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11.11.2005    |    No more excuses
For not reading the Bible, that is. But first, a brief anecdote.

There is a saying among observant Jews about observing the Law: first perform the commandments, then believe. Many, if not most, Christians would say that this is backwards -- why would I perform these things, some of which, like keeping kosher and strictly observing the Sabbath, require a lot of effort -- if I did not believe I was doing God's will in the first place?

Because, it is answered, in time, if you are faithful to God's Word in Torah, you will see that obedience will engender faith. Which, in turn, will make obedience not only not such a burden, but a positive joy.

The same principle can be applied to the new Israel. In our case, we don't live under the Law, per se. Yet one of the things every Christian should do is to know the written source of his faith -- the Bible. We each of us should spend a little time each day with Scripture. It's easy enough to do; it's just as easy, unfortunately, to slough it off.

So, here's one method that could not be easier: the One Year Bible Online, which provides readings for each day from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms, and Proverbs. Starting on January 1st with Genesis 1:1-2:25, Matthew 1:1-2:12, Psalm 1:1-6, Proverbs 1:1-6, and ending on December 31st with Malachi 3:1-4:6, Revelation 22:1-21, Psalm 150:1-6, Proverbs 31:25-31.

As a bonus, you can listen to each selection in the NIV or KJV. NIV is the default; ESV, and other translations, are available, but some lack the "listen to" feature. Not sure about which translation? Here's the Zondervan summary of the various translations.

Couldn't be simpler. Sure, you're busy, and perhaps you already devour Scripture. But, if you are like me, there's almost always something that is, somehow, more pressing than spending time with the Bible. This is just a way of keeping God's truths at the front.

Can this become an unwelcome burden? Perhaps. But I suggest it is more likely that, like our observant Jewish brothers, our faith will sustain our interest, and even allow us to be joyful in the gift to us from God that is His Word. After all, we have it directly from His Son (in Matthew 11:30), "my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.