“Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.”
– Jesus Matthew 4:4 (TEV)
We all know the importance of reading the Bible if we are to connect with God and grow as Christ followers but, for most of us, the Bible has become more of a reference book and difficult to understand. Imagine reading the Bible as it was meant to be read – not in fragments, but in whole books. Not in isolation, but in community with other Christ followers. This was the way the Bible was read in the early church of the New Testament. When Paul sent a letter to a New Testament church, like Romans or Ephesians, they didn’t make copies and go home to read a verse here and there or even a chapter a day. In fact, there were no verses or chapter headings. Those were added later by translators to assist with study and location. The Bible was read in community, less like a reference book and more like a story.
Reading the Bible as it was meant to be read will revolutionize your understanding and your experience with God. The Bible was never intended to be a religious book of rules and regulations, but instead as a love letter written to connect us with its real author, God! God desires to engage us in His Word as a community of believers. When Christ followers connect with one another on the basis of God’s Word, something amazing happens. God’s presence and power manifest! Lives change, relationships deepen, and churches become healthy and strong. As helpful as cross-references and study notes are in most study Bibles today, I challenge you to read past them and read big. Read in community instead of isolation, exchanging insights with one another. Gather with some likeminded friends and read through the entire New Testament this summer. In fact, it should only take about eight weeks – and that’s with weekends off.
Imagine what would happen in your life if you spent eight weeks immersing yourself in the Bible, understanding it in context, and experiencing it in community with other Christ followers. If you are in the Houston area, join us at our Woodlands or Atascocita campuses for an unforgettable journey through the New Testament as we kick off a Community Bible Experience this Tuesday, June 9th from 7 – 8:30pm. You can register now at wc.org/SmallGroups.
Receiving Christ is a decision followed by a process of growth, where we share the adventure of His saving life. Jesus said we need more than bread to sustain our lives. If we want to thrive, we need every word that God speaks. Connecting with God and others through His Word is an essential step for spiritual growth that will transform your life!