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6 Reasons Christians Should Read

Why Christians Should Read: 6 Simple Ways to Meet Jesus as Lord
God’s plan for His people is a long-term journey, found in the Bible. As Christians, our journey starts with reading. Here are 6 steps!

Why Christians Should Read: 6 Simple Ways to Meet Jesus as Lord


I like to think about God’s plan for His people in terms of a step-by-step journey. God has given us the Old Testament as a pattern. He created His people out of love, just as He created you and me. They became slaves in Egypt, a symbol of the world, and we became slaves to sin, living under our own will instead of His.

God sent a deliverer to the children of Israel in Moses, who was a foreshadowing of the Deliver He has sent us, the Lord Jesus Christ. They and we had to meet Him and learn who He is, and that is why the Holy Spirit has given us the BIBLE, GOD’S HOLY WORD.

Instead of a physical journey on foot from Egypt to the Promised Land, we have a spiritual journey that leads from sin and self to Jesus and eternal life.
Although prayer and worship play important roles in our spiritual journey as Christians, the main exercise we have to develop our faith and draw nearer to the Lord is in reading.

The Bible makes this clear in the history of the Children of Israel. Moses read “took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.” Exodus 24:7

Part of the Covenant was that their king “shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.” Deuteronomy 17:19

Later, Ezra and Nehemiah gathered the Jewish people together andread in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” Nehemiah 8:8

This reading became a part of the ongoing worship of the Jews and later of the Christian church itself. We see Jesus reading the appointed scriptures in Luke 4:17.
St. Paul instructs Timothy, to “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” 1 Timothy 4:13
In the very last book of the Bible there is a wonderful promise given to readers: Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:3

With these answers to the question “Why Should Christians Read?” we will go on to look at 6 reading sources that will bring us closer to Jesus.

1. Christians Should Read to Meet Jesus in the Bible

Our reading journey begins in Genesis 1, where we meet the Creator and enter into the world and people HE CREATED AS “VERY GOOD.” As the narrative unfolds, we become involved in the eternal battle between Good and Evil, God and the devil, and His will versus our own. We see very early on that God is Almighty, loves us, and wants us to trust Him.

As we read and learn more about His goodness and character, we meet people and places we did not know before. It’s not necessary to look up every one or even to know every one, but when one puzzles us, it’s useful to check out the explanations given in commentaries. One of my favorites and recommendation is the FREE ONLINE RESOURCE E-SWORD!

Fascinating as the narrative is, we also begin to understand that some of the things we encounter serve a spiritual purpose too, like the Manna from heaven that then fed His people in the wilderness. It is a symbol of the Word of God. The Bible tells us

that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD : Deuteronomy 8:3

That life-giving Word feeds us daily as we travel with God’s people on their journey to the Promised Land and then read in wonder about their struggles with enemies, sin, their disobedience, and neglect of God’s Word. We rejoice with them in the beautiful poetry of the Psalms and stand in awe of the majestic language of the prophets.

The Old Testament ends with a curse and a break in the story. But then dawns the glorious fulfillment of the prophecies and promises when Jesus comes and the New Testament leads to even more wondrous truths and good news. Here we see the culmination of God’s plan of salvation and look ahead to what He has planned for us when Jesus comes again.

This is our foundation, our heritage, and our perfect truth against which all other reading must be measured. It is our environment, our atmosphere, our breath.

Were the Bible all we had, it would be more than enough. But God’s reading plan includes other works of Christian literature that illumine the Bible and help us see how these ancient words of life govern and refresh our lives.

2. Christians Should Worship Jesus in Prayer and Praise

No work of Christian literature is more important and helpful than Thomas Cranmer’s BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER (1548-49) in accessing the Bible and making it a part of our daily lives. It is largely made up of scripture and includes a reading plan of its own that covers the entire Bible. While it encourages the personal reading of the scriptures, it is the pillar on which scripture is used to worship God corporately.

It presents public services for baptism, confirmation and marriage as well as a scripturally based order for the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion. True to its name, it gives us hundreds of prayers for every occasion from birth to death and for every day of the year as well.

One of its chief assets is a daily arrangement of the Psalter for every day of the month divided into morning and evening readings. In all of this, the BCP is 100% true to the Bible and has put together a theology of 39 Articles that cover with Biblical authority all aspects of our Christian faith.

