“He shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law … and it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the Words of this law and these statutes and doing them” (Deut. 17:18b,19).
Familiarity means: Accustomed by frequent converse; well acquainted with; intimate; close; as a familiar friend or companion (Noah Webster’s Dictionary 1828). Could you apply this definition to your relationship with the Bible? Is the Bible a friend or companion of yours? Are you and your Bible close and intimate? Do you have frequent converse?
Familiarity with the Bible comes from reading it. All of it. Reading the same passage every day or spending time in a daily devotional is not an adequate spiritual meal. When we only read portions of the Bible it’s like watching one-quarter of a football game or catching a few highlights on the nighttime news. It might be good but you are missing out.
Watching Sports center is never the same as watching the game.
This is how God first made me familiar with His Word…
I was Born Again when I was seventeen years old. It was a traumatic but life changing experience when Jesus came into my life. We all need to have that moment of spiritual crisis when we realize that God is absent from our life; that He is Holy and we are sinful. That moment when we understand Jesus’ Atonement; when we understand that His righteous life is the only way for me to be with God. We believe in Him as our Lord, are forgiven of our sins, and given the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We are not born Christian, nor should we assume that we are a Christian because we have been in Church. Saving faith is not just an intellectual faith that comes from being around the Church. Saving faith is a gift of God that takes root in our heart; it expresses itself in a deep love for Jesus Christ. We become Christians through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ.
After I was saved, God immediately gave me a hunger for His Word. I read through nearly the entire Bible in three weeks. I was blessed with an enormous appetite. And I went through a couple more seasons where God invested in me this same hunger. Before my nineteenth birthday I read through the Bible –In its entirety –three to four times. The Holy Spirit brought stories and scriptures to my remembrance. I began to see how the “dots connected”. With the help of the Holy Spirit –and by reading it over and over –the Bible began to make sense.
This is a vital stage in the growth of any Christian. In fact, a newborn Christian should resist the urge to understand and interpret everything. For a time, just read and read and read. God will move you past this stage when you are ready.
Find a comfortable place to focus, calm your mind, and begin with prayer. Confess any sin that may be in your life (1 John1:9). If God is convicting you, repent and forsake it (Pr.28:13). He will not consider your prayers (Ps.66:18), nor will you be able to hear Him speak until all of the [known] sin in your life is torn down through repentance. The only voice you will hear is His voice of correction. Confess your sin and ask Him to reveal Himself as you read. You’ll be amazed at what he tells you!
This is not a task to finish on your “to do” list. It’s not about finishing; it’s about spending time with God and hearing from Him through His Word. I recommend a “read through the Bible in a year” plan if you struggle with staying committed (There may be one of these reading plans in your Bible). It takes only fifteen to twenty minutes a day. Make spending time with God, in His Word, your first priority. God will invest in you an eternity of treasures.