All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
I was standing in an ancient Chinese temple, now a temple of the people, in Canton, China. As we listened to our guide tell how the Chinese people had been liberated from old religious beliefs, a young man who was studying English at the university approached a tourist to try out his English. He spoke pleasantly for a few minutes in broad generalities, and then asked, "Do you have a Bible?"
Caught off guard the man replied, "Not with me, but I have one at home." "Do you read it?" asked the young man. Candidly the man said, "No, not much, but it's there..." Puzzled, the Chinese young man queried, "If you have a Bible, why do you not read it?"
This was no set-up political interrogation, but the searching of a young man who had been denied religious freedom all his life, who could not understand how someone could possess something so rare as a Bible and not read it, let alone study or memorize it.
Could I make it personal? Do you have a Bible in your home? Do you read it? Do you study it? The Bible is not a religious book which brings luck to the owner like an amulet or charm. Rather, it is a textbook on living, a roadmap that will take you by the foot of the cross to heaven's shore. Tragic, yet true, is the fact that so many who possess a Bible possess little understanding of this thrilling book. To me, the Bible is the record of God's dealings with men; it is like a spiritual contract between man and God, a valid agreement of what God will do–provided man follows the stipulations of the agreement.
The Bible tells us that just as there are physical laws that govern the universe, there are spiritual laws that govern our relationship with God. It tells a man how to become a Christian, how to learn to pray so that his prayers are answered, how to live a life that is above the carnal tug of sensual lust, how to find peace of mind and the assurance that your sins are forgiven. But of course you will not find all of these subjects under neat little headings such as a) How to be born again, b) How to pray so that your prayers are answered, c) How to succeed in business, and so forth; nevertheless, they are all there.
The tourist who was approached by the Chinese youth seeking a Bible possessed one, all right, but the Bible, and the leading character of the Biblical drama, had never possessed him. You see, in my library are a vast number of books on science, and although I am vitally interested in the subject, I would hardly consider myself a scientist just because I possess numerous books on the subject.
Owning a Bible only points the way; it does not guarantee your entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven. True, it tells you how to become a Christian, but it is not a passport that guarantees arrival at the end of the trip. Do you read your Bible? You may be thinking, "There's no need to read it because it just does not make sense to me." If that is you, friend, I would like to suggest that you begin by meeting the author, for only then will His book begin to make sense to you. Once you have met the central figure of the drama, a person whose name is Jesus Christ, you will find that His book makes sense to you.
Scores of men and women have told me personally, "Once I received Jesus as my personal Savior, the Bible became alive and I understood it." "The natural man," wrote the Apostle Paul, "receives not the things of the Spirit of God; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). That is the difference. Do not just possess a Bible; let it possess you.
Resource reading: 2 Timothy 3:1-17