You want to live a transformed life and eternally impact others right?

If you can just pick ONE thing to spiritually transform your life, the data are in and are clear: Regular Bible reading. Regular Bible reading has twice the power for spiritual transformation than any other spiritual practice. Unfortunately, many have never really read the Bible and don’t know how to start. Sometimes we are intimidated because we have only been exposed to a Bible with all kinds of “thee’s and thou’s” and haven’t tried to read an easier to understand version like the NIV or NLT.

Here are some data on the effect of engaging in the Bible four or more times per week (full data linked below):

  • If a person engages the Bible four or more times a week, their odds of giving in to temptations such as drinking to excess, viewing pornography, lashing out in anger, gossiping, and lying significantly decrease.
  • Receiving, reflecting on, and responding to God’s Word four or more times a week decreases a person’s odds of struggling with issues such as feeling bitter, thinking destructively about self or others, having difficulty forgiving others, and feeling discouraged.
  • Engaging scripture produces a more proactive faith among Christians. Controlling for age, gender, church attendance, and prayer practices, the individual engaged in the Bible has significantly higher odds of giving financially, memorizing scripture, and sharing their faith with others.

A great place to start is by using the free Bible website and app at Bible.com. Pick an easy to read version like NIV or NLT and start with the book of Luke. Or, you can choose from a number of reading plans. Both the desktop and smartphone app also let you listen to the Bible as well.

BibleX (www.BibleX.com) is a great tool to read through the major highlights of the Bible in about 4 days a week over 9 months. You can do it on paper, on your computer, or on your mobile device. It is interactive – the Bible verses are a click away, there are questions to help you engage, and a video every week to help explain things. It is both deep and wide: If you have never read the Bible before, this is an excellent overview; if you are deep in your faith already, this can take you deeper. A quick intro video for more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvdJ78WFt8Y

It is very beneficial to read the entire Bible. There are many free online plans available to do it in the course of one year. One of our friends, Maggie Kowalski, was challenged by someone early in her Christian walk when she admitted to not reading the Bible regularly. This person said,

When you meet God and He asks you if you read His book, you’re going to tell Him that you skimmed it?

For more ideas on the impact of Bible reading and where to start, check out my post on Blurry Vision.

 

 

Appendix:
For more than eight years, the Center for Bible Engagement has researched the spiritual lives of more than 100,000 people from around the world. The findings consistently show that engaging the Bible four or more days a week is the single most powerful predictor of spiritual growth.
 
Our conceptual definition of spiritual growth focuses on “becoming less of the person I was before I committed my life to following Jesus and more like Christ in my thoughts, words, and deeds”. We use multiple measures of spiritual growth including moral behavior, emotional struggles, proactively living out the Christian faith, and self-perceived growth.
 
Key findings include:
 
  • If a person engages the Bible four or more times a week, their odds of giving in to temptations such as drinking to excess, viewing pornography, lashing out in anger, gossiping, and lying significantly decrease.
 
  • Receiving, reflecting on, and responding to God’s Word four or more times a week decreases a person’s odds of struggling with issues such as feeling bitter, thinking destructively about self or others, having difficulty forgiving others, and feeling discouraged.
 
  • Engaging scripture produces a more proactive faith among Christians. Controlling for age, gender, church attendance, and prayer practices, the individual engaged in the Bible has significantly higher odds of giving financially, memorizing scripture, and sharing their faith with others.
 
  • People’s perceptions of their own spiritual growth are also impacted by how often they hear from God through the Bible. Those who engage scripture most days of the week are less likely to feel spiritually stagnant and to feel that they can’t please God.
In sum, the powerful effects of Bible engagement on spiritual growth have been reliably demonstrated across many studies. In addition, organizations such as the Willow Creek Association and Lifeway Research have reporting similar findings as well.
 
Together these independent lines of research lead to one simple conclusion: Engaging the Bible most days of the week is critical to grow in the Christian faith. The implications of this conclusion are wide-reaching and profound for Christian pastors and leaders, churches, schools, and evangelistic ministries. Those serious about helping people grow in a relationship with Jesus Christ need to carefully consider where they are investing their energies and if those activities are producing lifelong impacts by getting people engaged in the Word.
2017-05-25T14:15:34+00:00