I was raised a reader.
By the time I reached high school there were several years I had read over 100 books annually. In elementary school, I read bestsellers like the Little House series, Roots and The Hobbit. But, whenever someone asked me if I had read the bestselling book of all time, my answer repeated something I had heard from an adult, “the Bible was not meant for me, it’s a holy book, written for priests.”
Giving that same answer one day, a challenge came back from an adult, “What if I told you the Bible is God’s manual for life and He wants you to read it?” The next day at age 15 I opened a KJV Bible to the Gospel of John and by the end of that week I received Christ as Savior, not by the Word preached, but by the Word read.
At age 20 I began working at a Christian bookstore and got plenty of free books. Ten years later when I went to work for a publisher that produced 120+ new titles a year, I got even more. At one time before marriage in my mid-twenties, I tracked my reading and averaged over 2000 pages a week for a year. Fast forward nearly 30 years and my reading of books has dwindled to less than 50 pages a week most weeks (not including reading to my 18-month-old granddaughter).
Since I first encountered the Bible, I’ve maintained reading at least a chapter of scripture each day. Early on there were times it was done dutifully, legalistically and with wrong motives. Though there were also many days and seasons I read joyfully, anticipating learning more of the story.
After reading every day for 30+ years, the Bible stories are no longer new. Yet, I have a greater joy that draws me into the text. My Bible reading ceased being performance based as an attempt to win God’s favor. Instead, I look forward to my time in God’s Word each morning because of the joy and faith it produces and the way God’s grace is on display.
I may not have grown up in a Christian home, but my mom gave me a love for reading; the avenue through which I came to know Christ. So though my granddaughter is only 18 months, I am thrilled that she loves books! Because training up a reader is one of the greatest challenges that can cultivate a lifetime of reward.
I’m not sure I would be a daily Bible reader without the love for reading my Mom modeled for me at a very young age. Reading is a great gift and reading Scripture provides a great reward. The Bible is in a category all by itself. It is the only Holy Book, written by the only true and living God and He wants you to read it.
Redeem the time and make the Bible the best-read book of your life.
VP and Publisher
Three Sixteen Publishing