Saturday, September 26, 2009

Daily Bible Reading

Are we really obligated to read our Bibles every day? If so, why?

Well, in my honest opinion, I don't see why we urge and guilt people to read their Bibles every day. I know that sounds absolutely crazy, but I honestly don't see anywhere in the Bible where God says it is detrimental if we do not read it every day. In fact, I think it was something like 70-80% of the people in the early Church who were illiterate. Of course they were taught the Scriptures and had the Bible read to them by others, but they were not able to read it every day since they could not read.

I know we use the Scripture in Psalm 119:11 that we are to hide his word in our heart that we might not sin against him, but I wonder if that is not a prophesy of The Word (Christ) in our hearts. I don't want my relationship to be with the Bible, but with Christ Himself. The Logos, The Living Word of God.

So for me, I don't read my Bible every day. I do read my Bible and it is not wrong to do so every day, but if I am doing it in order for God to be pleased with me and think I'm a good boy, then I am being absolutely silly. We have God on the inside of us, guys! The written word should never take the place of the Living Word, Jesus Christ!

"You think that in the Scriptures are eternal life, but these are they which speak of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life."

We have life on the inside of us, being Christians. The written word of God is precious since it tells us about Christ, but we should never prefer the Bible over it's Author.

5 comments:

lydia said...

So true.............this post reminded me of a time (after I came to grace, the Person) a friend said because of his circumstances, a physical stress he was going through, "I am clinging to my bible." I wrote him an email, and encouraged him instead to cling to Jesus.
One is an inanimate object holding truth, one is truth itself!!!

Gary Kirkham said...

Hi Matt,

I would say that we are not obligated to read our Bibles everyday. Reading your Bible doesn't make you right or keep you right with God.

I have found that it is important for me to read the Bible daily. It keeps me grounded in truth, grounded in Jesus. God speaks to me through His written word and opens my eyes to see the love of Jesus in passages that, until then, I had just skimmed over.

Sometimes I think we can get wrapped around the axle trying to avoid doing anything that resembles legalism that we become legalists of a different sort. Said another way, if you don't do something because that's what legalists do, then you are in just as much bondage as they are. That can apply to Bible reading, going to church, giving money, etc.

Can you separate His written word from the Living Word (Jesus)? I am not sure that you can. But I do agree that we should trust God's Spirit to lead to us to read the Bible as much as He wants us to. I also don't think it is wrong or legalistic to say that we NEED to read the Bible, not to get right or stay right, but to renew our minds on truth and to allow the Holy Spirit to correct our thinking.

Gary

Matthew Campbell said...

Gary,

It was interesting I made this post yesterday and spoke to you about the same subject last night.

I agree with you, but I wanted to get rid of the guilt associated with reading our Bibles. I have spoken with some people who have a hard time reading it everyday and feel obligated to do so because they say, "Jesus died for me so I need to read my Bible everyday". I just don't agree with that. Reading my Bible isn't for Jesus, it's for me. Like you said, renewing the mind.

I read my Bible quite often, but I don't do it out of guilt and if I don't read it, I don't panic and beat myself up and tell myself I'm not a faithful Christian.

I just think some people who have a mindset like that need to take a closer look at the Bible. For about 2 years, I had the Bible on a checklist. I would read a few chapters just to check it off the list in my mind, even if I got nothing out of it, I did my duty.

That is such a repulsive view of Christianity.

Reading the Bible is great for us as it renews our minds and helps teach us who God is and who we are in Him. But it is not to be turned into a brownie point, that by reading, you can score with God.

Matthew Campbell said...

Also, I want you to know that this was NOT something I wrote after we talked, but before.

Gary Kirkham said...

Matt,

As they say down under, "no worries!" I could tell by the date that you wrote it yesterday morning. It is interesting that our conversation hit many of the same topics. Coincidence?

I guess I should add that my third paragraph was a general observation and not directed to you. There have been times that I have been legalistic about grace, a "grace nazi" if you will. One of the worst things I did was to try to correct someone if they didn't say the grace thing just right. You can do that with people you are close to, those who know your heart. The others? Well they just see you as a pompous jerk and start to avoid you. :)

I don't feel the need to do that anymore.

Gary