Finding Out More About God Himself
If you want to get to know someone very well — if you wanted to find out what makes that person tick and what that person loves, hates, desires, and finds most important — there is no better way to find out than to talk to that person face to face or to read what that person has written himself or herself. That';s exactly what happens as you read the Bible.
When you read the Bible, you learn about the person of God. You find out what makes Him tick — what He loves, what He hates, what pleases Him, what angers Him, and what motivated Him to reach out to a lost humanity who had nothing to offer Him in return.
While reading extrabiblical materials about God can be helpful in your spiritual growth (and there are lots of that kind of material around to help you in your study), you should remember that absolutely nothing can take the place of reading the Bible itself.
One of the most important things new believers learn early about the Christian faith is that it is not just a set of rules or regulations. It';s much more than that. It';s a personal relationship — one where you become the friend, child, and servant of God — one that grows and changes over time, just as your relationship with a good friend or your spouse grows and changes.
The apostle Paul expressed the passion that should be within every believer — namely, to know Jesus Christ better and better every new day — when he wrote:
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God';s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God';s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. As a result, I can really know Christ. (Philippians 3:8–10)
If your goal as a believer is, like Paul';s, to know Christ personally, then Bible reading and study must be a consistent part of your daily life in him. When you read the Bible — Old Testament and New Testament alike — you will learn the purposes for Christ, the thoughts and ways of Christ, and the way to Christ. You will learn that God is more than our Creator, but also a loving heavenly Father who wants more than anything for us to draw close to Him in a personal, loving relationship. When you learn those things, you will make yourself ready to know Him in a deeper and more personal way.