I read my Bible daily

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Wisdom Seeker, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker
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    I read on another post that this forum is used very little...and thus it was implied that reading the Bible...is not a "popular" thing.

    I just wanted to let you all know that I read my Bible every day. I've done so every day for the last decade or so. I just don't respond to this thread..because I use the "Bible through a Year" plan handed out on Vision Night (12/31 New years Eve) by my church.

    I bet there are lots of other people who don't respond to this thread for simular reasons.

    Just so you don't think there is a lack of Bible reading... I thought I would say something. So you wouldn't be discouraged in any way. [​IMG]
     
  2. Abiyah

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    I would like to get involved in a regimented pro-
    gram that would get me straight through the
    Bible, but I have So Many Questions, so many
    things to learn, that I get side-tracked and off
    on some subject that I cannot put down. How
    does one setttle down to just reading, to read
    through, without feeling that something is
    missing?
     
  3. Helen

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    Something will always be missing! And that is the joy of reading the Bible over again, maybe every year! I have done this for a number of years and each year I seem to find more and more which gets me thinking and knowing the Lord a little better.

    One of the reasons I volunteered for this forum is so that people could ask questions about the chapters as we go. Not many have, but in doing the research we have (my husband is very much a part of the material which gets put on this forum!) we have learned SO MUCH! By really digging in almost everyday for the responsibility here on BB, God has blessed us incredibly with a deeper understanding of so much.

    Doing the Bible this slowly is going to take several years, and the webmaster knows that. But I do encourage you to read the chapter each day (it's just one, and sometimes not even that, although once in awhile when there are parallel passages, both will be done together), and then just skim what we have said and found out about it. Then read more if you want to or have time.

    Here's one idea: read the chapter here, then, when time and God allow (he may want you to cook dinner... :D ) start working your way through Psalms and Proverbs -- one a day. There are 31 Proverbs -- that's one a day for a month. There are 150 Psalms -- if you divide 119 up into two parts, that keeps you going for three months before you repeat!

    Another idea: read the chapter here, and then go into the New Testament and read, if you can at one sitting, one FULL letter to one of the churches by Paul or one of the other epistle writers. I love Philippians. I am always so encouraged by Paul's words there.

    Suggestion: avoid Revelation until you have read the Bible in its entirety. The symbolism there is explained in various other parts of the Bible. It can be very confusing otherwise.

    And please feel free to pull of ANY of the past chapters we have done here and ask questions. Barry, my husband, has studied Bible for years, as have I. We also have as good friends several others who are professors of Greek and Hebrew and who are extremely well-educated in a number of biblical areas of study. We use them often as references to help us put material together in historical contexts and such. They are all sound, Bibl-believing men of good character and repute and with learning that we have learned to respect highly.

    In other words, although it is my name here on these posts, there are several people who contribute at different times and we are trying to give folks who are interested some real in depth material to help them in their own faith and walk with the Lord.

    God bless!
     
  4. Abiyah

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    I sat down with a chronological Bible once and
    carefully divided it out to be read over a year,
    but Ii was soon bogged down in numerous
    questions which needed answers! It ended up
    that I got pieces of notebook paper and wrote
    my questions on them. This conntinued for
    several pages. It ended up that much of my
    Bbible study is concentrated on those ques-
    tions, and not nearly half are researched. I am
    still adding to the list. The classes I am taking
    also require Bible-reading, so it's not like I don't
    read. Perhaps I am just not disciplined enough
    to just read and let the questions go.
     
  5. Helen

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    Then let's take your questions one at a time. We can do that here if you like.

    Barry and I just finished the study on Exodus 22 and I am about to post it. So this will be pushed down one, but I'm hoping you will see it.

    Whatever you do, don't quit reading the Bible. And the best way to understand anything is to ask God to give you wisdom in understanding it before you start.

    God bless you.
     
  6. Wisdom Seeker

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    I would have to say... repetition and asking God for understanding. Each time I read the Bible...I get a little bit more understanding. When something is really perplexing... I ask other people. There is an assistant pastor at my church...that I swear... has the whole thing in every possible language memorized [​IMG]

    I also use lots of other tools... church, Bible study, the inter-net, books, radio, friends...etc, etc, etc. And, I read at a specific time... I have a routine. Bible, Journal and coffee...first thing in the morning.

