A year ago I wrote about the results of a study completed by Kenneth Briggs that the importance of the Bible is disappearing from the scene in America. He was left with the question of whether all Christians need to take a refresher course similar to a Vacation Bible School. Mr. Briggs set out on a two-year cross-country journey to investigate the Bible’s disappearance from public life and see whether he could still find it.
Mr. Briggs’ journey indicated that people are not reading the Bible very much. It is a shame God’s Word just doesn’t show up in public discourse. This wonderful book fails to make many appearances, and it is not in the public’s conscience. The Bible is off the public grid in a way he had never seen.
The conclusions of Mr. Briggs’ study has led me to wonder if our churches need to evaluate whether we are putting enough emphasis on the Bible’s place in Christian homes or in church activities. In years past many protestant churches kept records on the number of people who brought their Bible to church, Pastors asked their congregations to bring their Bibles to Sunday worship services and directed them to turn to the Bible passage of his message. These men of God knew that involvement in the reading and listening was the better way to learn and retain what was taught.
In recent years some Christians have gone away from the Bible in printed form to their computers (telephones and computer notebooks.) I favor any method we can distribute the Word of God but we have to be careful not to go too far from the printed copy. I have been in Bible Studies and even in the worship services where public readings of the Bible came from a computer source. Although many would say that is the way it should be, but I beg to differ. When we go away from the Bible in print we lose a valuable teaching method for our adults, teens and children. We should be constantly letting our members know how important it is to read from the Bible and to see how important it is to their lives.
From the earliest years of a child’s life they should receive a copy of the printed Bible. If possible this should be the first Bible a child receives and we are to teach them to respect it as the Word of God. I was privileged to be in a recent Baby Dedication Service where our church provided the little one a copy of the Bible and I pray that when she gets old enough to read, she will learn the wonderful stories of the Bible. Hopefully, through hearing God’s Word she will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior.
Christians need to remember that God’s Word makes it clear we need to be reading His Word whether printed or accessed from computer sources. One of the most familiar of King David’s Psalms explains the importance of knowing the Bible, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord (God’s Word – The Bible), And in His law he meditates both day and night (Ps.1:1-3, NKJV). David is saying those who stays away from the ways of the world and spends his or her time reading and studying God’s Word will be blessed by God and will prosper. King David also said, “Your word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against You (Ps. 119:11, NKJV). Once again he gives a great benefit of reading and learning God’s word which will keep us from sin. I cannot think of a better reason. Therefore, let us get back to reading, teaching and applying God’s Word in our lives.