your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need
to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2
Today we can see the state of
the church and it is a pathetic picture as the church has gone astray from the
sound doctrine. In reality there is no difference between Roman
Catholicism and Protestantism. They all agree in major doctrines and the
gospel is a common gospel for everyone. The reformers brought back the
purity of the only true gospel back to the church, as there is only one gospel,
even if an angel comes and gives another gospel according to the book of let a
divine curse fall upon that person. The gospel cannot be
compromised. Today people just believe what ever comes from the
pulpit. Just because there are people falling all over the place or someone
has a lot of credentials as a teacher or a pastor it does not mean anything to
the Lord if the word of God is compromised. Need to cut the true line and
separate the truth and error. There is no personal Bible reading and
Bible studies, as the people who come to church depends on the pastors’ sermon
for the rest of the week.
Almost all Christians have a Bible at home. Some of your Bibles look neatly bound and have beautiful covers, does not look worn out, looks still new. And some of you keep the Bible in a safe place at home and only on Sundays you open the Bible. There is no reading the precious word of God, do not search the scriptures and study and then circumstances arise when you go through a trial or some hardship, people get paranoid, emotionally hurt, get angry as they cannot find the scriptures for their comfort. People are not reading their Bibles as they come only on Sunday mornings to hear the word of God.
First let us see why some read the Bible and still they live worldly lives, there is no sanctification, holiness or Christ like behavior.
· Many read the Bible as a tradition. I did my part to God by reading and praying, and now I am free from the rest of the day to do my own business. God is not looking for a sacrifice, he is looking for obedience. If you have read the Bible and did not understand what it meant, in short you just wasted your time. It becomes a superstition. We condemn the early Roman Catholic Church as the priest read the Bible to the people in Latin language and the people were kept in darkness. It was more like a superstition and a sacrifice.
· Some read the Bible as an accomplishment. I have read the whole Bible; I have done something that people do not do. It is an experience a past event and it is history. I have done it, in my life.
· Some not only read the Bible but study it and get puffed up what they have learned as breed pride for their own destruction.
· Some study, as they have to teach others. I am studying, as I have to teach a Bible study. It becomes a work and not a joy. They teach others what to do and they do not do, leaves a bad example, as they do not become sanctified before the Lord.
· Some read the Bible to Critic God, with a critical eye to find faults.
· Some read only their favorite parts of the Bible. Some like only the end times like the rapture, the anti Christ, some like only the election. Their body grows only in one part, looks abnormal. Need to grow in all aspects knowing the whole council of God.
It is the same with the person who read the Bible daily and not understanding. It is like a bird flying over the land and not finding a rest and nesting. There is a thing as praying in prayer. Praying from your most interior part, not only from the mouth but from the soul, so in praising in song that is inward intense devotion, so in fasting that is inward fasting, and so with reading the word, not as a mechanical type reading which does not profit anything but interior reading, the soul reading.
Reading with clarity,
Have you not read? Mat. 12:3-5; 19:4; ; ; .
Jesus is speaking to the Scribes and the Pharisees. The Scribes and the Pharisees studied the word of God daily, they knew how many times such a word is written, and they were the intense readers of the word. They were prideful of their knowledge in the word as they were the masters in the word. Our Lord met them on their own court, their own camp as he said to them, “Have you not read”? Your eyes have gone over the letters and counted the letters, know the position of each letters but you have not read because you did not understand.
It is good to read a lot of books of great Biblical authors, but the best food is the word of God. The truth is sweetest where it breaks from the smitten Rock. Most people drink their water most of the time from the tank, always depending on the sermons of the pastor and reading Biblical books, but not finding the truth for themselves. It is always best to drink from the well. Psalm 36:9; Psalm 119:16.
Make a serious effort to
understand what you are reading.
