Warren Wiersbe shares why reading the Bible should never be boring and what motivated him to write Delights and Disciplines of Bible Study
Interviewer: Doctor Wiersbe, help us understand what drives your passion to continue to write?
Warren Wiersbe: Well writing to me is a ministry. I’m not an athlete, I’m not a mechanic. I can’t do so many of the things that successful men can do. But I can read and study and think and teach. I published my first book when I was 15 years old, and I’ve been writing ever since. Like my wife tells me I have 173 books that I’ve written and published. To me, this is a – a beautiful, wonderful gift from God. All I’m doing is using what He’s given to me to teach people, and to give glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Interviewer: What inspired you to write this particular title, “The Delights and Disciplines of Bible Study?”
Warren Wiersbe: I have been asked so many times by people, “How can I improve my Bible study?” And I’ve read books and heard lectures on Bible study. But so often, the books were heavy. They brought out material that didn’t help me at the time. And so, I thought to myself, “Maybe I should write a book that will be fun to read?” Not silly, not comical. But just it will have an atmosphere of adventure and enjoyment. So I went to work on it.
Each chapter takes up a different aspect of the Word of God. We start in Genesis, and then we go through Exodus etc. and finally end up in Revelation. We deal with each book in the Bible.
I try to show the reader the joy of discovering parallel things in the Bible. Why does the Bible tell us that Jesus raised three people from the dead? We know he raised more than, but why those three people?
A little twelve-year-old girl, and a young man who probably just died. And Lazarus, who was an old gentleman – is there some message for me here? And this is what we do in the book. I try to get the reader to get excited about Scripture. When we come to the Bible with a joyful attitude of expectancy, it becomes a new book
Interviewer: Did you have a particular reader in mind as you were writing this?
Warren Wiersbe: I’m just a person who is tired of being bored. Many times I’ve heard people say, “Well the Bible kind of bores me.” It does just the opposite for me. I get so excited when I start tracing some cross references in my Bible.
When you discover these wonderful truths – and there’s just so much of scripture in there, that is beckoning to us, “Come follow, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the ability to understand this. Because when you discover it, then you have grown”
People need to realize that the way they treat their Bible is the way they are treating Jesus. Our Lord is the Living Word, and my Bible is the Living Word that is written. And they parallel each other. And so if I want to ignore Jesus, I just ignore the Bible. But I don’t dare do that. Because I need to belong to him, to walk with Him, and to obey Him.
I have written a book for the person who is looking for a deeper and more exciting experience with Jesus through the Word. I’ve experienced it myself. I have known of others who have. We’re not fanatics, we’re not fools. It’s just that this Word so speaks to us. And teaches us that we are enjoying even the tough places, the difficult places. And I thank God for my Bible
Interviewer: Would you give us a couple of examples of how reading the Bible and knowing God’s Word has brought excitement to you, and enriched your life?
Warren Wiersbe: Well let’s begin with the will of God. God wants us to know and do and enjoy his will. He doesn’t want us to be criticizing and making suggestions to Him, “Lord what is it you want me to do?”
Every decision my wife and I have had to make, we’ve had to consult the Word of God. We’ve had to pray. And it’s so wonderful to read how Jesus and the apostles and the prophets shared the truth of God. His character, His conduct, His plans. Shared with us so that we might grow.
When we hit these places in Scripture where, wham – the Holy Spirit says. “Stop, look, listen, now pay attention. Then you start to grow. You start to be challenged. To me, it’s an excitement and an enrichment. And, and enlightenment that you can’t get any place else.
I don’t give twenty-five admonitions. This book is not a general talking to an army. It’s more like a big brother sitting at the same table, and saying “Okay, let’s start with Genesis. What does Genesis mean? Why did this happen?” And, etc.
When you start asking yourself or others questions, the Holy Spirit goes to work. When you love the Word of God, the Word of God is going to love you. And to ignore the Word of God is to ignore the person of Jesus. So we have to develop the habit of being excited about the Word of God.
Interviewer: In thinking about this book [The Delights and Disciplines of Bible Study] and how it relates to the Be Series, how would you say that it complements the Be Series?
Warren Wiersbe: Well, the Be Series covers the whole Bible. You say, “Well why say that, aren’t people reading the whole Bible” No, I have people say, “My devotions are in the Psalms. I’ve read through the Psalms, I don’t know how many dozens of times?”
Oh that’s good, the Pslams are wonderful. But what about Proverbs? What about Jeremiah? We need to read the whole Word of God, and we need to ask the spirit to teach us.
The best way to know the Word of God, is to let the Word of God teach you. When I read my Bible, and there’s a statement, and there’s some cross references – I look them up. Because the Bible is its own best expositor. It tells us what these things mean.
Interviewer: How would you say that The Delights and Disciplines of Bible Study, is different from other books that are available now?
Warren Wiersbe: As I wrote this book, I imagined myself sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in my hand, a couple of friends across on the other side of the table. And we’re just talking and laughing and having a good time with the Word of God. I hope that the people who read this book will find joy in knowing Jesus, and discover the magnificent blessing of having the help that the Word of God can give us.
It turns out that everything that I need in my Christian life, I have in my Bible. The Holy Spirit will help me. Other Christians will help me. I will help them. And I’m trying to encourage people just to be Bible centered, Bible directed. And not to argue. Oh, God forbid that we should go around arguing about things. But just growing, feeding and thanking God for such a wonderful book.
I think that anybody who helps me to use the Word of God – to grow in the Word of God, and to be transformed by the Word of God – is a good friend. I hear pastors sometimes in pulpits scolding their people about the Bible. “You’re not reading it.” That’s not going to make them do it.
We have to do what Jesus did. He said, “This is the Word of God.” This is food for your soul. This is the light for your path. Make them envious of those of us who are walking by the Word, by the grace of God
I’m thankful for publishers like David C Cook, that emphasize this. When I think of how the Word is going through India today, and certain places in Africa – it just thrills my heart.
One thing I wanted to emphasize, is the joy of Bible study. I tell you, when I begin the day and open the Bible and start to read, I think, “Isn’t it wonderful?”
Here I am in the quietness of my study, in my library and the Holy Spirit will talk to me. I’m not Joshua I’m not Moses, but the Holy Spirit will talk to me. Jesus will speak to me from His Word. Who am I that He should pay any attention to me?
When you learn the joy and the privilege of Bible study, you don’t have to be paid to do it. You don’t have to be pushed at doing it, and scolded. No, no, no. It’s a privilege. It’s a marvelous, glorious privilege. You may not see it, you may not know it. But others will know that you’re walking in the light. Blessed is the man that God blesses from the Word, because that is going to last forever
Learn more about Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s book, Delights and Disciplines of Bible Study: A Guidebook for Studying God’s WordLearn More