    Abiyah... it's a journey. A life long journey. Pray and read and pray and read for the rest of your life...as with anything...it sinks in. Like the song goes... "Little by little every day, little by little in every way my Jesus, He's changing me..." [​IMG]
     
  7. Abiyah

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    I fear that there is a possibility that I have mis-
    stated what I intended! I am sorry! It is not that
    I don't read; it is that when I do, I tend to get
    bogged down into questions and curiosity. I
    may set out to read a chapter, for example,
    but find a verse early in that chapter that is in-
    triguing. This sends me off on a chase that
    ends with a mile-high stack of books beside
    the davenport. The other day, my husband came
    home to find me in the middle of our bed, sur-
    rounded by Bibles and books. He just kissed
    me, said, "I see you're doing your favorite thing,"
    and left me to do it a few minutes more when I
    really should have been getting dinner.

    My problem is narrowing myself down to just
    reading, rather than going off on such a tangent.
    I have tried alarm clocks to remind myself to stop,
    but they always go off in the middle of something,
    and I stop an hour later.

    I am clearly undisciplined.
     
  8. Abiyah

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    Thought I would pull out my notebook and peruse
    my written questions to see if there were any
    someone might want to answer. Many of them
    are really questions whose answers may end
    up being mere opinion based upon Bible study.
    * How important is church tradition which ex-
    ceeds biblical guides?
    * Wwhat to do about faulty church literature
    * The authority of the local church versus the
    authority of the majority Kingdom of our God.

    Better questions might be:
    * What Scriptural proof is there that we are born
    decadent?
    * What, exactly, is forgiveness, should it be
    offered when the recipient does not request it,
    should it be given when it is unwanted, should it
    be given when the recipient does not acknow-
    ledge a wrong, is forgiving ever wrong?
    * What are the biblical teaching regarding: blame,
    condemnation, conviction, shame?
    * What did our Lord change by coming as:
    Almighty God, King, Prince of peace, the Llon,
    the Lamb, Salvation (Y'shua, Jesus), and what did
    He not change as the above?

    Those are a few.

    Thanks! 8o)
     
  9. Helen

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    Dear Abiyah,

    I'm not so sure that you are undisciplined, but rather terribly curious and your mind is working and that is NOT a bad thing!

    OK, let's tackle some of these questions from a biblical perspective:

    Church traditions, especially those to do with seasonal observations, can be lovely. As a child from a non-Christian home who attended church with a girlfriend, the advent candles (it was a Lutheran church) were something I particularly liked. They marked a special time of preparation that made sense to me. I used them in our home when the children were small to solemnify the season and keep the focus away from Santa Claus and gifts and such.

    So, first of all, traditions in and of themselves are not bad. They can provide a sense of continuity between generations, of reminders of the importance of things, and a sense of belonging. The key is that they should be kept within Scriptural guidelines. It is very easy for any group of people -- a church, a family, a club or whatever -- to start putting their traditions ahead of God's Word. When that happens, the traditions become wrong.

    I was about to say "the elders in the church need to keep their eyes on this sort of thing", and while that is true, it occurred to me even as I was thinking about that, that the carriers of tradition are generally us women, aren't they? So we need to keep an eye on the whole thing, too. God's Word needs to always stay primary and foundational. When that is consciously adhered to and is the measuring line against which everything else is measured, I think traditions can be a lovely thing.

    They will never, ever, however come anywhere near equality with the Word of God. This is one of the major problems with many cults as well as the Roman Catholic Church. Tradition or declaration ends up supplanting Bible. That is just plain wrong.

    Bring it to the attention of the authorities in the church and ask why it is there. Be willing to show what is bothering you from a biblical basis. No matter what happens then, you will all have learned something and you will get in some good Bible study time!

    I'm not sure what you mean here by 'majority Kingdom of our God.' Are you talking about the legalism practiced by some churches? Can you clarify here? Thanks.

    Genesis 8:21 -- The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood."

    For me, that is the primary one. We are born sick with a sin nature, so that we prefer evil. We can fight it, and many do, and that is what are laws are also designed to do, but the simple fact is that even before we know what the law is, we have a natural inclination towards rebellion against God, which is what results in evil.

    Think of forgiveness as a gift. Have it ready. Wrap it up in a box and make it lovely, with no recriminations tagging along. Inside that box you have put your best and given the rest to God. That is your part. Then, should the person ever be convicted internally of his or her wrong, you are ready. The gift is there waiting for them. In that sense, they have been forgiven all along. You have avoided the damage to yourself of carrying a grudge or anger or whatever, by doing what you can and when you gave the rest to God, allowing healing from Him to enter your heart.

