Falling in Love
with the Bible Again
By John W. Schmidt
The Lord had been showing me for some time that I needed to catch up on reading His Word and take more time with Him, but the constant flow of work had made it difficult to do so. Following a bout of bronchitis, which left me weakened, by His grace it worked out that I could take a few days off to spend time with Him and read His Word.
Something else He had shown me a while back was to read His Word directly, not commented on by other people, but straight from His own mouth—the Bible itself. Now I’m finally doing it, and what a joy it is! I started with the Gospels. I look up words I don’t understand, places I don’t recognize, and travel with Jesus through His life on earth with His disciples—His battles and victories until the final victory over death. What an amazing story! And from four different angles and authors.
The first time I read the whole Bible through was decades ago, when I had first started to serve the Lord. Since then I’ve relied on other people’s writings and teachings about the Bible instead of reading it myself. I do appreciate the different teachings, publications, and sermons by other teachers and preachers, as they help me to understand certain sections better, but I’m happy to also read the Bible directly myself now, asking His Holy Spirit to give me understanding. I find it to be simple and clear. I’ve heard it said that the reason people don’t read the Bible more is not because they don’t understand it, but because of all they do understand and get convicted by. Yes, there are some verses I don’t understand, but compared with all I do understand, I don’t worry about the rest. After all, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”1
There is just something magical about reading these words and meditating on them. If I tune out the earthly things around me, I can get transported directly into the scene of what actually happened. Reading these beautiful verses, stories, parables, and word pictures is truly a feast for the soul. Seeing how many of His outstanding promises have been fulfilled in my life makes me want to step out by faith more to see bigger miracles.
For example, this one about our rewards: Jesus tells us how we would get back a hundredfold if we leave houses, brethren, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, or lands for His sake, with persecutions, and in the world to come, eternal life.2 If I consider how He has fulfilled this verse in my life already, I know He will also fulfill the part for the next life. I also really like the Sermon on the Mount.3 It’s like drinking fresh mountain water; not easy reading, challenging, down to the bare bones, but when yielding to it, it lifts me up to the mountaintop.
As I am reading, I pull out the most inspiring, faith-building verses for further review and some special verses I want to go over later. There are some amazing ones, like how it took time for the disciples to understand things Jesus was trying to tell them.4 Even after they saw the miracle of feeding the multitudes, at one point “they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.”5 This encouraged me to not feel too bad if I blow it or don’t understand something or doubt sometimes. As long as I keep going, as the disciples did—faults, mistakes, and all—in the end, look what He was able to achieve through them. They changed the world and set it on fire for Him, after they got filled with the Holy Spirit.
The main thing I’ve taken away from these readings is a renewal of my love relationship with Jesus. It inspired me to try to be closer to Him and be more like Him. My faith in His power has also been renewed, as I read about how He healed people left and right, how many outstanding miracles of supply He did, how loving He was, comforting those who lost a loved one, even raising their loved ones from the dead. I was encouraged to keep standing up for the truth, no matter how odd it seems. Jesus was not afraid of facing danger. He was courageous in front of adversaries. He definitely was not of this world, didn’t have any earthly possessions, but He loved His Father and was faithful to communicate with Him and obey Him, even unto death.
His disciples followed His example the best they could, and they did a marvelous job of reaching the world, without college training, wealth and riches, but just stepping out by faith, following the Master wherever He led them. It makes me want to follow my Master and the examples of our forefathers of faith.6
I’ve enjoyed the journey so far, not wanting to miss any of its excitement, and I’m looking forward to more adventures with Him, helping others to get to know Him and enjoy the ride too. I’m looking forward to reading more of His treasures new and old, a book that can stand a thousand readings, always revealing new things unto the reader. I fell in love with reading the Bible again! From now on, it will be a steady part of my reading diet!
As an endnote, during the time when I was sick with bronchitis and was reading almost all day for a few days, I could feel the breaking point of my sickness, even if it still took a while to clear up all the way. His Word has healing power, for the spirit and body! “He sent His Word and healed them.”7
1 1 Corinthians 13:12.
2 See Mark 10:29–30.
3 See Matthew 5–7.
4 Matthew 16:6–12.
5 Mark 6:52.
6 See Hebrews 11.
7 Psalm 107:20.