So why is it important to read and know the bible? Isn't it the Pastor's job to read it and preach it to us?
- Be an intellectually curious Christian. Read the bible just because! Be curious about it. Don't let some preacher masticate it for you to swallow and this brings me to the next point.
- Take responsibility for your own salvation. Your pastor, priest, or Christian friend is NOT responsible for it, you are. Become familiar with the stories and parables. Examine it every time you're in church or when listening to predications to see if what the preacher says it's true. So many of us Christians are just plain gullible, believing all kinds of things. Let's start acting like the Berean who would examine the Scripture everyday to see if what Paul said was true*. This is Paul we're talking about, the guy whose simple touch would heal, his words could make go blind or walk again if you were crippled. Some today would've called him a charlatan. The Berean weren't impressed. They cared about the TRUTH. So they checked the Scripture everyday.
- Be loaded with answers. Put yourself in a position where you can answer any question about your beliefs. What is salvation? How do you know heaven or hell are real?
- If possible, enroll a family member, a friend or a close one. Be cheer leader for each other, encouraging one another.
- Why should we read the bible at all? [it's funny as I'm writing this very sentence, Barbara Walters's Special Edition is on and she's asking our President Barack Obama if he reads the bible to which he responds "Yes, everyday.".So this could be your motivation.] This is the answer a grand-father gave to his grand child as he was putting charcoal in a basket. He asked the child to carry the basket down to the river and to bring him back some water in it. After several attempts, the kid feeling discouraged wanted to stop. At his grandfather nodding, he looked at the basket and noticed something different about it. It was CLEAN. It has gone from dirty to clean. And the grandfather said: "my son, it's the same thing that happens when you read the bible,... your soul changes."
I hope this gives you enough incentives to embark in this journey with me. As stated earlier this project, it requires discipline, and who says discipline, says schedule, who says schedule says calendar. Here is a remarkable online resource that dissects the entire bible into portions scheduled on each day of the year. It gives the choice to read it beginning to end, chronologically, historically, new then old, or old then new. It lists all the different versions and main languages. Last but not least it gives you the choices to start either on the 1st or the 15th of a month. Personally, I anticipate starting on the 15th of January 2011, using the New/Old method. I used to read it beginning to end but after a while about half way into the OT, I would feel "hungry" for the NT.
How to do this practically? Some do's and don'ts
- Schedule it on your calendar. I use Google Calendar and I've set it to send me reminders to my cell phone. If you decide to choose the old/new or new/old method, you can schedule the new in the morning and the old in the middle of the day.
- If you have a smartphone, download a version of the bible on it. During your downtime.
- Don't, no let me rephrase that, NEVER schedule your bible reading before bed time.
- Don't beat yourself up if you skip a day, just take it as a challenge to be more disciplined.
- Don't use it as a fetish. I remember someone once told me that they would always travel with a bible in their bags for protection. The person did not read, did not care about its instructions, let alone honor the God it talks about.
Stay Tuned, Stay Beautiful, Stay an Intellectually Curious Christian
Tresor De Beaute
Whatever people think of you will never change your destiny. However what you think of other people will change it.-- R.W.