Why Reading the Bible Is Not Enough

I believe the Bible to be inspired by God, if nothing else because of its incredible, unprecedented preservation. That alone is a miracle. I make it a priority to spend time reading it everyday. But merely reading a copy of the Bible or learning the Greek and Hebrew or having theological discussions about certain passages does not mean you have actually studied God’s word.

It took three centuries for Christians to have access to what we now consider the inspired Word of God, and another millennium before it was available to the masses. This tells me that there is a whole lot more to studying God’s word than merely reading the pages of a book. In order to understand which writings were true and what to believe, early Christians had to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit (personally and through other believers). They had to actually KNOW Jesus: both through conversation (prayer) and experience.

Jesus Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1,14). He is the perfect representation of God (Heb. 1:3; Col. 1:15). God’s word, His message, to the world is, simply, Christ.

To truly study the Word of God, we must intently focus on Jesus (James 1:25). This primarily comes through prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit who only says what Jesus says (John 16:13).

Reading and being immersed in the Bible is powerful and essential but should be done with prayer and discernment from the Spirit because that is the primary communication between God and man. You cannot understand the truth of the Bible unless the Spirit illuminates it to you.

I cannot stress, enough, my belief that the Bible is inspired by God and should be taken literally and COMPLETELY. You can be certain that God will not tell you to do something which contradicts the absolute truth He has already spoken through the Bible. But knowing the Bible does NOT mean you know Christ. It may lead you to a deeper understanding of who Christ is and His characteristics, just as a detailed map of LA helps me get around. But studying a map is not equivalent with “getting around” and actually KNOWING Los Angeles. The Bible may be a love letter from God, which is pretty awesome, but no lovers are ever satisfied with only letters. They want real interaction.

C.D.

Do You Agree with Every Book You Read?

My brother Asher has really good thoughts and insights for reading books whether you agree with them or not.

asherwitmer

In today’s world, there’s an endless supply of resources to help us grow. Perhaps you, like me, enjoy reading good books. But how do we know if an author is trustworthy? And is it okay to learn from them if they have some beliefs that we’re not sure are Biblical?

Photo Credit: Nic's events via Compfight cc Photo Credit: Nic’s events via Compfight cc

I often refer books that I find helpful to my friends and I’ve started doing it online, as well, as a way of generating income for my family. I have yet to read a book where I fully agree with the author and I’ll be forthright with you that I don’t always agree one hundred percent with the books I refer. I can’t promise that you won’t need discernment as you read. Here are some thoughts I try to keep in mind that I believe can help all of us test authors in a healthy way.

  1. Just because he uses…

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one thing mom did well we all should learn

Insightful post from my brother about our beautiful Mom.

asherwitmer

Mothers are amazing people. They don’t get near enough credit! They work so hard and do so much and barely get a “Thank you for the meal” at the end of the day. It blesses me that so many Mom’s faithfully serve their families with joy, in spite of the lack of recognition they sometimes receive.

But it blows me away to meet a Mother that goes beyond the hard work and proper care and invests something even more strenuous into their families. Those women are not just good Mothers, they are the saints of all Mothers. And they have something that each of us should develop.

62276_10151333933281155_1391867251_n *Family photo of my Mom

My Mom was one of those mothers. If you don’t mind, I’m going to brag on her a bit, today. You see, this is the second Mother’s Day that I have not had her alive to celebrate. My Mom was…

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The Incredible Love of the Father

I don’t know about you, but it is easier for me to believe in God than it is to believe God loves me. This hesitation to rest in His love causes me to live under a constant pressure to perform — to prove myself to God and to others. But Christ came as a mediator between God and man to reconcile us to the Father and take away that pressure to perform. Every day I must remind myself that God the Father loves me not because of what I do, but simply because He made me. I can abide in His love because Christ has reconciled me with the Father.

God wants us to agree with truth whether we understand it or not. Truth is simply the way things really are (reality). It is like the answer to a difficult math problem which you accept to be true even though it does not make sense. As you move on and continue to try to understand the problem, it eventually begins to make sense, especially if the teacher explains it effectively. Whether or not you understand does not effect whether or not the answer is true.

It is like that with God’s love. He loves us simply because He made us, but only through Christ can we abide in that love. He wants us to agree with truth because only when we agree with truth (with God) can He truly begin to work through our lives. And this is the truth which we should agree with everyday: in Christ we are cleansed, accepted, and loved by our Father in Heaven.

We must first realize that…

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The Incredible Love of the Father.