A wise pastor once told me, “If you really want to know what the Bible says, read it.” So, as a young Christian fleshing out my own theology, I decided to take him at his word and read the Bible. Every time I picked up the Bible I asked God to show me what I was supposed to believe. God was faithful and He did just what I asked. He revealed to me through the Holy Spirit what I was supposed to believe. My formative years were based on what I read in the Bible as the Holy Spirit led me.
I believe that same principle holds true today. If you want to really know what the Bible says, you read it. Now, you can’t just read those parts you like or agree with and skip over the rest. You can’t just gloss over those parts that seem to be irrelevant, like all those boring names and genealogies. And, you can’t decide what is relevant and what is not. Doing any of that won’t help you know what the Bible says. No, you have to read it in its entirety, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. And…you have to read it multiple times! One reading will get you started, but reading it over and over is so much better. Each time you read it God will reveal some truth you weren’t ready for the previous time you read it.
Reading His Word multiple times brings you closer and closer to Him. Shouldn’t that be our desire as Christians? Psalm 119:160 (ASV) says, “The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.” Each time you pick up the Bible you ask God to reveal to you what His Word really says. He is faithful – He will do it!