    But you cannot repent for another person. You cannot ask for that gift for another person. You can only have it ready to give.

    To refuse to have that forgiveness ready and 'boxed,' means you are holding onto the pain, and that can only hurt you. What if the other person has become so hardened he or she will never feel guilty? Then their offense will continue hurting YOU for a very long time!

    In addition, if we refuse to forgive, then we have denied the power of God's forgiveness of us. Jesus told a number of parables about this as well as incorporating it into the Lord's Prayer: ...forgive us this day our trespasses [depts], as we forgive those who trespass against us [our debtors].

    On the flip side, we must examine ourselves, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to see where we have offended others, and immediately ask for their forgiveness and apoligize to them. They may or may not be willing to forgive. We cannot do that for them. But we can put ourselves in a position of apologizing, making reparations where possible, and leaving the rest in God's hands.

    In each case, we can only do what we can do. But in each case that must be done so that our relationship with God, at least, stays clear and open. And, when it happens that forgiveness is both asked for and received, then both involved have also grown in the Lord and in their bond together as part of the body of Christ (if both are Christians) or in the witness of Christ (if one is not).

    Here is a personal example for you: a number of years ago, about four years into my single parenting period, I was trying to stay as active in our church as possible. In order to save money, we -- as a congregation -- were asked to sign up for monthly janitorial duties. Each volunteer family would have a team to work with and they could divide up a specific list of jobs once a month. I was excited about this because I knew it would keep me in touch with others in the church and I was feeling sort of alone then, and I knew it was a way the kids could help, too.

    Except that the other families in our team simply mailed the job assignments to us and we all just got them done on our own time. That made it even harder for us because I then would show up with my six and try to coordinate them plus do what I had decided I must do which might be too hard for them, as well. It increased my own sense of isolation and lonliness, actually. So, after about six months of that, I notified the church that we could not continue and how I had looked forward to also making connections with others during this time.

    One of the elders mailed me a letter telling me I was doing the wrong thing and that he hoped some day I would learn how to serve instead of being so selfish. That one hurt so badly! I remember crying. This particular elder had also lied about something he and I had talked about when the pastor asked about it (it had to do with a deaf woman I was helping in the church and I had gone to this elder asking for some advice).

    That one was hard. They were a founding family for this particular church and highly respected. For the longest time I just avoided him altogether. Some years (yes, it took years) later, God opened my eyes to the bitterness this man felt over something entirely separate, and how it had affected things he had said and done, to me and to others. I could only feel compassion for him then.

    The box is still wrapped and here for him, if he ever wants it. But I am finally relieved of the burden of anger and pain, even though he has never once indicated he is anything but quite righteous. It's the Holy Spirit's job to deal with it; not mine.

    Make sense?

    In Jesus last Discourse to His disciples before the crucifixion, in John 16:5-11, we read Christ's words: Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Because I have said these tings, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

    We also read in Romans 2:1-16 the following from Paul:

    You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when yu, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolderance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

    But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew and then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.

    All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do bynature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.


    Sin is what man does when he consciously violates God's law. This is rebellion. Our sin nature is what leads us all, sooner or later, into conscious, deliberate sins.

    Conviction, as per the quotes above, is from the Holy Spirit.
    He knows who to blame, condemn, and convict and of what.

    Shame is our response to that. It is our right response to that is probably a better way of saying it! Those who feel no shame for their sins are either hardened and not Christians at all, or dealing with a horrid load of guilt the Holy Spirit has revealed to them inside and they are battling God over it. In either case, we can only stand to one side and pray for them and show them the kindness that, hopefully, truly will lead them to shame and repentance.

    Here is the core of the Gospel message! He came to pay the price of death for our sins. That is one way of putting it. The way I actually prefer, however, is to say that He collected the wages of death for our sins, which we have so diligently earned! However wages can only be paid once, right? So when He collected, that was that.

    And that freed us to either accept or reject His work, His collection of those wages which He had not earned Himself. If He had earned them by sinning, then He only could have collected for Himself. But He never sinned, so He was able to collect for us.

    When we respond to God and accept that work on our behalf, one of the results is the changed heart -- a gift from God called being 'born again' -- which no longer WANTS to sin. Yes, we still sin, sometimes out of habit and sometimes in response to a very strong flesh (which God will gradually kill for us), but we no longer want to sin. Rather we want to please our Lord with our thoughts, words, and deeds. And when we do sin, and the Holy Spirit brings it to our attention, we immediately feel shame and want restoration with our Father in our relationship. And so we go to Him asking for the forgiveness which He Himself already has packaged up for us!

