While on my morning walk, a couple of thoughts struck me.
Too many times, I had voiced the same reasoning when it came to my faith in regards to – reading the Bible.
Despite the many years spent attending church every Sunday, I blamed the clergy for never telling me I needed to read the bible myself. I relied on them every Sunday to read it to me. I allowed someone else to read scriptures they felt were important. But what about the rest of the scriptures that were just as important? Sundays were the only time I ever heard scripture from the Bible. I never knew what the rest of the Bible said – because I didn’t take the initiative to pick it up and read it myself or learn about all Jesus had done while on earth. I let others define my understanding.
Who is to blame?
I blamed the teachers in private school for never teaching me to open the Word of God. They taught religion daily from the Bible I carried. However, we never went deep enough for very long. It was more surface reading.
Here’s a good one – I blamed my parents who never told me how important it was to read. Then I blamed my grandmother who went to church every Sunday. More importantly, I blamed everyone else except – myself.
I walked this earth for many years under the delusion that someone else was responsible for my lack of action. One could reason it was because I couldn’t read or that I couldn’t get my hands on a copy of it.
It wasn’t someone else’s fault. It was my fault. Now that I had been enlightened I realized there was no valid excuse as to why I hadn’t read God’s word for myself.
It’s not my fault – I blame
I had pictured myself standing before God and Him asking me why I didn’t read the Bible. And my answer? It’s the priest, the nuns, my parents or grandparents fault because they never told me I had to. Hmmm. What do you think His response would be?
I cannot blame others
We live in an age today where very little is private anymore. Technology has practically seeped into every aspect of life. Most of society has instant access to the world. Among the various applications available for download is the Bible. The internet is froth with possibilities. I could sit back and shift the blame to someone else, but I don’t believe God would accept the excuse given all the avenues available today to read the bible.
Frankly, I was without an excuse. My “I grew up in the Catholic church, so I was never told I had to read the Bible,” was not going to hold water. I needed to accept responsibility for my lack of action.
Romans 1:18-20 (NIV)
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Up until I read the whole Bible, I didn’t know the above passage was in there. There were a lot of things I didn’t know. I had been living in a fairytale land with candy corn and m&m’s, happy to be alive, but dead on the inside.
Once I started reading the Bible, it came alive to me and I started experiencing all kinds of wonderful things in my life. Do I understand all it says? No. But when I read it, I feel the presence of the Lord and I cherish those moments. It’s where I learned about walking daily with Jesus Christ and how a personal relationship with Him was the key to all I had been missing. A personal relationship with Jesus was what He desired.
The Bible has become a fixture for some
For some, the Bible has become a lamp stand, a bookend, a prop to raise a piece of furniture. If everyone blew their bibles off at the same time, we’d have the biggest dust storm ever recorded.
Bestseller of all time
The Bible isn’t on the New York Times bestseller list because it would be number one every single week of the year. While we scurry to read fiction, love stories, drama, history, horror stories, fake stories and true stories, somehow we don’t view the Bible as being just as thrilling and we don’t see it as life-changing.
Maybe it’s because we have determined it’s outdated, too complex or too long. Trust me when I tell you, the Bible is not outdated. They made the same mistakes we make today. Maybe it’s because we’re more afraid that what we’ll read will come in direct conflict with how we’re living. Maybe we’re afraid to meet the Creator of the world face to face.
Whatever the reason may be, Jesus has been made known to all of us. How do I know that’s true? Take a look around the world today. Who’s one of the top most talked about people on this planet? Jesus Christ. He is at the core – loved or hated, silent or spoken.
You have to make a decision – a personal decision. What will you do with the Bible? Because at the end of the day, this decision ultimately affects you. When it gets down to the bottom line, you will be standing there by yourself before God, and you alone, with no one else, will have to answer for the decisions you made.
It’s never too late to get started. You can start today
Like all good books, we usually start on page one. But allow me to suggest something different when it comes to the Bible. Start with the book of John in the New Testament and go from there. John gives the most comprehensive view of Jesus’ life than the other books of the Bible. Next suggestion – invest in a study Bible. A study Bible really helped me understand what the scriptures said. And lastly, before you start reading, ask God to speak to you through His Word and to show you what he wants you to see.
Open the pages and feel the love of the Lord come alive in your life! No more excuses!
In His Service,
Jeanette Duby, The Teaching Lady