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Posts Tagged ‘Reading the Bible’

Father, as I look my Bible in front of me this morning, I marvel at a great mystery; not what it took to write it; not at the wonder of Divine Inspiration; not at the thought of the masses who’ve given their very lives for its preservation; and not even (for now) at the marvelous truths which You’ve given us…

No, the great mystery I ponder, and indeed the matter that weights my heart is the question of, why do those, even those who call themselves Your children and followers, why don’t they read it? Why is there no desire to read Your Word – no yearning to know Your message?

Oh, some do their “devotions.” They read a passage, or a verse and a little “devotional” about that passage, but so few actually read… the… Bible… itself. Why is that, Lord?

Do we just not know where to start? Is it just too overwhelming to think about? So many people say they love You, and yet know nothing about You (other than what someone told them.)

When I fell in love with my (future) husband, I wanted to know all about him – his likes, his dislikes, where he was born, all about his family… How Lord, can we say we love You when we know nothing about You – and have no desire to learn…? We don’t know Your history, we don’t know Your people, we don’t know anything about the very place in the entire universe where You have carved Your name… (literally.)

Father, I think the greatest gift You’ve given me (aside from my salvation) is the passion and desire to know You more fully. You’ve given me an insatiable appetite to read Your Word, and to share it with others.

Oh Lord, that I might be able to do that in such a way as to spark an interest. Once an interest is “sparked” then the “flame” can be fanned. And once the “flame” is fanned, more “fuel” can be added, and as the “fuel” is added, a “blaze” appears. And when the “blaze” appears, it sucks in oxygen. And as oxygen is sucked in, the fire grows. And as the fire grows the “sparks shoot upward” and shower onto neighboring “hearts” and once again, interests are sparked, and flames can be fanned, and the process is begun again.

Oh Father – that those who love You would seek Your Face… That is my prayer.

 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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I have long said that I feel that the greatest deterrent to understanding scripture, for anyone and especially for those who’ve been “brought up” in the church, is that “we don’t read, what we read…”

In other words, we may be so familiar with the stories – we know how it is going to “turn out” – that we think we know what it says. The problem is – we don’t!

Our culture is at fault as well. We have learned to read quickly. We scan the headlines and the articles of the newspaper or a magazine for items that interest us. Marketers tell us that we have 3 seconds to grab a person’s attention with a headline. Therefore, does the Bible stand a chance?

There are 3, what I call “duh” statements that may shed some insight on our study of the Bible.

  • The first is: “The Bible was written to people in ‘Bible Times’.”

That “duh” statement carries much more weight that it first appears – We must understand that the original readers would have completely understood what was being said when many times, we simply don’t “get it.”

  • The second is: “We (in America) read the Bible with ‘American eyes’ and we (personally) read the Bible with ‘our own’ eyes.” 

What that means is, we can’t help but read the Bible from our own perspectives, based on our own experiences, coming from our own backgrounds. We just are who we are.

  • The third “duh” statement is: “We read the Old Testament through ‘Jesus glasses’.”

From “this side” of the cross we understand a lot more about fulfilled Old Testament prophecy than the prophets and writers from “that side of the cross” did.

1st Peter 1:8-12 (NLT) says: “You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls. This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you.

They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when He told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and His great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.” 

Isn’t that cool? “Even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen!”

Tomorrow –  “How to study the Bible Part Two”

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