Read your Bible!

I received this post from Pastor Scott Carson this weekend. Read your Bible!

How are you doing in your Bible reading? Have you fallen off the wagon? It’s only February…just pick up where you left off. And if you were distracted during January and never started, then start today. Reading the Bible is like exercise for the soul and a little bit goes a long ways.
Have you ever considered the uniqueness of the Bible? We believe that the Bible is unlike any other book, that it is the inspired Word of God. Have you ever wondered why? Is that just a tradition passed down through the centuries? Has anyone ever done any research on that? What is so special, so unique about the Bible that Christians believe it is literally the inspired word of God?
Well, please consider the following facts about the Bible.
First, the Bible is not just one single book. This is a more common misconception than many people realize, especially with people who do not come from a religious and particularly a Judeo-Christian background. Rather than being a single book, the Bible is actually a collection of 66 books, which is what is known as the “canon” of scriptures. These 66 books contain a variety of genres: history, poetry, prophecy, wisdom literature, letters, and apocalyptic, just to name a few.
Second, these 66 books were written by 40 different authors. These authors came from a variety of backgrounds: shepherds, fishermen, doctors, kings, prophets, and others.  And most of these authors never knew each another personally. Their lives often span different years and even centuries.
Third, these 66 books were written over a period of 1,500 years. Yet again, this is another reminder that many of these authors never knew or collaborated with one another in writing these books. They weren’t sending secret text messages or even notes in bottles to one another.
Fourth, the 66 books of the Bible were written in three different languages. In the Bible we have books that were written in the ancient languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic; a reflection of the historical and cultural circumstances in which each of these books were written.
Fifth, these 66 books were written on three different continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. Once again, this is a testament to the varied historical and cultural circumstances of God’s people.
So think about the above realities: 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1,500 years, in three different languages, on three different continents. What’s more, this collection of books shares a common theme and storyline – the Creation, the Fall of man and the redemption of God’s people. There is a common theme – God’s universal love for all of humanity. There is a common message – Salvation is available to all who repent of their sins, come to Christ’s Cross, and commit to following God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. And in addition to sharing these commonalities, these 66 books contain no historical errors or contradictions. God’s word truly is an amazing collection of writings!
So even if someone does not believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, if they do not believe that the Bible is of a supernatural origin, then I challenge them to a test. I challenge anyone to go to any library in the world, they can choose any library you like, and find 66 books which match the characteristics of the 66 books in the Bible. They must choose 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1,500 years, in three different languages, written on 3 different continents. However, they must share a common storyline, a common theme, and a common message, with no historical errors or contradictions. If anyone can produce such a collection of books, I’ll be the very first to admit that the Bible is not the inspired word of God.
The obvious response is, “But that’s impossible!” It truly is impossible, for any collection of human writings. However, the Bible passes this test. Only the Bible contains 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1,500 years, in three different languages, on three different continents, with no historical errors or contradictions. The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, bears the mark of Divine inspiration.
So the next time you encounter someone who asks you why you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, try sharing this challenge with them. Better yet, don’t wait until you’re asked, just go ahead and share this challenge with a lost friend today. You don’t even have to mention the Bible up front; just ask them if they think it would be realistic to assemble such a collection of books.  After they say, “But that’s impossible!” you’ve got a ready-made opportunity for sharing the truth of God’s word with somebody!
Do you want to know though the biggest motivator to believe that the Bible is the Word of God? Do you want to know the number one reason that you should consistently read your Bible? It will change your life.
By reading the Bible people have been rescued from the darkest, most hopeless situations when they’ve read it, believed it and put their trust in Jesus. Some people try to downplay the power Jesus has to change lives by saying; “It seems that only people in desperate situations turn to God.” It’s true that many times God has to do something to get our attention but this does not prove that God is not real. It simply demonstrates that people are generally very stubborn when it comes to change, particularly spiritual change! It’s also true that many people who’ve never been confronted with a major crisis have a strong faith in God. God has already sent Jesus to die for our sins and He is waiting for our response. People have been rescued from drugs, depression, shop-lifting, low self-esteem, a life of violence, sexual addiction and immorality, the scars of abuse, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, bitterness, guilt, to name just a few.
So read the Bible. Ask God to open your eyes to understand it and then ask for His grace to apply it to your life. The Bible is powerful. It can revolutionize your life but you have to read it and apply it to your soul.