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Reading the Bible: Does it Matter?

by Reid Ashbaucher  
2/08/2014 / Devotionals

Life is about relationships and experiences and how we deal with them. So what guide book or resource do we go to in attaining this information? As children we learn by doing, or from our parent's teachings and examples. As adults, we learn from our own experiences or from others, either by reading about others or listening what others have to say. In the end, if we have never experienced something, seen something or heard something, then we are at a disadvantage with how to deal with everyday issues in life as they come our way. I have made statements on philosophy websites that state: information is required before knowledge and understanding. Without information we cannot know and if we do not know, then we cannot come to some understanding. Within this statement the key element to understanding is wisdom. For without wisdom we cannot fully understand anything. Let's talk about these concepts.

King Solomon, according to the Bible, was the wises man that ever lived and made this statement: "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7; KJV) The Apostle Paul gives us some information about the origins of wisdom and writes about it in the New Testament of the Bible as he states in James 3:13-18:

"Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." (NASB)

According to this teaching wisdom comes from two sources, from our own sinful nature, a blind wisdom, and from God, a true wisdom that allows us to fully understand our knowledge. If I did not read the Bible I would not know this. The Bible is full of information such as world history, covering such topics as the origins of the universe, matter, life, sin, death, languages, and the progression of mankind through history; it speaks to relationships, human behavior and revelation about God that tells us who God is, who we are, why we exist, why sin, death, and pain exists, and most importantly how God provided a way for mankind to deal with all these issues in life. From a single source, we have information if read, studies and thought about, that can aid us in everyday life. It can teach us how to have a true relationships with God and others, how to act appropriately around others, how to respond under certain circumstances, it provides us the moral structure for singleness, marriage, family, government and society as a whole. This is why there are those in the Christian faith that believe the Bible or the Scriptures are the only rules for faith and practice in life.

It has been reported by "The Bible Society" through a resent survey done in the United Kingdom, that current Bible story knowledge of adults and children has greatly diminished even among those that call themselves Christians. As the world is sinking into a moral decline, economic decline and world conflicts, it would seem reasonable to me that at the least, the Christian community would want to be reading from a source that can give them the answers to life's most pressing issues. As a Christian community are we reading Bible stories to our young Children? Are we passing biblical insights and concepts to our teenagers? Are we reading the Bible and meditating on it regularly? In the end, is the Bible part of our daily lifestyle? Why is this important? Well, the Bible puts it this way:

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:14-16; NKJV) and from the Old Testament we read: "Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshuah 1:7-9; NASB)

As a final thought on this topic it has occurred to me that individuals are ultimately seeking for truth about life and its meaning, and my answer to that perspective is the same as Jesus Christ's as he prays for his followers in John 17:17: "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth." (NASB) This payer is also supportive of the Psalmist's statement in Psalms 119:160 which states: "The sum of Thy word is truth, And every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting." (NASB)

Something to think about.

Reid Ashbaucher was born in the United States, and holds a B.A. degree in Comprehensive Bible an M.A. degree in Christian Theology, and is the author of "Made in the Image of God". Permission to reprint article is granted.

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