By Emma from My Redemption for His Glory
I see a problem arising in modern Christianity. And it’s a big one.
To be honest, this is a problem I have had firsthand experience with myself. And, I suspect that at one time or another, you’ve struggled with it too.
What exactly is this ‘big problem’?
People are becoming more dependant on their devotionals (or other ‘Christian’ books) than they are on the Scriptures themselves.
But, how exactly is that a ‘big problem’? I mean, isn’t it good to read other Christian literature as well? It’s certainly much better than just resorting to whatever is floating around in pop culture, right? Surely it can’t be that bad… After all, they’re teaching us about God!
To that, I say: Yeah. And that is part of the problem.
It’s a problem when the primary way we learn about God is through man-made things (whether that be devotionals, theology books, videos, courses, ‘Bible’ studies, music, novels, and anything else that carries the ‘Christian’ label).
Please let me elaborate with a story from my own life…
As a young teenager, I was presented with a few devotional books as graduation gifts. One of those said devotionals was a compilation of entries from other female teens like myself. The whole thing was written by teen girls for teen girls.
Now, this may sound harmless enough, and at the time, I thought it was an excellent book. I had no qualms about reading it and using it regularly. In fact, I even started implementing it into my daily schedule. My goal was to at least read the devotional for that day – which meant that Bible-reading ended up taking a back seat to ‘Devo Time’.
But in hindsight, I see how risky and dangerous it actually was to have young, professing Christian girls (ranging in age from 13-19 years old) compiling a devotional for other young, impressionable (and often less-discerning) girls. Depending on the messages that were being promoted, it could end up having a really good impact, or a really bad one.
And unfortunately, with the general state of sound doctrine, Biblical discernment, and proper discipleship in our Christian churches/communities these days, I am not convinced that every ‘impactful’ message is good. It may legitimately be full of impact, but whether or not it has a good, beneficial, and God-glorifying impact is a different story.
And this really gets to the heart of why I’m writing this blog post.
Over the course of the past several years, I have been learning a LOT about what is Biblical and what is not. I’ve been observing the lives of others as they are influenced by various doctrines, beliefs, ideologies, etc. Likewise, I have undergone a significant amount of personal reflection and evaluation regarding my own life and how the things I’ve been taught have affected me.
All of this has contributed to my stance on the importance of relying on, upholding, revering, and truly appreciating the Scriptures. They are to be read, studied, meditated on, and loved as if they were the very words of our LORD God – because they ARE. So many of us have unlimited access to the Word of God, and yet, we resort to reading, studying, meditating on, and loving OTHER things in its place.
That’s how it was for me. I was much quicker to reach for my devotional than I was for my Bible. I would make it my goal to learn from the devotional – rather than straight from the Scriptures themselves. (How ridiculous and absurd that sounds when we finally recognize the incomparable value of the Word of God!)
Here’s the thing: I can’t make you love the Word. I can’t force you to read it, or study it, or meditate on it. But what I can do is plead with you while I still have your attention for a few more minutes.
Let me make my case to you about why we NEED the Bible, and why it is so important that we start relying upon the Word of God instead of the word of man.
3 Reasons Why the Bible is CRUCIAL:
1. So that we will not be led astray into false/heretical teaching
The Bible is perfect, inspired by God Himself. Those devotionals, however, they are NOT divinely inspired; nor are they perfect or flawless. Nope. Because they have been written by fallible human beings, we cannot and should not trust them as we do the actual Word of God.
2. So that we can learn what the Truth actually is
This is how we find our standard for what is right and what is wrong. The Scriptures give us this objective standard – God’s standard – with which we can discern everything else, tossing out the falsehood and holding onto that which is true, good, righteous, and pure. It is by reading & studying the Word of God – ALONE (because no other source is absolutely inerrant) – that we discover this perfect standard.
And of course, we must not discount the work of the Holy Spirit here as well. Without Him and the regeneration & renewal He brings, there would be no hope for us to be led into the Truth.
3. So that we will be driven to act in a way that genuinely brings glory to God
This should be the ultimate ambition for every Christian – that their life would be altogether pleasing and glorifying to the Lord.
The Bible lays out the commands of God, His expectations for us, and the standard by which He judges His creation. It gives us His righteous law and His glorious Gospel. And it is our wondrous duty (and honour!) to dig into Scripture itself that we may know how we are to live.
But not only does the Bible show us the way and leads us in it; it also drives us to continue fighting the good fight of the faith. It reminds us of the reason why we are seeking to live a God-glorifying life. When we remember the Word, our hearts are stirred, convicted, motivated, filled with joy, or longing, or sobriety, etc… by it.
Lastly, to end out this article, I want to leave you with this challenging question: If we believe and say that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, and all-sufficient, why do we not treasure, uphold, and rely on it more – above all other things?
Links to Emma’s Content:
Podcast on this episode