In 2013, in a HuffPost/YouGov poll, 1000 people were asked how many books (print and e-books) they had read in the past 12 months. 28 percent of those surveyed said they had read no books in the past 12 months, 25 percent read between 1-5 books, 15 percent read between 6-10, 20 percent read between 11-50, 8 percent had read more than 50 books, and 3 percent were not sure. To see the actual survey results, click here.
Unless you were in the quarter of Americans who have not read a book in the last twelve months, regardless of the kind of book you read, unless that book was instructional in nature (how to build a boat, lose weight, learn to play the piano, cook, etc.), when you put the book down, your life was not changed. Sure, the book might have moved you to tears or laughter, but after you finished the last chapter you most likely simply put the book on the shelf and began reading another book. In that same poll, 41 percent said they read zero fiction books, and 42 percent read zero nonfiction books, in the past twelve months. Regardless of the genre of the book, for the most part, books are read for pleasure or to gain information.
It is a very rare book that is transformational (and not simply informational) in nature. The Bible is one of those rare books. The Bible is intended to be transformational. The Bible is God’s Story; it is about creation, sin and redemption. In the book The Drama of Scripture written by Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen it says this, “After God created the world and human rebellion marred it, God set out to restore what he had made: ‘God did not turn his back on a world Benton destruction; he turned his toward it in love. He set out on the long road of redemption to restore the lost as his people and the world as his kingdom (pp. 11-12).’”
In Hebrews 4:12, the Bible says this about itself, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” What that verse tells us is that God’s truths are not only revealed by Jesus but also through the written word, which this verse says is active in accomplishing God’s purposes and alive, penetrating to our innermost being.
With all the information available today, it is rather easy to know about Jesus, but it takes effort to really know Jesus. Whereas reading a “dead” book about Abraham Lincoln only helps you know about Lincoln, because the Bible is alive and active, reading the Bible actually helps you know Jesus. The Bible is one tool available to us to help us become more like Jesus. Because the Bible is alive and active, reading it and allowing it to seep into your veins transforms your life through the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you have not picked up the Bible is some time, we encourage you to find your copy and blow the dust of the cover, and carve out some time every day to read it. Ask God to speak to you through the words that you read. If you do not own a Bible and would like a copy of it, or if you are not sure how to implement a reading plan, please contact us to discuss ways to begin this life changing journey. You can call 717-575-4664 or e-mail Pastor Dave at email@example.com.