The Bible has never been more available to people. For example, by simply clicking on BibleGateway.com or downloading the free app, you can have every version of the English Bible right in your pocket.
But no matter how many options we have to read the Bible, we never will read it unless we know why we should. So what’s the point of reading the Bible? If you can’t answer the question, “Why should I read the Bible?” odds are you probably won’t read it.
Reading the Bible Is Not the Point. Studying the Bible Is a Means, Not an End
What’s the point in reading the Bible every day? Often times we are told that to be a good Christian we must make sure we are reading our Bibles, praying, and occasionally doing things like fasting. In one sense this is true. In another sense this is totally ridiculous.
Christians are called Christians because following, loving, and glorifying Christ is our purpose. If reading the Bible, praying, fasting, or other such things were our purpose, we would be called Biblians, Prayerians, or Fastians.
To elevate these means of grace is to usurp there true purpose and displease God. Notice Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, praises God for his written instructions. It doesn’t just praise the instructions themselves, “I will praise you [God] with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules” (Psalm 119:7). When we read and take the Bible into our hearts it helps us accomplish what we most desire – pleasing God. Reading the Bible is never and end in itself.
For example, Psalm 119:11 does not say, “I have hidden your word in my heart that your word might be in my heart.” It says rather, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” In this verse, we see that reading the Bible helps us accomplish a specific action – not sinning against God.
Reading the Bible is not an end in itself. Reading the Bible is a means to an end, and that end is to glorify God.
We Should Read the Bible Because It Helps Us Accomplish Our Greatest Goal in Life
People ask, “Why should I read the Bible every day?” and struggle to find the motivation to study the Scripture consistently because their end goal is wrong. If you think reading the Bible is the goal of Christianity, then Satan would be the best Christian since he certainly knows the Bible better than a human mind can know it.
Satan, however is not a Christian because his motive in knowing the Bible is to twist it and use it to cause division among God’s people. Christians, however, are meant to use the word of God to be empowered, enlightened, and motivated to please God by believing the promises of reward found in the Bible.
To have a passion for the word of God, we must first have a passion for pleasing God. When you realize that reading, believing, and taking the word of God into your heart actually empowers you to please God, then you will have all the motivation you need to get up and read it every day.
Moses prayed in Exodus 33:13, “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” Moses wanted to know God’s ways because he first wanted to know God. Knowing the ways of God is a useless pursuit if it is not rooted in a desire to know God more and have a greater relationship with him.
The Bible is a light on our path, but God is the Light that we are to pursue (1 John 5:5).
Reading the Bible Without Pursuing Christ Is Pointless
So the point of reading the Bible is that it leads us to our goal, and Christ is the goal. If reading the Bible doesn’t lead us to Christ every day, reading the Bible becomes pointless.
To read the Bible as an end goal would be like never driving your car but reading your car manual all day. It would be like memorizing the script for the play but not showing up for opening night. Reading the Bible as an end goal would be like studying for the SAT and then skipping the test. It would be like having a treasure map, reading that map every morning for ours, but never following it to the treasure.
Nobody would read a treasure map every day if they had no intention of looking for the treasure. So again, perhaps you can’t find the motivation to read the Bible because your motivation has been to simply read the Bible as a good deed in itself rather than to find the real treasure, which is Christ himself.
The Importance of the God’s Word Is Not Diminished Even Though “Just Reading the Bible” Is Not the Point
Even though reading the Bible is not the main point, this does not diminish the importance of the Bible at all. It is certainly the most important means of grace we have, for without the Scriptures we would not know how to pray, fast, worship, and do all the other things which help us please God.
I know many capitalize the “Word of God” as a way of showing reverence for the Scriptures. Certainly this is not wrong in any way. But I find it interesting that the Bible itself does not do this. The Bible reserves the capitalization for “Word” only when it refers to Jesus, not the Scriptures, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
I believe God ordained the Bible to capitalize “Word” when it refers to Christ and not capitalize “word” when it refers to Scripture because Christ must always be center and the Scriptures simply point us to that center.
So what’s the point of reading the Bible every day? The point of reading the Bible is to know and love Christ more. It’s a waste of time to know the word of God if you don’t personally know the Word. The word of God must lead us to the God of the word, or else we are missing the point.