Read The Bible?

Weekly Sabbath  Survey
Read the Bible? —   11-9-13
This  message falls into the “If the shoe fits” category. It isn’t for everybody  right at this time. Some time in the future, it may be for you. If it’s not for  you now, don’t fret or be puzzled. File it away in your mind until God may  remind you of it.
The way I  live my faith in some ways, is a bit different from many other  Believers. Sometimes I am asked  why I do and don’t do this and that. I  have given various answers depending on the person and the situation. But  eventually it boiled down to this: One day a long time ago, a little  frizzy-headed house wife/pastor from Arkansas said something in a meeting that  went straight into my heart:  The Christian life is really easy,  Saints.  All we have to do is read The Book and do what  it says.
At that time, I had NEVER read The Book. I had been in church most all my  life starting with the cradle roll at the Baptist Church in Borger, Texas. I  knew a lot of Scripture from listening to my Mama and my old time  Wesleyan Methodist Grandmother talk about our beliefs. I heard sermons in  church and teachers at Youth Camp and Sunday School. I had accepted Jesus as my  Savior, but I had never read the Bible for myself. No one ever suggested to me  that this was something every Believer should do: read the Bible for oneself.  What a novel idea!
That little one-liner from Hettie Luella Brooks plunged me into a lifelong  love for the Holy Bible. I read it, I study it, and I cherish ALL of it. Along  the way from time to time, certain things in the Bible began to stand out for  me. When that happens, it seems the Lord is speaking it especially to me. It has  come alive for me. So I pray, asking clarification of the meaning it may  have in my own life. This process has resulted in my unique personal,  peculiar walk with God, which evolves and changes as my understanding  grows. 
Another way I have learned is by listening to others teach and preach. I  have never been a ‘groupie’ running here and there to hear a certain person. But  I did have 2-3 people who were my mentors, in person or through  their books. I read books to learn. I avoid the persuasive power of  personality by reading what has been written rather than seeing some  people in person.
Over the last 30 years I have learned that we can have a much better  understanding of the Lord if we understand what He has said and done from the  beginning to the end of the Biblical text. There is so much more to the practice  of our faith than the average person in church has heard. Knowing just parts of  the Word of God can result in a fragmented understanding of it  and what the life of faith should be. As we study the Scriptures, some of  us may see requirements for us that others don’t. When any certain part of the  Word of God comes alive for us, we are responsible for that truth He has  revealed. As we learn, we are making our life with Jesus richer and more  powerful.
My study also served to correct errors I accepted as truth back when, as I  saw plainly in God’s word the truth of those matters. The Bible continues to  change and “renew” my mind. I still read The Book and try my best to do what it  says. I trust God that everything He said is there for a reason and is for my  good. He will reveal things to me, opening my understanding as I go along.  I know that He isn’t out to make life hard for me. Like any good parent, He  has rules to train and protect the children — that would be us — until  we are fully grown up spiritually and living in heaven.
This whole Bible, every verse of Scripture, was given to  us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to  make us realize what is wrong in our lives.; it straightens us out and helps us  to do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared on every point,  fully equipped for the work of ministry to others.  2 Timothy  3:16-17
Charlene  Reams Manning
Believer  in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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