Growing up in a Christian family I attended church regularly and was familiar with Bible stories like David and Goliath, and Daniel in the lion’s den. But it wasn’t until I surrendered my life to Jesus (Yeshua) at age 21 that I realized I had not read most of the Bible on my own. I hadn’t seen the relevance or importance of reading much of the Old Testament. After being baptized in the Holy Spirit I suddenly had a deep hunger to read and know all of God’s word. I read the Bible cover to cover in five months. Reading about Daniel in the lion’s den for the first time on my own (without the help of cartoons!) was exhilarating. At times I couldn’t put the book down. Since that time I have committed time daily to meditate on God’s word and have read from Genesis to Revelation numerous times.
Why is this significant? As our team interacts with believers and travels around the world to teach and preach Gods word, we are amazed by the level of Bible illiteracy among many believers today. More than once I have heard a pastor encourage his congregation to spend five minutes a day in God’s word, because he knows that most are not even doing this.
An overwhelming theme spoken about concerning the end times is deception (Matt 24:4-5, 23-25; 2 Thess. 2:7-12). Amos 8:11 tells us that in the end times there will be a global famine of hearing the words of the LORD–living in the “Information Age” seems to have made us too busy and too distracted to focus on His word daily, even though it is available to us in more varied forms (digital, audio, etc.) than our forefathers could have imagined. In addition, we are seeing the suppressing of the Bible in public life happening in many Western nations today. Many believers today are not cultivating a lifestyle of being regularly in God’s word, and this will be one of the causes of many being deceived and falling away (2 Thess. 2:3).
Of those who are reading, it is often more focused on gaining head knowledge instead of being mixed with loving dialogue with the Holy Spirit that leads to deeper intimacy. Or it is by random selection – reading whatever page they open up to that day – and not in a systematic way. Some read only the New Covenant which hinders one from seeing the profound connection and developing story line from Genesis to Revelation.
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We are living in a time where a love for God’s word must be acquired and passed on to the next generation. If we don’t do this, we will be tossed to and fro by every wind of false doctrine. History is moving in one direction towards the return of Yeshua and the setting up of His kingdom. There is only one guidebook that will show us how to participate with the King and navigate through the days of tribulation and glory that are before us. May we recommit to being a people who know, love and obey the whole word of God.