    In our original sin nature state, we are like drowning men. We cannot save ourselves no matter what we do or think or try or anything else. But Jesus Himself has swum out in the murky waters to save us. So many refuse Him! That is always a puzzlement to me...

    But those who accept His rescue find themselves not only rescued, but cleaned up and changed and transformed bit by bit to become fit for heaven. We are loved, disciplined, and raised up by the Lord Himself instead of being stuck out in those murky waters still drowning.

    THAT is what Jesus did for us! He not only collected the wages we have earned so entirely (death), but then turned around and has rescued us as well, so that we truly can be children of God, fit for eternity with Him.

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
  10. Abiyah

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    These three questions were early in my list of
    questions and were really from when Ii was in
    the church that excommunicated me. I really
    should have been more careful about which
    questions I wrote down here. 8o) I am sorry!

    The church traditions I was referrring to were
    more along the line of legalism, rather than
    something beautiful, unfortunately. 8o( And
    regarding the faulty church literature, some was
    old, but there were a few pieces of new literature
    that was getting so bad that it was intolerable.
    Unfortunately, when I said something, it just got
    me in a lot of trouble. Several people other than
    myself were complaining one booklet, though,
    and so many pastors disliked this particular
    booklet so much that they refused to use it.
    However, the word came down from headquart-
    ers that they would use it or else. Very unfort-
    unate.

    I still struggle with the first. I brought it up in the
    class after lunch yesterday, and my pastor
    quoted the same Scripture you did. I responded
    that I have never seen an evil infant. I am trying
    to understand. It is just that I have seen very few
    proof-texts that support that idea, and each one
    so far brought up to me can, in my opinion, be
    argued. 8o)

    I admit that I believe that people are born good,
    but a time comes in EVERY life, except for our
    Lord's, when we yield to temptation. I believe
    that this refusal to sin everytime He was tempted
    was what set Him apart. I do not believe that it
    was because He was the only one born without
    sin; for one thing, this would have given Him an
    excuse far above our own not to sin, yet the
    Bible says He was tempted just as we are, but
    He did not give in.

    Admittedly, I also base this upon my own exper-
    ience, because I remember, so profoundly, the
    first time I deliberately sinned and the feeling of
    being torn from something profound that I did
    not yet understand. I remember the sadness,
    the helplessness. It was the saddest day in my
    young life.

    Well, the Scripture both you and he reminded me
    of is the strongest I have seen yet. 8o)

    Regarding your answer about forgiveness, that
    box is beautiful. I love the analogy. The only
    questions remaining is should the "box" be
    offered before it is requested, when the recipient
    has not recognized the need, or when the reci-
    pient refuses to acknowledge a need?

    Re our Lord's names, my intention is to just
    study what He changed/did not change accord-
    ing to each of the titles He has taken--individu-
    ally. I just think it would be fun to peruse the
    Scriptures with each name, individually, in mind.

    Re the question on blame, condemnation, etc.
    those words were a few among a much longer
    list that Ii put here because they were, in some
    ways, relevant to each other. Too many ques-
    tions, too little time.

    A question that might be fun to tackle was one I
    had this weekend: why were the tribes of Israel
    divided up in that particular way and placed in
    that particular order on those particular sides
    of the Tabernacle, facing in those parrticular
    directions?
     
  11. Helen

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    About the tribes -- I'll leave that one to you and God and others who know much more what they are talking about than I do in that area!

    About the little ones. Being born sick with something is not the same as being guilty of it, first of all. But let me ask you, when was the last time you had to TEACH a two-year old to be selfish, or throw a temper tantrum, or deny eating that cookie you left on the counter for yourself? When was the last time we had to TEACH our daughters to be snobby or sneaky? Or our sons to make guns of sticks and shoot each other?

    This tendency to prefer self above all else is the most evident area of sin nature we see in the little ones. We can call it whatever we like, but it is definitely there! Can we condemn them because of it? Of course not! Might as well condemn a fish for swimming!

    But, like you, there will come a time when they each KNOW the law and CHOOSE to break it. Then they are starting to act out their own sin natures volitionally. And they will almost always find excuses for what they did!

    But, as my dad told us, if you have to give an excuse for what you did, you did something wrong.

    No, the little ones are NOT evil. But they, like all of us, have an inborn tendency in that direction which, sooner or later, will exert itself in the active expression of their sin natures.

    Is that a little clearer?
     

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