Friday, June 8, 2012

I am really just a Christian who likes to read the Bible ...

Is it too much to ask, I mean all I really want to do is read the Bible for all it's worth! This has been my aim ever since I started really walking with the LORD again back in 1995 (I had a lull with the LORD that lasted for a few years right out of high school, but prior to that I walked with Jesus ... but in more simple ways, yet real, than he has been cultivating in me since 1995). What prompted me to start reading the Bible in systematic ways, was the suggestion of my parents when I started a season of very hard times (depression etc.) in life; but, and here the LORD works in surprising ways, it was also James Dobson of Focus on the Family. He had a guest on his show, and this guest had found an old Bible of his deceased Grandpa; and in the front leaf of the Bible this man said that his Grandpa had kept track of his Bible read throughs for his whole life, and that he had read the Bible well over a hundred times. This started me on a trek that I have been on since. I am about to finish reading through the whole Bible for my 28th time since I started in 1995. The frequency of read throughs have ranged from 2 times a year to even 3 times a year, with a few times where the read through has slowed to just over once a year. In this time, though, I concurrently read the New Testament when I am reading through the Old Testament, as a result I have probably read through the NT hundreds of times since 1995. Anyway I share this to get at what motivates me. What motivates me to read the Bible is my love for Jesus (that he loved me with first), and a realization that I need him. I don't read the Bible so I can find proof texts for Evangelical Calvinism; I read the Bible because I love Jesus. I am a Christian, what we are calling 'Evangelical Calvinism' is a sub-set of my Christianity; it is a self-identification that says that I think certain contours of thought best proximate a way to read Scripture. But at the end of the day, my self-identification is not an end in itself; the only end I want to be associated with is Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega! So for me, to read the Bible for all its worth means that I am drawn into a deeper abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. I am still that guy from 1995 who simply started reading the Bible because I knew that I needed to hear from the LORD of the Bible and have a real life encounter with him---I have not been disappointed! I am really just a Christian who likes to read the Bible.

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