There is a cycle that is on repeat in my life of ministry. It is not a new cycle and will likely never go away, but it still is an ongoing frustration of mine. On any given week, I will talk with a teenager who will get into some compromising situation, get into trouble and then wonder how they could have avoided it. What is perplexing about it is the availability of the answer to their question every time. They have the answer readily available to them. These things are avoided by reading and applying God’s Word. Ask any Christian teenager and they will tell you about the importance of reading their Bible while they very rarely read it. It is true that reading is not the most cherished of pastimes for many teenagers, but there are a far more readers than I would have guessed. Recently “The Hunger Games” was in the theaters and brought in $152 million on opening weekend. Why? It is because people have read the books and wanted to see the movie. The same thing happened with “The Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter.” These are stories that people enjoy, but they don’t speak to real life. You don’t need to be an avid reader to find the value in the Bible because it speaks to real life.
Yesterday I read an opinion piece on about the relevance of the Bible in 2012. It cites a study done by the American Bible Society asking Americans about how they view the Bible. The survey found that 69% of Americans believe the Bible provides answers on how to live a meaningful life. That is incredible, if it is true. Think about the implications of that. It is not likely that 69% of Americans are Christians, but the Bible is seen to have inherent value. Equally as amazing to me is that 46% say they read their Bible no more than once or twice a year. There really is no logical excuse for that because the survey also showed that the average household has 4.3 Bibles in it, on average. The Word is available, but so rarely used.
There is a disconnect between knowing the importance of reading the Bible and actually reading it. What is it? I think we could easily blame our entertainment culture for setting us all up with an unsatisfiable desire for the next thing. Perhaps we could blame technology for eating up all of our time and money with constant connections being made through Facebook or Twitter. Maybe we could point the finger at schools and their sports schedules, amount or homework, or other community groups and the amount of time they require. In fact, time was the number one reason cited for not reading the Bible.
These would only be the tip of the problem. The problem is not a tangible thing, but rather an invisible thing. The problem is the heart of sinful man and the way it is easily distracted. Of course, the devil will enjoy this because it makes us weak in our understanding of the truth. Even Jesus, who is described as the Word in John , used the Scriptures to fight off the attacks of the devil.
The Bible is as relevant today as it has ever been. If we really want to be strong in the Lord, we must read it and apply it. There is a need for daily connection with God. When we disconnect, we get into trouble. The entire Old Testament is filled with examples of that. It is time to seriously soak up all that is in God’s Word. If you find that you don’t love it, ask God to give you a love for His Word. It is there He speaks to us and protects us from those traps all around us. I fervently pray for our teenagers to be committed to the Word of God as much as they are committed to other things. It is a huge challenge, but is the reason I am in youth ministry. We must encourage our children to be good students of the Word, as they sit at the feet of Jesus and He teaches them. That is what they need! They need adults who are solid examples of this.
If you say it is important, but you aren’t doing it, it probably isn’t really that important, is it?
Article referenced above — Does the Bible still matter in 2012?