It is only about the 14th time I have attempted this, and while my previous results are very consistent they have fallen far short. I am 0-14. To say it another way, I have never read the Bible in a year.
As we approach the end of the first quarter 2015, though, I am a little amazed to say, I am on track! Every day, I log on to www.bible.com, go to my reading plan, and the website gives me my proverb, psalm, gospel, prophet, and torah passage for the day. 84 days in I am 84 for 84.
The Bible always surprises. Even though I have preached on a good deal of it, nuances always emerge. In Luke 6:35, for example, Jesus says Love your enemies! – but then he goes further. Do good to them! And then if that were not enough, Jesus tells us – lend to them without expecting to be repaid.
How many times have I been told or encouraged others to love our enemy? How many times have I been told or encouraged others to do good or lend money to that same enemy without expectation?
A second surprise has been the selfishness in Scripture. There is a fair amount of bless me and stick it to my enemy theology behind a chunk of the Holy Word. Examples abound, but Psalms are rich. Psalm 58 laments unjust rulers. Hoping for God to act against these unjust rulers, Psalm 58:8 prays;
May they be like snails that dissolve into slime….
It’s a little harsh. And while I do not know the particulars, I believe Jesus would draw a line and tell us not to pray our enemies would be like snails that dissolve into slime.
One of the attributes of the Bible is how it matures as it goes along. Parts of Psalms are shallow, and there are other writings too which, read now, make us cringe. I appreciate how transparent the Bible is – it says what the writer honestly feels – and one of the blessings of Christianity is how the Holy Book, just like a believer today, grows over time.
Centuries from now Christians will read our writings and think – how could they be so off? The answer, of course, is that Christianity grows. It is why our faith has been and will be vibrant throughout yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
thank you for reading – if you found Jesus is this like and share!