A survey in the National study of youth and religion web site states that only 32% of protestant teenagers personally read their Bible. You might say “Well, 32% is not such a bad number.” But think about it, those 32% could mean millions or even billions of youths. “Read your Bible” now that’s a phrase we hear ever so often from our parents or pastors or even cel-group leaders. And we are so used to hearing it, that sometimes with just the look from their faces we can interpret that they are telling us the same thing, “Read your Bible”.
There would be times when reading the Bible is not an option, such as with our parents. Sometimes our parents force us to read it, “Or else.” Or else we do not get what we want such as watching the television or playing the computer or going out of the house to gimmick with friends. I used to be forced to read my Bible, and it was a pretty good bargain with my parents too. An hour of reading it, I would be able to play the computer for two hours! Wow! It’s just like buy one take one.
But as I grew deeper into my relationship with God, I realized that reading the Bible outside of your own will is utterly useless. Reading the Bible is like playing golf. Hitting that single, stationary ball seems so simple and easy and it seems like you can do it any time of the week. But there is so much more to it. Hitting that single, stationary ball takes a huge amount of athleticism, posture, stance and focus. Such as with reading the Bible, it takes the wisdom of God, wisdom that can only be given to us through the Holy Spirit for us to understand it.
Let me ask you a question: “Do you think there is another way for your relationship with God to grow, other than reading the Bible and praying?” You see, those two come hand in hand. Relationship, any relationship, can only grow through communication. And how do you communicate with someone when he or she never talks back? Communication must be two-way for it to build a relationship and how we build a relationship with our parents, our friends and siblings is exactly the same as how we build it with our God.
We do not chatter to our parents and never expect them to answer, right? We always want other people’s opinions, other people’s say about what we are telling or sharing to them. Otherwise, our relationship would seem stale, dull, boring and unmoving and our relationship will never grow. It’s the same with our relationship with God.
Relationship must be two-way. And in our case with God, it will only grow through praying and reading the Bible, which is God’s word, everyday. There is no other way, and this is the truth, no other way for your relationship with God to grow other than reading the Bible and praying everyday. It’s so simple and easy to do that we tell ourselves “I can do this any time I want” and so we never do it. But when we tell ourselves “I must talk with my God, my Father in heaven who knows everything I’m going through” Then we make time to read it.
We should never just find the time to read and pray, but we make the time ourselves. Just as we make time in doing our homework, playing sports, playing computer games and everything else. Extra time would mean time that we could waste. King David once said “I will not give to God that which costs me nothing.” And that personally applies to me. If the time I give to God is extra time, a time I can waste, a time which costs me nothing, then I would rather not give it. But I will give God a time that is precious to me, a time that I have kept and preserved only for Him.
Always remember, God is the God of the Heavens and the Earth, He is great and mighty and no one will ever be compared to Him. God is the most important person in our lives and yet we tend to talk to Him least. I challenge you, young men and women talk to God more, speak to Him and you will see that reading the Bible and praying everyday is never the same as how you imagined it to be. There is power in talking with God, Joshua 1:8 says “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” So claim that promise of our great God!