It calls us to prayer, worship, and faith:

O COME, let us sing unto the LORD; * let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; * and show ourselves glad in him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God; * and a great King above all gods. In his hand are all the corners of the earth; * and the strength of the hills is his also.

3. Christians Should Read to Tell Others about Jesus

The PILGRIM’S PROGRESS is the most-read and best-selling work of Christian literature. Composed in jail by a non-conformist preacher, it took England by storm and earned the poor author a fortune. It too is a journey, an allegory, its theme taken from the Bible and applied to Christian, a man hindered by a heavy burden of sin on his back.

Pricked by his conscience and directed by Evangelist, the distressed man flees the City of Destruction, loses his burden at the cross, and embarks on the long, straight and narrow King’s highway that leads to the Celestial City.

Beset by enemies of every kind, human and demonic, in such places as the Valley of Humiliation and the city of Vanity, where his companion Faithful is sentenced to death by a jury made up of its worldly citizens.

Despite such enemies, with the help of his scroll (the Bible) and companion Hopeful, Christian reaches the Celestial City where he is welcomed by the heavenly host.

Pilgrim’s Progress teaches us the importance of the Gospel and gives us an outward focus on those who are lost and strengthens us to be faithful soldiers to Jesus and witnesses to others.

It presents an aspect of the Gospel not popular in our time:

Then said EVANGELIST, “If this be thy condition, why standest thou still?” He answered, “Because I know not where to go.” Then he gave him a parchment roll; and there was written within, “Flee from the wrath to come!”

4. Christians Should Read to Find Joy in Jesus’ Presence

Hannah Whitehall Smith published The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, 1875. Her premise is that Jesus really meant what He said:

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. – John 10:10

Our great salvation is not just “fire insurance” but the beginning of sanctification, of becoming like Jesus. St. Paul puts it like this:

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

In clear, easy to read language, Smith shows us how this is done:

5. Christians Should Read to See Jesus as Good Shepherd and King of Glory

Jesus lives in the Psalms, appearing in the past, present, and future. Charles Spurgeon explores His presence in depth in his 6 volumes “TREASURY OF DAVID” published in 1885. This literary masterpiece is also a gold mine of Christian history, theology, and literature recording the insights and revelations godly men and women have had down through the year.

The “Prince of Preachers” was a stout defender of the faith against liberalism and other false teachings. In this epic endeavor, Spurgeon gleans from history and literature the important observations of hundreds of Christians throughout the ages. A Calvinist himself, he does not limit the wisdom he has collected in that regard but includes thoughts of other Christians who have kept the faith.

While we often spent a few moments on a Psalm, Spurgeon explores in depth each verse in a 6-volume work that serves as a wonderful reference source but also a teaching traveling companion as we travel through the 150 Psalms.
Longer than the Bible, it is not a journey of one year, but of many, and it is a spiritually edifying journey that will bless you verse by verse and show you Jesus in all the fullness of His being.
“The BOOK OF PSALMS is a complete armory for life’s battles, and a perfect supply for life’s needs.” – C. H. Spurgeon

6. Christians Should Read to Find Jesus in Sorrow and Time of Need

Streams in the Desert, 1925 is a daily devotional written by Lettie Burd Cowman (March 3, 1870 – April 17, 1960) a missionary who experienced many hardships and trials as she and her husband spread the Gospel in Asia and Europe. The title is taken from God’s promise in Isaiah 35:6, and the 366 daily entries are teachings about God’s wonderful faithfulness to those who serve him.

Over 153 contributors are represented whose testimonies and experiences are inspiring and beautiful. Usually, there is a poem or a song that is meant to help us keep our eyes on Jesus. Our family has used this devotional for over 80 years, and it is a great way to begin each day. HERE IS THE SELECTION FOR MAY 29 FROM STREAMS IN THE DESSERT.

The reality of Jesus comes as a result of secret prayer, and a personal study of the Bible that is devotional and sympathetic. Christ becomes more real to the one who persists in the cultivation of His presence.

Why Christians Should Read Challenge: Begin reading your Bible and start meeting Jesus today!

The 6-step plan presented here is one I have been following for years, and it has made an incalculable difference in my life. It will do that in yours too, Praise God. Step #1 is by far the most important. Our life is in the Bible. There all things are possible and when you immerse yourself in God's Word you enter God's reality.

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