Posts Tagged ‘judges’

Bible reading has become the religious equivalent of sound-bite journalism. When people read from the Bible they typically open it, read a brief passage without much regard for the context, and consider the primary thought or feeling that the passage provided. If they are comfortable with it, they accept it; otherwise, they deem it interesting but irrelevant to their life, and move on. There is shockingly little growth evident in people’s understanding of the fundamental themes of the scriptures and amazingly little interest in deepening their knowledge and application of biblical principles. – George Barna

Merry Christmas! Besides celebrating the incarnation of the One who came to serve and be a ransom for us, it also means the end of another year and the start of a new one. I love how Christmas is linked with the fresh start of a new year! Two key things in my walk I will constantly and never stop advocating for are the use of a Bible reading schedule and the value of consistently reading the whole of the Bible. Bible reading schedules have significant value as they lay a nice framework to tackle the Bible each year.

Overview of the Bible is underrated

As the two younger generations (Busters and Mosaics) ascend to numerical and positional supremacy in churches across the nation, the data suggest that biblical literacy is likely to decline significantly. The theological free-for-all that is encroaching in Protestant churches nationwide suggests the coming decade will be a time of unparalleled theological diversity and inconsistency. – George Barna

When the bell drops on 2010, I will have read through the entire Bible for the 14th time and I feel like I am just beginning to get it. I am starting to see the fruit of gaining familiarity with the whole of the Word. I see connections between the Old Testament and New Testament much easier than 5 or 10 years ago. The Bible is starting to feel like a unified text revealing God’s glory in His plan to redeem us from sin through Christ. Leviticus flows right into reading Hebrews. Malachi connects with how Jesus attacks religious legalism in the Gospels. When you start to see God’s grace revealed in Kings or Malachi, approaching the Word suddenly becomes more of a love than a habit or duty. But it’s just starting to feel that way, only recently have I begun this romance with God’s word.

Reading the Old Testament (OT) can be frustrating, but we’re so unfamiliar with it. Many avoid the OT, at least all the books after Joshua. It is tougher and can seem like a drudgery or a discouragement to a lot of us. How do I deal with the slaughter of the Canaanites? What relevance is 1 Chronicles to me? Why is all that harsh brutality of the book of Judges even in the Bible? Why does God seem so condemning in the minor and major prophets? Legitimate questions, only answered by an understanding of the Bible as a whole.

Any part of the human body can only be properly explained in reference to the whole body. And any part of the Bible can only be properly explained in reference to the whole Bible. – F.F. Bruce

We’re quick to zoom in without connecting with the big picture. We often find one verse that stands out instead of trusting God to understand what He is communicating through a book as a whole or section. 1 and 2 Kings demonstrate how hard it is to finish the race strong. Judges shows what happens to us over and over again when we reject God and yield to sinful, violent, brutal ways. It’s easy to get stuck on a challenging verse or section of scripture and give up, especially in the OT. Understanding the larger framework and literature types, seeing everything in light of the cross, and utilizing a reading schedule helps us both grasp those challenging passages and press on to learn more. A schedule helps you consistently read it all and not avoid the hard sections. It helps you read larger chunks in one sitting so as to see more of the big picture. God will give you progress in understanding the Bible as you patiently and diligently trust Him to do it over time, not after just one year. Seek to know the Bible significantly better than any book you’ve ever read, not just for knowledge but to know Him.

“Take time. Give God time to reveal Himself to you. Give yourself time to be silent and quiet before Him, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence with you, His power working in you. Take time to read His Word as in His presence, that from it you may know what He asks of you and what He promises you. Let the Word create around you, create within you a holy atmosphere, a holy heavenly light, in which your soul will be refreshed and strengthened for the work of daily life.” (Hudson Taylor)

It was just because he did this that Hudson Taylor’s life was full of joy and power, by the grace of God. When over seventy years of age he paused, Bible in hand, as he crossed the sitting-room in Lausanne, and said to one of his children: “I have just finished reading the Bible through, today, for the fortieth time in forty years.” And he not only read it, he lived it. – Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor (Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret)

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