SOMETHING TO CHEW ON
Abraham Lincoln once said “Read the Bible for what, on reason, you can accept and take the rest on faith, and you will live and die a better man.” We know that not only will we die a better person for having read the Bible but if we are wise enough to obey its commands after reading them we shall also rise to live forever. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
As we have now progressed well into 2009, how are our daily readings going? It is a great pity that so few read the Bible every day. How can we think godly if we don’t read God’s thoughts? In the natural we sometimes feel we get to know a certain author by being thoroughly familiar with his writings.
Certainly those who have made a study of Shakespeare feel they are acquainted with him and his thought processes; so it is with any other writer who has left his works behind. It may be nice to know a human author this way but it in no way compares with getting to know God through His Word. In fact, it is completely impossible to obey the first command to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind if we do not constantly read His Book, pray and meditate upon His goodness and mercy to us.
Remember John’s point about hating or loving our brethren? The last part of his question is, “How can he love God whom he has not seen?” How can we? It is impossible to love the unknown. We cannot love someone we have never seen, never heard from, never heard of. Only by becoming familiar with a person can we love them. In the natural this usually comes as a result of personal contact but it has occurred by correspondence. Many lovers first met by mail and the love grew even before they saw one another. Since we have never seen God it is only possible to love Him as a result of our familiarity with His Word and His spirit which he dwells in us with. It goes without saying that if we are not faithful in our daily readings in His Book, we will not love Him. How can we expect Him to save us if we break His first and most important command? Paul asks the question “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” His answer is, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
It is this word of God that must fill our minds and hearts if we are to love Him, obey Him and receive from Him the crown of righteousness. To ignore the Bible readings is to ignore God. It won’t make much use what else we do if we don’t do them. That’s the trouble with the world today. Every man is doing that which is right in his own eyes. The world expresses it as “doing your own thing.” “Our own thing” will be of no value in the day of judgement.
If we do not read our Bible regularly in January, we must not let February and the rest of the year take the same course. Making and breaking New Year’s resolutions is the butt of many jokes but not reading God’s Word is no joke whether it was a New Year’s resolution or not. If we cannot find time to read God’s book every day, just how much do we really love Him? Our actions are speaking louder than words.
The Bible reading charts are not the only way to read the Bible but they are a very good way. Whatever way we use to read the Bible, we should use it and do it every day. It is good to do it as a family if possible. May the words Paul addressed to Timothy apply to us as well. “Continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; And that from a child you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
* * * * * * *
The reason why the majority of people are forgetful hearers of the Word of God, is because they are not constant readers of it.
Don’t count your troubles. Rather, count the challenges that are already stacking up higher than a pyramid before you. Whether you want to make a million this 2009 or not, it is entirely up to you. It is in your hands completely. And by a million, I don’t necessarily mean dollars. I mean all the other things besides. Like friends, kindly acts, gestures of goodwill to those who need them most.
Set your sights high. Make a goal, and thereupon work at it with frenzied non-stop effort. Aim at becoming a “Goal-achievement millionaire.” That means in twelve months hence you will have reached your goals, solved your problems, secured inner peace of mind, mental refreshment.
You will have made more friends than ever before, and in turn, you will find you are on the friendship list of a greater-than-ever range of people, too. This is a wonderful start.
You may have made a few more dollars as well. But suddenly you find this is not so important. Your new concept of living, working out simple solutions to your vexing problems, finding that negative thoughts have no place in your mental environment, solving problems on a day-by-day basis with a strong, forthright, positive approach - these have suddenly converted you into a mental millionaire.
Intimately associated with all this, come important facets in your spiritual life. This is a basic key to help solve all problems.
Did you used to read the Scriptures on a regular daily basis? Maybe up to until a year or two ago. What happened in the interim? Bowed down by the cares of the world? Couldn’t be bothered? Too tired?
Taking Christ into your life as a working partner is a top way to achieve your goal. He will help keep your computer mind working steadily and accurately. He will keep it oiled with the balm of enthusiasm, a sweet nature, a sober spirit and Christ-like temperament.
There will be no more need to go mad at your offensive contemporaries. The well-adjusted computer is programmed to cope with such difficulties as they rear their ugly heads. But it is essential you walk hand-in-hand with the Master-mind at all times. With His aid, success is never more assured, never more gratifying and overwhelming in volume.
Think positive right through 2009 and, without doubt, with Christ in your life your goals will spin into reality with frightening rapidity.
* * * * * * *
- John Aldersley