Scripture

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Scripture reading

May 2, 2019

Barna Research Confirms: Scripture Reading has Positive Impact

Scripture reading is an important part of the life of a believer. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 12 says God’s word is “living and active.” It is important to spend time with the Lord by meditating on His word. Barna Group, a research organization, studied the impact that reading the Bible has on people. I was not surprised to see that for those who read the Bible, there are many positive effects upon in their lives.

According to the recent study, Barna revealed that 6 out of 10 adults who read the Bible said that it has transformed their life. As the inherent word of God, the Bible should radically change our lives. This is exactly why Christians should read the Bible. It is easy to be sidetracked from reading Scripture in the busyness of the day, but if we truly believe that the Bible has the power to change lives, we should set aside time to reflect on what the Lord says and then share it with others.

One surprising aspect of the study is that Barna Group defines a “Bible User” as an “individual who reads, listens to or prays with the Bible on their own at least 3-4 times a year, outside of a church service or church event.” 3-4 times a year is not a lot to be considered a Bible user, but it is better than never opening the Bible at all! To look at the positive side, 61% of the “Bible users” said that each time they read scripture they realize their need for God. 50% of these people said that reading the Bible increases their desire to know God.

This report reveals the importance of God’s word in our lives. We can’t grow in our faith if we are never putting any effort into our relationship with God. If reading the Bible only four times a year gives people a greater sense of connection to God and reveals our need for Him, imagine what the Bible can do if we read it regularly! It truly helps us deepen our relationship with Christ. James chapter 4 verse 8 says, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We only need the ears to hear and the eyes to see that we have all we need in the message of the Gospel.

2 Timothy chapter 3 says that “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete and equipped for every good work.” This verse reveals the power of scripture and explains why it has the ability to transform lives. It equips us with the knowledge of His goodness and grace so that we can live lives that are glorifying to Him. God’s word will change us if we spend time reading it and seeking to understand its meaning and all that the Lord wants us to know.

Barna’s study revealed that overall, any engagement with the Bible “positively correlates to relational and spiritual growth.” I pray that people everywhere will spend more time studying it’s beautiful words and life saving message. The Bible gives us access to the Lord’s thoughts, desires, and plans for all of creation. It is the greatest story ever written. It is hopeful, absolutely true, and will radically change the way we interact with one another and the rest of the world. Hopefully the next report on Bible engagement will show an increase in people who have come to know the significance of scripture and the power that it has to transform any life and relationship.


4 Responses to Barna Research Confirms: Scripture Reading has Positive Impact

  1. Dan W says:

    At first glance I thought the headline said “Bama research confirms…” I thought you were going to share some wisdom from Bear Bryant 🙂

    Good article Katy and the most important part (to me) –

    “We can’t grow in our faith if we are never putting any effort into our relationship with God.”

  2. David says:

    Some would argue that intense Bible study is the first step on the road to atheism. The many inconsistencies in regard to theology, morality, and history, do not necessarily promote belief.

    • Loren Golden says:

      That would depend upon the heart attitude of those coming to the Scriptures.  Do they come to the Scriptures with an open heart and a willingness to learn and understand, or do they come with their preconceived agenda and a heart hardened against the Scriptures, intending to be their judge?
       
      The inconsistencies really are not that many, do not touch on any foundational doctrine of the Christian faith, and have been explained by numerous scholars committed to the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures.  As an example, I would point you to Gleason Archer’s treatise, “Alleged Errors and Discrepancies in the Original Manuscripts of the Bible”, contained in the book Inerrancy, edited by Norman Geisler (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980, pp. 55-82).

  3. Diane says:

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a perfect example of scripture having a positive impact. In Texas on a campaign stop, he was heckled four times by homophobic protesters. He reminded all Americans that he served in the military to defend their right to free speech and then, humbly responded with a scriptural Sunday School lesson. He was quick to point out that the Bible admonished to bless when others curse. God works in mysterious ways through those who worship God in spirit and in truth.

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