The average American home has 4.4 Bibles. Over 100 million are sold or given away every year. The Gideon’s give away a Bible every second. In an American Bible Society survey “88 percent of respondents said they own a Bible, 80 percent think the Bible is sacred, 61 percent wish they read the Bible more, and the average household has 4.4 Bibles.” *
Doug Birdsall of the American Bible Society says that our relationship to the Bible is analogous to the problem of obesity in America. People realize they are overweight but won’t follow a diet. He adds, “People realize the Bible has values that would help us in our spiritual health, but they just don’t read it.”
If we believe what the Bible says about itself we would breathe easier if we did read it. In the second most famous “3:16” passage, 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us “All Scripture is breathed out by God . . .” It’s a strong metaphor that sets the writing of Scripture apart from any other writing. God breathed life into the words we find in Scripture.
The first time God’s “breath” is mentioned is in Genesis 2:7: “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” God gave life to man. And God gives man life through his written word. It is inspired by him.
Other books are inspiring. Try reading Unbroken. You’ll be caught up in the incredible story of Louis Zamperini. His run at the Berlin Olympics, his survival of a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp and his later conversion to Christ will inspire you to live life to the full.
But it is not God-breathed. The Bible is a truly unique book that only God could have woven together.
- It was composed over sixteen centuries by forty different authors and yet there is one central theme throughout.
- It was written by shepherds and soldiers, fishermen and tax collectors.
- It was written in different countries utilizing different styles including narratives, poetry, wisdom writings, gospels, letters and apocalyptic.
The Bible you hold in your hand or read on your Tablet is living with God’s very breath. And if you believe that then the Bible is authoritative for life. “All Scripture is breathed out by God …” Paul writes and then adds “… and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
There are countless “self-help” books available to help you organize your life and work. But for the Christian there is only one book to turn to for guidance in life. For most these words have not been tried and found untrue. They have merely been untried.
Try them this week. Take up one of the 4.4 Bibles in your house or on your mobile devices and read. Read it alone. Read it with other Christians. Let teachers help you understand.
But most importantly, let it lead you to Jesus. You’ll feel the very breath of God giving you life.