I grew up loving to read. There isn’t a time in my childhood years that I can remember my mother without a library book. Some of my earliest memories are of her taking me down the gray painted stairs, a single light bulb dangling from a wire in the ceiling, and into the dark basement of the old Hillsboro Public Library on Second and Lincoln.
I still love to read. If you paid me a visit, you’d find stacks of books on the kitchen table, on the floor beside the bed, a couple stacks on the living room coffee table (unless I knew you were coming and hid them away), and even in the bathroom. I’m always reading a novel, but mostly I read non-fiction. And I can’t just read one book at a time. Right now I’m reading 8 different books, but not all simultaneously. Even my brain is incapable of that.
The other day I picked up a book called Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Oh Wow! It’s an incredible book. Great story. I read a sentence on page 25, another on page 132, and then six words on the middle of page iii. Amazing! I heartily recommend it. It’s full of life and valuable information that will change your life.
“Ridiculous!” you yell at your computer screen. “How can you possibly understand Treasure Island by reading a few bits and pieces scattered around in the book?”
I agree. So why is it that on Sunday morning, the pastor treats the Bible that way? Why is it that most of us read the Bible in that same fashion?
If you want to understand the Bible, you must read and study it line by line, page by page. That’s how God wrote it. That’s how we should study it. And that goes for pastors preaching it to their congregations.