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Why study the Bible?

There was a recent study by the Center for Bible Engagement (2009) where they polled 40000 people from the general population in the US. From eight to eighty. They just wanted to see how we were engaging with scripture. They discovered something that became the profound discovery of the entire study. They weren't even looking for this. When we're in the scripture one time a week and that could be at church on Sunday, that's the pastor saying to you to open your bible, we hear the message one time a week. This had a negligible effect on some key behaviours of your life (gambling, anger, loneliness, Pornography, Bitterness).

Two times a week, negligible effect. Now at three times a week, there was a blip on the map like there was a heartbeat. Something happened, but there was a profound discovery when we're in the scripture four times a week. It spikes off the chart. You would expect that there'd be a gradual incline on the effect and the impact that would have in your life but it was a gradual incline 1, 2, or 3 times per week then when we reach 4 times per week something radically happens. The changes are exponential. This is the power of 4.

These are the areas of behaviour that are being affected when someone reads or listens to scripture 4 times per week.

• Feeling lonely drops 30%.

• Anger issues drop 32%.

• Bitterness in relationships (marriage, a relationship with your kids and so on), drops 40%.

• Alcoholism drops 57%.

• Feeling spiritually stagnant drops by 60%. When someone says that they feel spiritually stagnant ask them the question, “How much time are you spending in scripture?” Most likely it's less than once a week. If they're in the scripture four times a week or more it drops by 60%.

• Viewing pornography dropped 61%.

Now on the flip side sharing your faith jumps to 200% because you have confidence in God’s word. And then discipling others jumps to 230%. You are also 407% more likely to memorize Scripture.

“When we examine spiritual disciplines and risky behaviour among teenagers, a somewhat different picture emerges. Teens who read or listen to the Bible are significantly less likely to engage in risky behaviours (engages in smoking, getting drunk, gambling, pornography, sex outside marriage, and destructive thoughts). Moreover, those who do so at least four times a week have the lowest rates of involvement in all behaviours except pornography.”

Jordan, Pamela. (2016). Private Spiritual Practices: Bible Engagement and Moral Behavior. Journal of Psychology and Christianity. 35. 233-241.

Arnold Cole and Pamela Claudill Ovwigho. Centre for Bible Engagement, Understanding the Bible Engagement Challenge: Scientific Evidence for the Power of 4. 2009

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