Why read someone else’s diary? To learn about them. As a child it was my goal to read my sister’s diary to learn all her secrets. As an adult, I read my deceased grandmother’s diary and learned details about her life that added substance to what I already knew about her. I had known she had successfully raised seven children, but the diary she wrote as a young mother detailed her struggle to ready kids for school while having toddlers at home, and going through an illness herself.
When I began reading the Bible, I was in awe of the details that I had missed when I had only heard scattered scriptures at church. I had heard sermons about the principles of the scripture but had not read the actual text. In fact, it had never occurred to me to read the Bible myself. I didn’t even own one. Then, at a retreat, I discovered daily Bible reading is a regular practice for many Christians.
Reading scripture was, for me, like reading a diary. I learned details that gave me a deeper understanding of who God is. The image I had of Jesus based on what I had seen depicted in movies—a kind of wimpy but nice man—was replaced with the knowledge of Jesus as a Savior to be worshipped and praised. I learned that the Bible isn’t a rule book, it is the living Word of a God who cares about our hearts, our motives, our relationship with Him, and our relationships with others.
Read for yourself
I’ve come across many people who love God and want to know Him better, but have somehow come to believe that the Bible is not a book laypeople can understand simply by reading themselves. But the Bible is very readable. And, unlike a diary, the author isn’t locking up secrets, but rather, He invites you to read so you can know Him better. The Bereans, in the book of Acts, were commended for searching scripture daily to verify that Paul’s teachings aligned with scripture.
Advent is a wonderful time to begin reading scripture or to organize your daily Bible reading in a purposeful way. Christmas Bible Readings is a collection of Bible passages that, as a whole, overview our need for a Savior, the prophesies of Jesus’s coming, His birth, and second Advent. You can buy the book or go to the website and click the daily links to read or hear the daily passages at Biblegateway.com at no cost.