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WHY SHOULD I READ THE BIBLE?

The Word of God is more powerful than any epic novel that you might want to read. It is God's love letter to all of mankind, speaking to each of us personally. 

In the Bible, God gave us a complete library to study. Many do not know that. In order to properly study it you must look at it as a library of books. It contains 66 books, written by many authors, yet by only one spirit.  Each book as well as the whole Bible is God breathed, not written by humans but rather written down by humans as taught or spoken by God. In other words, they wrote what God inspired them to write. 

The Bible, though thoroughly tested by man, is simply a book on eternal love. It shows you how to  find eternal life and have a two-way relationship with the Creator of all things at the same time!  And, His word found in the Bible speaks the same today as it did in the past.

Some people say I don't want a rule book like the Bible!

What are they really saying? Without rules you have chaos.  Is that what they want, freedom to be the opposite of good?  Most rules, except oppressive ones, bring or assure a better life in some manner. And, how can you gain freedom unless you learn the rules?

Think about that! 

All learning is based on rules; and the entire western civilization with respect to the courts and our moral standards are based on the Bible and Jesus' teachings.

Read the Bible it's the greatest most popular best seller on earth.

Want to know more?  Read on

Why and How Should We Read the Bible?

Robbie L. Rogers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I titled the above picture, "The Good Shepard and Helper." The Shepard guides His flock by walking in the way they should go. Notice the Shepard has a dog with Him; I named him "Helper". My how eager Helper works, keeping order in the flock. The sheep are calm, trusting both the Shepard and Helper. Yet, they know from experience Helper will nip at them if they need it. This is often how Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit guide us. Holy Spirit has often been characterized in the past as the "Hound of God."

Why is that, you say?

As in the photographic example God's hound will always be after you once you are included in the flock. He will never leave you alone, to die lost in the fields where you might have wandered astray; he will find you and bring you back, unless you be come stubborn and refuse to budge no matter what God's Holy Spirit does to bring you back.  Then the worst happens, He will leave you alone to your own desires..

Actually though it is hard to comprehend, our names were written in His book of life before our life even began so we all, whether we accept it or not, are His sheep and He will go after us even before we acknowledge Him..

Okay, so WHY should we read the Bible?

To find the truth, that's one reason. "Man shall not live by bread alone........ He must have peanut butter.

Is that the right quote?

Okay then, what is the right quote?

How do we know which is right?

Turn to the Bible and Math 4:1-4. "Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by the Devil. For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry. Then the Devil came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, change these stones into loaves of bread." But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.'"

Did you notice how Jesus quoted scripture to Satan? We should do the same when we are circumstanced to confront evil in our life. But notice, Satan quoted scripture to Jesus first, one more reason to learn it, that you may not be deceived.

When you were going to school did you study hard, fearful of not passing? Since you became Christian have you done the same? With God the life you lead is your exam.

Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, the richest, most powerful, wisest man who ever lived. He said life boils down to: nothing on earth is worth doing, nothing is lasting, nothing will bring you joy, except that it be done according to and through God.

Sitting in the pew won't get it I promise you!.

The noun CHRISTIAN ought to be classified as a verb.  Being a Christian requires action. Too many leave the great commission that Jesus called us to to others. You need a personal relationship with Jesus AND, you can't truly know God without prayer and studying scriptures, DAILY!"

Why daily?" You say.

"The Bible is alive,.... it speaks to me..... It has feet..... It runs after me..... It loves me from cradle to grave,".... so said Martin Luther........ and me.

How do we know this is true?

It's in the book. Read it .

Let's turn to Psalm 139:1-6, 13-16, 23, 24.  I am skipping around here, please read the whole Psalm when you can.

"O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!"

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."

You should mark this Psalm in your bible, maybe even making it a guide to you when you pray. It is full of promises to you from God. It has always been important to me. God knew me before I was born, and you too! I believe that. Why? It's in the book; and, Jeremiah 1:5, Isaiah 44:24 and Job 10:11 says virtually the same thing and don't you forget it. You were fearfully made. Don't let Satan or anybody else put you down.

The Old Testament is arranged in sections similar to a library: Law, History, Poetry, Major Prophets and Minor Prophets. The New Testament is also sectioned: Gospels, History, Letters from Paul, General Letters and Prophecy.

Don't try to read the Bible as one book, you'll get lost. Read each book separately, referencing back and forth, they agree with one another. Though each book is a separate book, each remains fully capable of standing alone. We'll get into how to study later.

The Bible is the most important book on the face of the earth. Written over 1,500 years ago by the Holy Spirit through 40 different authors, it remains the single most popular, powerful, and precious collection of books ever written.

There is no question as to the authenticity of the Bible. This is worth noting: the entire "accepted history of mankind" was reportedly written during when the new testament was also recorded survived in only 66 manuscripts, written in only two languages, and written anywhere from 900 to 1,000 years after the actual events took place.

 

WORK

WHEN WRITTEN

EARLIEST COPIES

TIME SPAN (Years)

NUMBER OF COPIES

Herodotus

488-428B.C 

c.900A.D. 

1,300 

 8

Thucydides

c.460-400B.C. 

c.900A.D. 

1,300

 8

Tacitus 

100A.D.

1,100A.D.

1,000

 20

Caesar'sGallic War

58-50B.C.

900A.D.

950

 9-10

Livy's Roman  History

59B.C.-17A.D.

900A.D.

900

20 

New Testament

40-100A.D. 

130A.D.(full manuscripts 350A.D.)

30-310

5,000+ Greek  10,000 Latin

9,300 others

 

On-the-other-hand, while some of those books do in fact mention happenings recorded in the New Testament, almost 25,000 copies remain of the manuscripts which are contained in the Bible, written from 130a.d. to 350a.d. in more than three different languages.  Obviously the Bible contains a much more concise and true accounting, if you consider time and numbers that survived as a measuring stick.

If you still have trouble with this aspect of the Bible read: Lee Strobel's "The Case For Christ." This book is a well respected and credentialed journalist investigator's record of trying to disprove the scriptures about Jesus. Lee Strobel is now, after finding the truth, a Lay Pastor in one of the biggest Christian Churches in Saint Louis.

The Bible contains the history of thousands of generations of people falling in and out of love with God. What you will never find is any part which says God ever did anything, but, love his people. Through it all God ran after them; and He continues to do so today, to each one of us, or else you would not be sitting there reading this!

If you don't believe it, read it..... it's in the book.

The Bible reveals the person of Jesus Christ, in a portrait so to speak. The Old Testament is the background. The Gospels display the figure. The Epistles are the clothes. While reading our Biblical painting, so to speak, a miracle happens, the figure 9the Bible) springs to life and we begin to see Jesus in it all.

There is a parchment that hangs in our Church's office that uses God's Words of the New Testament as the medium. If you stand back you see a portrait of Jesus; but on closer examination you see the entire drawing is made up of scripture, the entire New Testament is used to depict Jesus. Much like what God intends for us to receive when we read, study, and inwardly digest His Holy Word. In fact, if you can see and accept it all of God's creation points to Jesus!

Don't give up if you get confused when you read the Bible, ask God to reveal what He has for you. Even the disciples were sometimes confused.

As stated in Psalm 19, by studying God's Word, "the day will truly pour forth His speech... and the night reveal His knowledge.... Making wise the simple."

The Bible is the greatest HOW TO DO IT book ever written. That does not mean there are no difficult parts in the Bible. Peter even found some of Paul's letters hard to understand. After all the Biblical passages were written by kings, scholars, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, historians, and doctors, in different types of literature, in history, poetry, prophecy, apocalyptic-writings, and letters.

When we do any kind of research we must exercise a level of faith, depending on others to do their job or why do it at all.

Like when we pump gas at the station and milk doesn't come out. We must accept some work as right or we will drive ourselves crazy examining details already proven.

How do you use a yardstick on things like that, you say?

All acceptable scripture is inspired by God.

How can I say that? Turn to II Timothy 3:16,17 and 2 Peter 1:20,21. It's in the book, read it.

Many of us have depended on a sort of osmosis attempt to live our lives, Letting the world teach us is not often very wise.

I've read the bible, you say, at least part of it, the parts that make sense.

Well my friend, you failed to comprehend the completeness that the Bible contains.

Since when does it talk about the stock market, my teenage son who won't come home at night, my wife who tells me I'm from Mars and she's from Venus, you say?

Have you read it? I mean really read it; or did you only read it when you were in trouble, like I used to do?

I submit: if you are not studying the scriptures on how they apply to your life, and praying daily; you're saying to God, I can handle this job all by myself, I'll let you know when I need you.

If that describes your knowledge and closeness to God then hang onto your hat. As you begin truly allowing Holy Spirit to disclose scriptures to you, you are in for the JOY-ride of your life. You will learn how to become a more complete and successful person, a Christian. Instead of being fed to the lions, you will be triumphant.

However, being a Christian is a life-long process that simply begins when you turn your life around inviting, Jesus into it.

Look at Romans 10:9, 11, 13, 17. "For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved... Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed... Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.... Yet faith comes from listening to this message of good news--the Good News about Christ."

As you read, mark your bible, study it, like your life depended on it, for it does. Not your eternal life though, for that is a gift; but, your new life does, the here and now, the Kingdom of God on earth, in Destin, at your church, at your house where ever you are, what ever your condition.

Remember the Bible is a collection of many books. Within each books are chapters and verses. As I said before, read each book as a book. If you want to follow the natural progression as it relates to time, then, get a study guide explaining when each book in the Bible was written. I recommend Max Ander's "30 Days to Understanding the Bible."

When you're finished don't say I finally finished; now I won't have to do that again. Through reading the Bible God brings to us an ever abiding faith enabling us to be more like Him. It brings Joy and peace in the midst of a storm. It gives guidance. It offers health and healing to those who are sick.

Bible sales in North America amount to more than half a billion dollars per year; the average American household has three bibles, and 27% have five or more.

How many of those Bibles are read and studied? Your guess is as good as mine, looking at our current moral standards not enough I say. Yet. Not long ago, to have one Bible in Russia was a crime punishable by death. It still is in some countries.

Eight million Christian Sudanese are in prisoner work camps, thousands are being slaughtered there yearly even today. Many teams have been sent into Uganda, a country that borders to the southeast. Many of the refugees that fled from such tyranny are ministered to there, creating one of the most powerful renewal areas in Uganda. However, this world-wide plague against Christians affects over 400 million people who suffer directly or from discrimination and legal impediments.

Folks that's like the entire population of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico..... Moreover 160,000 Christians were killed world-wide in the last 12 months because of their faith, the equivalent of one 747 airliner going down each day of the year, with few survivors.

Millions of Christians live in China where it remains largely illegal to have a Bible. Yet, more Christians now worship in China than in all of Western Europe.

In Nigeria over 500 thousand people attended an outdoor Jesus Crusade, during sweltering heat and unbearable conditions; untold tens of thousands gave their life to Christ that day; and, that's just one of many such gatherings in Africa.

At one location during our Africa Mission one of our teams encountered over 1,000 repentant refugees from Sudan who had been on their knees on the hard red clay for over 30 minutes, it took over three hours for the team to get around to all of them; but, they remained on their knees praying to a God they wanted to know better. Every where our teams went people patiently waited for hours upon hours for the fresh word from God brought all the way from America.

Why were they willing to do this? Read it, it's in the book.

Many hundreds of thousands have died so this book can be read today.

What is so important about the Bible? Why would people all over the world risk their life and limb to possess such a book, you say? The creator of the universe, gave us a vehicle to know and understand Him.

Imagine the person you admire the most, living or dead, it's your choice. Now imagine they or their descendants are giving you not only a biography, but the history of all their people, the mistakes they made, and on top of that, they reveal what they and their people personally believe, and know to be true. Wouldn't you want to read such a book, to find out what their secrets were, their ways of doing what it is that impresses you. Wouldn't you want to do that.

But, the rules. I don't like rules. All those thou shall nots are boring and tedious, you say.

Okay, there was a soccer game in which the referee was late. Another game was scheduled to be played on the field. Rather than forfeit the game they pressed a reluctant father into being the referee. The game went fine until infractions were called, or not called, according to your particular viewpoint. Pandemonium soon broke loose, and the game stopped, developing into one big argument. The reluctant referee found himself in the middle of the fray until the real referee came. Within minutes the game was back to normal.

And why was that, you say ?

Because of the rules. They were known and followed by the referee, the accepted authority.

No the Bible is not a long set of rules, it's directions for living, directions on how to do it all. Inwardly digest it, asking God to reveal His character.

It is wise to start with a realistic goal for your Bible reading. Don't be too over ambitious, set aside say seven minutes everyday to start with, then build. I suggest you start with the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Then study the book of Romans chapters 12-15 and I Corinthians chapters 13 & 14, they will expand your knowledge of what being a Christian is all about, what God expects of us. If you're reading a version that's hard for you to read, get an acceptable version that suits you. One recommended by your church or a mature Christian you look up to.

Start by picking the time, place and the amount of reading you plan to do, ask God to speak to you through the passages you read. Also as you read ask yourself what do the passages mean. Compare different translations if needed to clarify them. Who wrote it? Who first read it? When was it written?  Where was it written?  Why was it written?

There are many good study guides, pick up one. If you have a commentary, what does it say? How does it apply to you, your family, work, neighbors, and the society around you? Then put what you learn to practice in your life, family and community.

What are some of the words, topics, names, and locations of where it happened? Check it out, take notes, even making an outline and memorizing meaningful parts.  Study like you did in school, write papers, make a journal everyday. It'll do you good to look back on it.

Read the scriptures with an open mind letting God reveal Himself to you through Holy Spirit and His Word, your revelation from God. See how it fits with other passages. Notice the purpose, pondering in quiet prayer what it means, study the background, the who, where, why of it.

Learn its theme, the parts that are special to you. Ask how God's will is expressed through what you have now learned. How can you carry this new knowledge throughout the rest of your life?

Matthew 7:24-27 "Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash."

We know what wind and rains can do, don't we? And who is that rock?  Jesus Christ.

Do you see a correlation.

Build your life upon the Rock, the Rock of Jesus Christ.  And, remember the Bible was not given to increase our knowledge..... but to increase our knowing of God, and to change our lives, becoming  more useful to His purposes: helping to save those who do not know Him, taking them too, into eternal life. 

When all is said and done the Bible shouts the true word of God; in reading it, if you desire to meet the true author, God Himself.  Meet Him today!  It'll do your body good.

 

If you desire to know more about this Jesus Christ who loves you, and you want to ask Him  into your heart, receiving His Saving Grace please click on this Salvation Prayer

For more on the Bible go to Understanding the Bible

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