Have you read or listened to modern book series like Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia more than once? If you have, it means you can read the greatest book ever written, the Bible, over and over your whole life.
Even if you have never reread a book, I want to give you seven realities that compel you to keep listening to the Bible over and over your whole life.
But first, three important foundations:
“The Lord wants you to read as those who are listening to his voice.”
The bookends of the Bible speak of mankind walking with God the King. After God knelt down in the red clay, fashioned Adam and breathed life into him, God spoke to him and gave him a mission. As High King, He made a covenant with Adam and Eve to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth and exercise dominion. His custom, according to Genesis 3:7, was to appear and walk with Adam and Eve. The Bible ends with all nations walking in the light of the Lamb (Revelation 21:24).
Walking with God is journeying on mission with the King of Kings, listening to His heart and commands every day in order to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. It is the glorious, side-by-side relationship with the true King.
Adam and Eve forfeited a face-to-face walk with God by their sin, and so have we. Now, reading or listening to God’s Word is how we hear God as we walk with Him.
God has made and redeemed his people to know him relationally. It is by listening to His voice from the Bible that we know Him.
“But now thus says the Lord, ….‘that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior’” (Isaiah 43:1, 10-11).
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3; see also 1 John 5:20 and 1 John 2:3).
The Bible is plain about our sin and rebellion and the coming wrath of God as King and Judge. It tells us Jesus has come to die for sinners and restore them to God. If you repent and believe, you can be reconciled.
If you are not a Christian yet, that is why you should read the whole Bible. If you are reconciled to God, keep listening to the whole Bible to truly know God and His Son Jesus Christ!
The great story of redemption in the Bible is that God is saving a people to dwell with them forever. “I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Leviticus 26:11-12).
For now, how do we dwell with God? Reading, meditating on God’s Word and praying. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:7-8).
Listen to the whole Bible your whole life, and you will dwell with God until you do so face to face in heaven.
Fear is the response of terror and awe at something dangerous and massive. It is awe to those with humble hearts; it is terror to those who are caught in God’s wrath and judgment.
God reveals himself in wrath and power over Pharoah and Egypt (Exodus 4-13). He reveals Himself as Judge on Israel and the nations in the books of the prophets. Job was graciously rescued from bitterness from his massive losses and his friends’ accusations by fearing God at His self-revelation (Job 37-41).
In the contemporary church, the neglect of reading the whole Bible is the chief reason why Christians have little fear of God, lessening their appreciation of the cross of Christ. Selective reading leads to defective worship.
The greatest motivation to love God is the salvation He has provided in Christ. The surest sign of loving God is obeying His commands. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” (John 15:9-10).
God is Father and King. Jesus is Lord and Savior. To express the deepest affection called love, we need to listen to His Word to keep it. Keep listening to the whole Bible over and over, and you will love Him more and more.
God, as both Father and a King, is to be obeyed. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8; see also Deuteronomy 30:10).
True obedience is not mere conformity to rules, but a heart-and-soul response from God’s servants and children. Keep listening to the whole Bible over and over, and you will obey Him more and more perfectly.
God’s Word is written for our blessing. When we hear it, take it to heart and obey it, God supplies us with joyful intimate relationship and fruitfulness.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).
There are 66 books in the Bible, a total of 1,189 chapters. Read one chapter a day (usually about five minutes), and it will take you three years and three months. Read three to four chapters a day (about 20 minutes), and you could read it in a year.
Listening to the whole Bible feeds you with the fullness of God in Jesus Christ. It’s the book about Jesus and His saving grace. It’s the book about promise. Through it you avoid sin and its consequences; you experience peace and its benefits; you find direction and hope for the future.
If you have ever read a book more than once, you can surely read/listen to the Bible over and over. Even if you haven’t, listen to the whole Bible over and over because God promised to bless you.
Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.View Resources by Dan Jarms