Andreas Kostenberger- The Jesus of the Gospels: An Introduction

On today’s Equipping You in Grace, Dave and Dr. Andreas Kostenberger discuss strategies to read the Gospels, how the Gospels use the Old Testament and how this helps Christians read the Gospel rightly, along with advice for preaching and teaching the Gospels, along...

Suffering Well in Community

I am most definitely not a fisherman. I subscribe to the old saying, “There is a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.” So, maybe I am not the one to use a fishing illustration to begin. However, there is something that even I have picked...

Manual Transmission: the Importance of Having Multiple Gears of Motivation

Few things are more important for spiritual growth than motivation. Unfortunately, many Christians are idealists when it comes to spiritual drive. They think and act as if there is only one sanctioned motive for obedience. The underlying logic of their spirituality is...

The Love and Peace of Christ

Colossians 3:14-15, “14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Continuing his discussion of what the new...

#9: Rekindling the First Love[Sermon]

Join Dave as he continues our Revelation series looking at Revelation 2:1–7.

Daily Bites Of God’s Word On The True Nature Of Dying To Self

On this new Daily Bites of God’s Word, Andy discusses the true nature of dying to self, and helps us understand what this means and it’s the importance to the Christian life.
Bible Reading: Duty or Delight?: Guidance on Bible Reading

Posted On January 1, 2020

As a pastor, I desperately want the people in my church to read the Bible. Not just when they come to big church or Bible study, but during the week on their own. I want the Lord’s people in my local church to read the Bible regularly and consistently. I also desire them to study, memorize and meditate on the Word. To that end, I have seen other pastors take two approaches to motivate people toward faithful Bible reading.

Two Approaches to Bible Study

Approach one emphasizes duty. A pastor can stress one’s obligation to read the Bible, focusing on the fact that believers “ought-to” read the Bible. I certainly believe literate believers who have access to the Bible in their own language “ought-to” read the Bible. However, in my experience, this approach often results in contrived guilt trips for not reading the Bible, legalism regarding the issue of Bible reading, and a general sense of burden in relation to Bible reading.

Approach two emphasizes delight. A pastor can stress one’s opportunity to read the Bible, focusing on the fact that believers “get-to” read the Bible. In my experience, this approach results in a healthier approach to the spiritual discipline of Bible reading and a more joyful practice of reading the Word. Additionally, I think focusing on delight lines up more closely with the emphasis in Psalm 119. Repeatedly the psalmist describes his emotions about God’s Word using words like “joy” and “delight” (Psalm 119:161-163).

Helpful Guidance to Read the Bible with Delight in God

So, if you want to motivate people to read the Bible from a heart of joy and delight, how do you do it? Here are a few thoughts:

  • You must model delight for your people. Don’t expect God’s people to delight in God’s Word if they don’t see you delighting in God’s Word. Your preaching and teaching must be driven by a joyous delight in the Word of God.
  • You must help people see the big picture. Often our people are frustrated by the Word because they don’t understand the big picture. They just don’t know the overarching story of the Bible. Help them see that big picture, then watch them delight in God’s Word as they place each little story into the larger story of God’s grace.
  • You must help people see Christ in the Bible.  When people think of the Bible as a collection of rules or an anthology of history, a spirit of duty will prevail. But when people see how all of the Bible points to Christ and what he has done for sinners, delight will follow.
  • You must be careful when suggesting “tools.” People often ask me to suggest a Bible reading plan. I do so gladly, but I also do so carefully. I never want to present a particular system of Bible study on someone as the only right way to read the Bible. You don’t ‘have to’ read the entire Bible each year to be a faithful follower of Christ.
  • You must encourage delight without ignoring duty. The truth is this: There are times when people go through a “dark night of the soul,” and in these times, God’s Word may not feel like a delight. In these moments, encourage people to listen to the Word out of duty, and as they listen, pray that God would change their hearts.

Related Posts

Andreas Kostenberger- The Jesus of the Gospels: An Introduction

Andreas Kostenberger- The Jesus of the Gospels: An Introduction

On today’s Equipping You in Grace, Dave and Dr. Andreas Kostenberger discuss strategies to read the Gospels, how the Gospels use the Old Testament and how this helps Christians read the Gospel rightly, along with advice for preaching and teaching the Gospels, along...

Suffering Well in Community

Suffering Well in Community

I am most definitely not a fisherman. I subscribe to the old saying, “There is a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.” So, maybe I am not the one to use a fishing illustration to begin. However, there is something that even I have picked...

The Love and Peace of Christ

The Love and Peace of Christ

Colossians 3:14-15, “14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Continuing his discussion of what the new...

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup 11/27/2017-12/2/2017 - Servants of Grace - […] Bible Reading: Duty or Delight? by Landon Coleman https://servantsofgrace.org/bible-reading-duty-delight/ […]
  2. Weekly Roundup Links 11/27/2017-12/2/2017 - Servants of Grace - […] 11) Bible Reading: Duty or Delight? by Landon Coelman https://servantsofgrace.org/bible-reading-duty-delight/ […]
  3. Weekly Roundup 12/30/2019-1/4/2020 - Servants of Grace - […] Bible Reading: Duty or Delight?: Guidance on Bible Reading […]
  4. Weekly Roundup of Links 12/30/2019-1/4/2020 - Servants of Grace - […] Bible Reading: Duty or Delight?: Guidance on Bible Reading […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share63
Tweet16
Reddit
Pin
Share