Monday, July 1, 2013

How many times have you read the Bible?

An article I wrote for the local paper:

As a Christian, we believe that the Bible teaches justification by faith alone through the perfect, complete work of Christ Jesus, through his death, burial and resurrection. Through faith in Christ alone the Christian knows and experiences the forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life with Christ. Being brought into newness of life, it is important for the believer to grow in their walk with God by constantly being in the Word. But how many Christians make time for daily Bible reading? And if asked by an outsider to the faith, "So, if the Bible is the central book of your faith, how many times have you read it, cover to cover?", could you give an answer other than just a shrug and a response of, "Well, I've read a lot of it..."

The Bible is the perfect, inspired word of God, and as 2 Tim. 3:16 teaches, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness". The love and study of the Scriptures should be essential for the believer, and Christians should strive to read the Bible in its entirety if they haven't.

"But I never have time. I've got work, and this, and that, etc." Well, what I'd like to offer here is a suggestion of how busy people can include daily Bible reading, that the believer "may be competent, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:17)

Since so many people are always on the go, “listening” can be a good option for working through the Bible. A good step is to invest in a cheap MP3 player (and NOT a phone, since anything that will ring, beep, chirp, or otherwise distract you isn't going to help...)
A cheap, simple MP3 player I've been happy with is the Philips GoGear Vibe 4 MP3 player. No bells and whistles, but works fine, and can hold most all of the spoken Bible. I've seen it around $15-20 online. It comes with ear buds, but if you don't like those you can pick up a cheap headset at Walmart for $5.

Next step, get a FREE download of the audio Bible. There are a number of translations available online free. I'm partial to the ESV translation as I believe it's a sound translation of the Greek and straight-forward English. You can download it free from here: For those who like the KJV translation, here's a site to download the MP3's:
There are many other resources, and if you prefer to skip the download, you could go to a place like LifeWay and buy the MP3s of the Bible and transfer them to the MP3 player from your computer that way too.

Finally, download a Bible reading checklist and print this up, to mark off what you've listened to. There are plenty of these online, but here's a simple example:

Now, when you're working around the house, cooking, gardening, riding your bike, etc, just put on the MP3 player and you're ready to go. If you prefer to listen to the player while driving, you can get a mini-jack port at the Walmart electronics department and hook this to your car stereo aux port.

Also, as you study the Bible, if you find passages that you want to understand better or that could use elaboration, there are many good commentaries. I would recommend Matthew Henry's Commentary. He was a puritan who wrote a concise commentary overview of the entire Bible. You can use the commentary for free here to look up passages:

Keep yourself in the Word, and be blessed with growing in an understanding of God's inspired word.

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