind. And the Bible can help you in many ways, even far above your greatest hopes and dreams.
And yet to many, the Bible is a mysterious book. For them, it is like a puzzle that is difficult to put together. If we have the big picture, we search for similarities in color or shape. By trial and error, we might piece together a small section here, and a small section there. With some perseverance we may even complete the picture.
So, what is the Bible? Is it just a book written by ancient nomads who created a god in their own image? Is it just a book of human wisdom to stimulate our thinking? Or, is the Bible the divinely inspired word of the Creator God? Can the Bible answer the great mysteries of life? And can the Bible predict the future and your potential place in it?
Year after year, the Bible is the world’s best-selling book! It is the most important book in the world. You need the courage to read the Bible and investigate for yourself! Chances are that you have a Bible on your coffee table—or stored away in a closet somewhere. But how many even read the Bible? If you do not read this book, you could be missing out on the most exciting, mind-expanding information and knowledge the world has ever known!
Billions of people around the world own Bibles. Even as far back as 1950, one reputable magazine reported that “by the end of 1950 (the 500th anniversary of Gutenberg’s invention), over two billion Bibles and parts of Bibles will have been printed, with 25 million more being added each year” (Antiquarian Bookman Magazine, November 18, 1950). Ninety-three percent of Americans own a Bible, and 27 percent own four or more, according to the Princeton Research Center.
If you do not have a Bible, I urge you to buy one. If you have hidden your Bible in a closet or a dresser somewhere, I encourage you to find it and read it. In this article, we will consider five vital benefits of Bible reading and study—five ways the Bible can help you! I urge you to make Bible reading a daily part of your life. As Lord Tennyson commented: “Bible reading is an education in itself” (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 18).
According to one Gallup poll, “about six in ten Americans (59 percent) say they read the Bible at least on occasion… Readership of the Bible has declined from the 1980s overall, from 73 percent to 59 percent today. And the percentage of frequent readers, that is, those who read the Bible at least once a week, has decreased slightly over the last decade, from 40 percent in 1990 to 37 percent today” (“Six in Ten Americans Read Bible At Least Occasionally,” Gallup Poll, October 20, 2000).
So, how important is the Bible in your life? Do you read it at least once a week? How frequently do Americans read the Bible? Gallup reports: “In terms of frequency of readership, 16 percent of Americans say that they read the Bible every day, 21 percent say they read it weekly, 12 percent say they read the Bible monthly, 10 percent say less than monthly and 41 percent say that they rarely or never read the Bible” (ibid.)
How important is reading the Bible? What does the Bible say about itself? The Apostle Paul told the young evangelist Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Or, as the NIV Bible translates it, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” Or, as the English Standard Version translates it, “Scripture is breathed out by God.” The Creator wants us to find the true way to successful living and eternal life. And He has revealed that way of living in your Bible!
The Bible is the word of God. Those who strive to live by the Bible and practice the way of life taught by Jesus Christ and the scriptures, will gain wisdom and understanding. Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). We all want the abundant life. As Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Yes, you can understand the Bible, and you can enjoy its awesome benefits. Let us consider five key ways in which the Bible can benefit you, and bring you and your family peace, joy—and incredible blessings.
One of the biggest problems some of us have is getting along with others. We may have conflicts with our boss, with our wife or husband, with our children or parents, or with friends and family. We may argue over finances, or housekeeping chores, or spending too much time with social media. Can the Bible help you to get along better with others? Yes, it can, if you follow its instructions. Remember the two Great Commandments? Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37–39).
When you apply these great commandments, you can improve your relationships with others. Another principle, to improve your relationships with others, is to be forgiving. How many people hold on to grudges? They refuse to let go. They just will not forgive. Remember what Jesus taught in the model prayer, often called the Lord’s Prayer: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Do you pray that way? Do you forgive others? Are you patient in dealing with friends, relatives, and co-workers? Applying these biblical principles can help change your life dramatically!
The Apostle John quotes Jesus pointing out the contrast between the ways of the world and the ways of God. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). You can have true success and abundant living, if you acknowledge the Savior in all your thoughts and actions every day. There are so many wonderful biblical principles that promise us true success. The Apostle Paul stated, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). And notice this key to God’s blessing: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6).
God promises to guide us along the path to life and success, every day, if we acknowledge Him. One guiding principle is that we should pray about everything that worries or concerns us! As the Apostle Paul tells us, if we acknowledge God in all our ways, He will direct our paths (Philippians 4:6).
There is a cause for every effect. The Bible gives us the true principles for success. We need to seek the true values in life, not the carnal, selfish, lustful values. King David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). Consider his advice about true success: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1–2).
Notice the result of meditating on God’s law and His way of life: “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). This is true success in life.
There are many more exciting principles to successful living in your Bible. Just read the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, 6 and 7. Read the Proverbs. You can live successfully, happily and abundantly.
The ultimate purpose of human life is to have a personal relationship with God! That is a profound truth! Think about it! And Scripture reveals that this relationship is a loving family relationship.
God created the human family—and He wants you to be a part of His divine family. The Apostle Paul wrote: “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14–15). Yes, God is the Father of a Family—and He wants you to be a part of a creative family, to experience activity and joy for all eternity! Yes, your Bible can help you understand your ultimate destiny.
How do we become God’s children? After repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). We then become God’s begotten children as the Apostle James describes it: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he [the Father] us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures (James 1:17–18, KJV).
One of the greatest worries for human beings is that all of us now living will eventually die. Those who reject the revelation and truth of God have no hope for the future. But the Bible reveals the truth of life after death. Look at what the Apostle Paul wrote the young evangelist Timothy. Notice just how important the Bible is to our eternal life: “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14–15).
Why do we need “salvation”? Every human being will die! We all need to be saved from eternal death! You and I need salvation. We need forgiveness of our sins. Why? Because sin produces eternal death. Scripture tells us: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). What we earn by our sinful life is death. But God sent a Savior to the world, Jesus Christ. He paid for our sins by His shed blood. So, if we follow the Savior’s instructions, we can be forgiven of our sins. As Jesus Himself preached, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel!” (Mark 1:15). And, as the Apostle Peter urged his listeners, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission [forgiveness] of sin; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
The Bible is able to make you wise unto salvation through Christ Jesus. There will be a glorious life beyond death, when faithful Christians assist Christ in producing lasting peace among all nations under the Kingdom of God. You can be there in tomorrow’s world if you seek first the Kingdom of God, and if you look forward to the glorious resurrection described in the resurrection chapters, 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4.
Bible prophecy reveals how God will intervene in world affairs. It gives us the good news of mankind’s ultimate destiny. We have already seen that God’s purpose is to prepare us for His Kingdom here on earth! True Christians will reign with Christ for a thousand years as kings and priests. True Christians will be transformed, born into the Kingdom of God, at the resurrection. That can be your future. Notice this glorious event when Christ returns. The Apostle Paul writes about the resurrection, when true Christians inherit the Kingdom of God, and when we are changed from mortality to immortality. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:50–52).
What a glorious future God promises us! At the resurrection, we become immortal. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Corinthians 15:53).
God wants all of us to be in His family for all eternity. You need to know the future. You need to study your Bible and learn more.