Week 8 of Read the Bible in 2011 begins today. As I read through the Bible,I’m writing down some of my thoughts, not to give you comprehensive commentary, but to give you some background or application that will help encourage you to read the Bible.
Why am I doing this? I have a couple of reasons, neither of which is to give you one more thing to put on your to do list. First of all, in John 17:17, as Jesus was praying the night before He died, He asked God the Father to:
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
In one short sentence He defined God’s Word and stated its impact. His Word is truth and God uses it to change us! In the Bible God tells us who He is and who we are as He teaches us, convicts us, strengthens us, comforts us and changes us. He is “truthing” us. Lies we have lived by are exposed and demolished as right thinking and right living are produced in us. God is making a people set apart for Himself. We must read and know His Word.
Another reason related to the first is the complacency towards the Bible that runs amuck today. With a veneer of lip service to belief in the Scripture, God’s Word has in reality been left behind as the thinking and behavior patterns of our culture have swamped and replaced the Bible as our authority for living with each other in the church and in our interactions with those who aren’t Christians. We live in difficult times, and we will not survive if we let our thoughts and ways trump God’s. I’m including many books and Bible studies marketed today because if a book has the phrase “Bible study” in the title that doesn’t necessarily mean it is faithful to God’s Word. We must follow the Thessalonians’ example:
“For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”
1 Thessalonians 2:13
And we must obey Paul’s injunction to them in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “…examine everything carefully.” You cannot examine or discern anything if you’re unaware of what God has said in His Word. Knowing God’s Word and living by it, trains you in discernment:
“For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
I’m using Michael Coley’s reading plan that mixes readings from different sections of the Bible. There’s information about it and also M’Cheyne’s plan at Read the Bible in 2011 in the top banner, as well as links to my previous daily posts. Some posts may be lengthier because they’re about books I’ve heard taught by my pastors, or ones I’ve studied or taught in women’s Bible studies.
Some daily reading assignments go rapidly through a book, while other books are taken much more slowly. Pace yourself as you need to, but keep reading. If you’ve never taken the time to read several chapters of the Bible in one sitting, I encourage you to try it. And if you didn’t start on January 1, that’s not important. You can begin right now. Don’t be discouraged by what you don’t know or by what you don’t understand. Come with a humble and hungry heart, and ask God to teach you and enable you to learn what you need to know right now to trust God and to obey Him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
May the Lord be with you and bless you in 2011, and may you grow in your love and knowledge of Him through the reading of His Word.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter