This is part two of a series on the Bible encouraging those who know little or nothing about the Bible to gain an understanding of its contents; and to understand why there are those who have decided to pattern their lives after its precepts.
Many of us as children heard Bible stores when we were young; and many parents today leave it up to the Sunday School teachers to teach their young children; but in order to give your child the best Biblical education possible, parents need to know not just about the Bible; but they need to know the Bible. Big difference. They need to know its concepts and precepts; not just the stories as told to small children.
In part one, you are encouraged as a non-believer to get a firsthand knowledge of what the Bible is all about; and it gives a link that not only allows you to read the whole Bible through in one year; but gives many helps along the way to explain those passages that may seem vague. It also encourages those of faith who have allowed other things to take priority in their lives to return to God’s Word.
This article will deal with why anyone should read the Bible. The Bible is often in the news for many reasons – mostly into today’s world to bash or make fun of those who believe in it; but also there are many people who have sat in the shadows with their faith for too long; and it is time to brush the dust from the cover of the Holy Book; and once again remember why they are Christian. An then there is so much miss-information out there about the Bible by off-the-wall types of people who only use God’s Word for their benefit or profit.
While there are many reasons to read and know the Bible, far too many people try to use it only in a time of trouble or stress like some kind of magic potion or ointment that will heal their hurts and woes. While it is not impossible to find comfort and direction in the Bible during those times, it certainly is not the way to read and learn from its Holy pages. It is like being hungry and going to the pantry to find food was never put there. We need to have God’s Word stored in our hearts for those times when we are spiritually hungry looking for answers.
The Bible was written by many authors over a long period of time; but the 66 chapters of the Bible have been so arranged as to begin at the beginning and to foretell the ending. Because we can look at the prophecies of the Old Testament written many centuries ago and see their fruition, we are able to understand and believe that which is foretold in the New Testament, we can only believe those prophecies as well. Many ministers of the Gospel (and scholars of the Bible) believe that we are actually living in the last days as predicted in Revelation.
There was a wildly popular series written on information from the Bible but put into human fiction form in the “Left Behind” series written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. They wrote 16 best selling novels; and many who read them see the truth of this series being fulfilled every day. Only the people are fiction; the prophecies come straight from the Bible. These books left the shelf as soon as they were published. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_Behind
As with anything today that has to do with the Bible, these books are not without criticism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_Behind
So… for those of us who really want to know what the Bible has to say the only way is to read it for ourselves. If the One Year Bible Blog was too daunting for this year, there are others that simply divide the total Bible into smaller easier digested portions on a daily basis with the goal of completing it from cover to cover within the year of 2011.
Conservatives see the only hope for America is that she return to her faith-based roots; and begin once again to honor God and His Word. When we deny God we perish; when we honor God, we are blessed.
So given that… why should anyone want to read the Bible?
This link below gives great insights in to finding that answer. Franklin G. Huling wrote an article for Foundation Magazine in 2002 that gives the following information. It is just as good for 2011.
He begins his article with:
Shall We Send It Back?
“A lad of seven years took the Bible one day from the library table in his home and asked, “Is this God’s Book, Mother?” “Certainly It is,” was her reply. “Well,” continued the lad, “don’t you think we might as well send It back to God? We don’t use It here, do we?”
This incident may cause us to smile, but it reveals a sad and vital lack of reading the Bible. Whatever may be one’s views of the Bible, there are many sound reasons for reading It.
We need to read It because
The Book of Life: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Read more details on each of these listed in the outline at link below.
The Book of Light: “The entrance of Thy Words giveth light” (Psa. 119:130).
The Book of Salvation: “The Holy Scriptures … are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).
The Book of Spiritual Growth: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). Christians cannot grow without food. God’s Word is the food.
The Book of Comfort and Hope: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
How to Enjoy the Bible: “Thy Words were found, and I did eat Them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy Name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jer. 15:16). (When we eat anything it is consumed and becomes part of our bodies.)
“There’s a Man in It!”
Two little sisters were trying to put together a cardboard puzzle map of the United States. It was cut up into odd shapes. They were getting discouraged. Suddenly the older sister turned a piece over and saw on it part of a man’s nose.
On the back of another piece she saw part of a man’s ear. “There’s a man in it!” she exclaimed. They knew what a man’s face looked like and soon put the pieces together correctly. Then their father turned the whole puzzle over for them, and there was the map of the United States.
The Bible is a puzzle to many because they do not realize that “There’s a Man in It,” even the Lord Jesus Christ. He said the whole Bible was about Himself. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).
To understand the Bible, we need to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and look for Him everywhere in His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to take the things of Christ and show them unto you. May our desire be:
“More about Jesus in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.”
The Bible becomes ours, not by merely owning a copy, but by storing It in our mind and heart. Read It now, while you can. What a tragedy to grow old without Christ, or, if saved, to know only meagerly the treasures of God’s Word. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16).
When this heavenly treasure, the Bible, is really ours, we will value the Words of God as did David, when he said, “More to be desired are They than gold, yea, than much fine gold” (Psa. 19:10). Gold cannot buy happiness, but God gives us abiding happiness through His Word.
Link to Mr.Huling’s exposition on each topic above: http://www.truthfulwords.org/articles/whyread.html
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Another suggested site for ‘ Read The Bible Through in a Year.’ http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/biblereading-1yr.html You can click on each day and each day’s reading and read it right here from your computer. This sight does not go straight from cover to cover; but skips around. This helps with a better overview of the Bible. God has made it so easy for us to read His Word.
For Part one in this series see: http://glowbass.com/family-issues-in-national/vague-on-the-bible-want-to-know-more-read-the-bible-through-one-year
For archives of National Family Issues see: http://glowbass.com/family-issues-in-national/patricia-walston