Why Read The Bible

Writer Author  Richard S. Adams
Christian Article : Bible Study  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer It's important to our spiritual growth to connect with God through scripture every day, yes, every day. There are various daily or weekly Bible Reading schedules and everyone should be able to find one that meets their needs. With a systematic, daily reading schedule, reading the entire Bible in a year is not a chore at all, once you have a routine and find your daily rhythm.

People who read slowly, as I do, might need to schedule thirty minutes a day. What is far more important is setting aside the time, making space for God. You know as well as I do there is no excuse why you can't do this. This isn't about following a set of rules. It's more like making sure you text, email or even call a dear friend. You don't brag about texting your friend, its private; it's just something you do. Reading your Bible should be the same, unless you have questions or are seeing a spiritual director. Studying the Bible is a different topic altogether.

We all wear glasses when we read the Bible. Most modern translations are based on the earliest of ancient texts. They differ only slightly in wording. Whether we are reading the New King James, New International Version, Revised Standard Version, whatever, we all read pretty much the same text. Even so, each of us comes with a different perspective because of our life experiences. Who and what we have experienced and how we have reacted or responded to the people and events in our lives shape our perspective of what we read in Scripture. Though we all have much in common, we are all very different. Snowflakes and fingerprints remind me how much God loves diversity.

Find a systematic Bible reading schedule. Google will result in plenty, or use mine. Then determine when you will have thirty minutes of uninterrupted time each day to be alone with God. Before you begin I want to ask a question. Why are you doing this? Is it strictly for information to impress your church friends? Is it because you think this will make you a better Christian? Is it because you want to draw closer to God? The last reason is the only reason.

When you fall in love you naturally want to know everything you can about that person. I am still learning things about my bride of twenty six years. The more I get to know her, the closer we get. We have shared good times together, but we have also endured pain, sorrow and loss. We know the sound of each other's voice. We can tell when the other is happy or sad. This hints at what I seek when I read the Bible. I want to know the Lord.

That being said, I still read to know. Gradually names and places begin to fall in place, only to reveal there is even more I do not know. When I read I am always asking God questions, wondering if what drops into my spirit is from God or just me. I am trusting that the more I learn about God's nature, the better my discernment will become.

We all have our religious traditions, what we think we believe based on what we have been told, not what we read in the Bible. From such a tradition I asked Steve Delamarter, my Old Testament professor, a question. With an understanding but whimsical smile, he asked me, "Where do you see that in the text?" That helps me to first read Scripture literally, sometimes searching to see if the writer was using a metaphor specific to that audience, that place, that time.

Even so, there are times when a passage bypasses my brain altogether. It will speak profoundly to my heart in ways I cannot articulate. Everyone who reads the Bible has this happen at one time or another. It is a private, intimate moment of encouragement or conviction that translates the literal, historical meaning; allegorically, anagogically or spiritually, to me right now. It is a message from God to me, bursting into my consciousness. It may have absolutely nothing to do with the original meaning of the passage. In that case, if the literal, historical, common sense meaning contradicts what I think God dropped into my heart, then whatever dropped into my heart was not from God.

We should read and listen to Scripture simply and humbly. Unless asked to do so, I do not attempt to read with any kind of scriptural exegesis. The more I read the Bible the more I want to be open to whatever and however God wants to communicate with me. I am not closed minded to allegory or mystical allusions to heaven and afterlife; as long as they do not contradict the Lord I have come to know through God's word and my own experience.

Spending time with God in God's word flows naturally into your prayer life. I wonder about folks who say they pray often, but spend little time in the Bible.

We read the Bible to learn about God, to have our minds and hearts transformed by gazing at God's nature, to be reassured that God is with us and wants what is best for us.

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Country: Oregon
Email: rsaofyap@yahoo.com
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