by Rob Tims
It’s mid-February, which means that most of us are already losing steam when it comes to our Bible reading resolution we made at the beginning of the year. We are 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.”
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 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 is husband to Holly and father to Trey, Jono, Abby Jane and Luke. He’s the author of Southern Fried Faith: Confusing Christ and Culture in the Bible Belt, and manages the team behind smallgroup.com at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville. He writes regularly at RobTims.com and blogs every Friday at Forward Progress.