Sure, I read the Bible every week.
I mean I reference it in my Sunday school class.
And I try to keep it open in the dining room.
After all, I wasn’t event sure where I kept my Bible a year ago (here’s that story).
So I’m good for a couple personal moments in the Word per week.
That’s enough, right?
We’re all really busy these days.
I assume all Christians get around to reading the Bible.
Maybe once a week.
I know some read the Bible more than others like Pastors.
It’s their job to read the Bible after all.
And our job to go listen to their sermons.
Does it really make a difference how often we read the Bible every week?
As long as we meet our weekly quota of one to three times, we should be good.
Unless there was scientific evidence for something greater.
The Power of 4
A doctorate research study on Bible engagement was published in December 2009.
The study evaluated behavioral differences between people who read or listen to the Bible the majority of the week (at least four days), and those who engage with scripture less often.
Here are some of the key findings:
1. Christians who engaged in scripture most days of the week have…
57% lower odds of getting drunk
68% lower odds of sex outside marriage
61% lower odds of viewing pornography
74% lower odds of gambling
2. Christians who read or listen to the Bible at least 4 days per week have…
228% higher odds of sharing faith with others
231% higher odds of discipling others
407% higher odds of memorizing scripture
3. And perhaps most alarming…
There are no statistically significant differences between those who read or listen to the Bible 1 to 3 times per week and those who spent zero days doing so.
In other words, the Word becomes life changing at a threshold of 4 days per week.
Anything less than that is comparable to the Bible staying closed.
There is a Power of 4.
The study summarizes, “Without a firm grasp of the Bible, nurtured through daily reading or listening, we weaken our ability to defend the faith we claim, less confident to share that faith with others, and more vulnerable to falling prey to false teachings.”
How Great is the Problem?
Consider one statistic…
A 2006 report estimated that 8 out of 10 youth from evangelical Christian homes walk away from their faith by age 23.
Where to Go From Here
I strongly encourage you to give the Power of 4 a try if you are not already doing so.
After reading this study today, I am making a commitment myself.
I thought one to three times per week directly in scripture was good enough.
I was dangerously wrong.
I look forward to sharing this new experience with you in the months ahead, and hearing your story as well.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
What has been your experience reading the Bible?
What is your advice and experience to stay in the Word every week?
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