Illumination of the mind
How can you love God if you do not have knowledge of God? We can kiss the Bible and will have no love devotions to the contents of the Bible. We can reverence the letters in the Bible and will not have true devotion to the Lord. When you read the Bible, your motive is to know God, come closer to him, become like our Lord Jesus. The high priest in the Old Testament before he put the incense upon the brazen altar, he always lit the candlestick first. It shows that the mind should be lighted before we can worship the Lord. We need to have knowledge of God before we can love him, and worship him. Filled with knowledge of God’s will, Colossians 1:9–11.
The Lord spoke to Moses from the burning bush and said, “Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5)
Moses has passed this way many times always wearing his sandals, and now when the Lord appeared it became sacred ground. In the same way like Moses we come from our work or from the store or another activity from the world. We cannot immediately study the Bible to see the heavenly mysteries. We need to understand in the Bible is the Lord and we need like Moses took off his sandals we need to take our worldly thoughts away as we are entering into the heavenly thoughts. Just like the priest in the Old Testament washed his feet before did his holy work in the temple we need to wash our mind, our eyes with prayer before we enter into his holy word. We are reading his holy word and we need to do it in holy fashion, as we are not reading another newspaper, magazine or reading the fine poetry. This is our spiritual meal. We need to pray before we partake our spiritual meal so we can fully enjoy the contents and give glory to God.
There are shallow passages in
the Bible, which is easy to understand, it is like the sheep eating grass in a
plain flat area. But some times there are deep valleys we have to go
through and these scriptures are difficult to understand. God put it
purposely so we will labor, pray, meditate for us to understand. When we
come to these difficult scripture we have to think. Our heavenly Father
educates us for heaven. There is no easy short cut to understand these
difficult scriptures, need to labor, meditate, there is pain involved and some
of the difficult scriptures are understood with much labor and
pain. Like grapes cannot yield wine until we press with our feet to
get the juice out. The olives must be put under a wheel and pressed again
and again to get the oil out. Sometimes when you open the shell of a
peanut or a cashew nut, we see the nut has been eaten by a worm. This
worm has made a hole with all his strength to get into the nut. Then he lives
inside the shell eating slowly the nut. In the same way we need to labor
to understand the deep truths of the Word. And the word of God is
always most precious when we live upon it. We need to labor to understand
these truths; means we need to get to our knees and cry out before God for
direction, we must ask the author of the book for understanding. Call
upon the author himself; call upon the Holy Spirit to unlock the secret
mysteries, once you understand, oh how sweet it can be to our souls. Psalm
119:25-28 1 Corinthians 2:10–11.
Do not neglect reading the historical accounts of the Bible.
Read Matthew 12:1-4, see verses 3-4. This was a historical event. If they read it carefully they would understand. But many of us when it comes to history of the Bible we give less priority. Beloved there are greater depths of spirituality in the historical parts of the Bible and it become more precious to your soul. The historical teachings come home to your soul. For example the Lord went to history for us to understand the meaning of the brazen serpent.
What about reading Exodus, Leviticus Numbers. These books have become very boring to some of us. All you find is the wilderness the tabernacle, the furniture, bowls, boards, sockets, doors, knobs, scarlet, linen, precious stones, candlesticks, etc., Why did God put them in the Bible? Look for the inner meaning, do a thorough search. The best treasure is found in the most closely locked up place. Do a thorough search and unlock the meaning of these words and you will be blessed. (Proverbs 2:1-6)
Read John 5:39. From Genesis to Revelation the center is Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath. He is the proof the Bible. From every little village in
Read 1 John 1:1-3
here we see how John’s purpose is that we may have true fellowship with the Father and Jesus Christ. For us to have true fellowship with the Father we need to know the Son. We need see him in every page of the Bible. We need to know him personally, by looking upon him with our eyes, seeing him in the scripture, and then he will be revealed to us, he becomes part of our life. Reading the Bible will make you become like him, we will love him and adore him, as John said, we have seen with our eyes and our hands have handled concerning the Word of life. The Lord be with you.