Hugh's News & Views (Read The Bible . . .)

READ THE BIBLE ALL YOUR LIFE

A Christian, regardless of his or her age, never outgrows the need for Bible study. The word of God is milk for the newborn babe in Christ (1 Peter 2:1-2); it is solid food (strong meat, KJV) for “those who are of full age” (Hebrews 5:14). Christ is the water of life and the bread of life (John 4:13-14; 6:48-51), and one never reaches the point where he does not need the spiritual nourishment that Christ provides.

This nourishment is available only through God’s word and can be accessed only by a diligent and ongoing study of the Bible. “Man shall not live by bread along, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; cf. Deuteronomy 8:3).

All Christians, young and old alike, need to remember: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6, NKJV). God’s word provides spiritual nourishment for those in all stages of life and at all levels of spiritual maturity.

There are several reasons why Christians need to be engaged in continuous Bible study. Continue reading

#bible-reading, #hughfulford

Your Bible version

Stack-of-BiblesYOUR BIBLE VERSION

Your Bible version, even if
King James himself decreed it,
Will do no good, in covers stiff,
If you never bother to read it.

J. Randal Matheny

#bible-reading, #bible-versions, #christian-poetry

Is Your Bible a Special Book to You?

Recently I was checking posts on Facebook when I came upon a video made of Christians in China receiving Bibles. Someone placed a large, black, suitcase on the floor and unzipped it. It was filled with Bibles. The men and women rushed to it as if it were filled with one hundred-dollar bills, or a favorite food item. Soon the Bibles were all taken, and the case was empty. Continue reading

#bible, #bible-reading, #bible-study, #christian-living

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Psalm 123 What Shall I Do, Lord?

There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.”

Verse 1 directs our eyes;

Verse 2 directs our obedience;

Verse 3 directs our hearts;

Verse 4 directs our pleas.

Verse 1: Since “heavens” means upper expanse, whenever we need to look for God, we must “lift up our eyes.” Jesus, as God, now is “dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Timothy 6:16). Morally, to “see God” is to see the effects of His Will in the obedient heart. Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Peter taught how a heart becomes pure: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:22-23). John added: “He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11).

Verse 2: It is not enough just to “look” for God, but it must be with a humble heart: “as” the servant’s eyes look in anticipation of what the master desires to be done; “as” the maid looks for whatever detail she may provide for her mistress’s satisfaction; “so” we look toward God for instruction. Our eagerness to obey Him prompts His willingness to extend “mercy” to us! He, however, has already given all of His instruction in His Book “once for all” (Jude 3). No one should look toward God without seeing Jesus in His Word: “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:9-10).

Verses 3-4: We keenly feel the need for God’s “mercy” because we are “exceedingly filled” with “the contempt of the proud.” These are the people who, Jesus said, “this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause’” (John 15:25). Jesus had also taught: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20).

Thought: It is pitiful to see people “look up to:” Gandhi, Marx, Einstein, Darwin, Mohammed, “the Pope,” a pastor, ancestors, a teacher, philosophers, or gurus but look down on (denigrate) Jesus Christ! Truth is entirely the other way: “we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:23-25). We quote the statements that have influenced us the most: Do we quote Jesus Christ above all?

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-reading, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #eyes, #faith, #god, #mercy, #obedience, #truth, #work

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Psalm 120 God Hears When the World is Saying Wrong Things

There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.”

Verses 1-4 contrast God’s listening to help, and our having to listen to others;

Verses 5-7 state how hard it is to live among war-mongers.

Verses 1-4: (Verse 1) God hears our cries from distress. Jacob said God had done so (Genesis 35:3); David said God had (2 Samuel 22:7); Paul said distress cannot “separate us from the love of Christ” (Romans 8:35). (Verse 2) Integrity, trust, faith, dependability all are ruined by “lying lips” and a “deceitful tongue.” “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight” (Proverbs 12:22). Having a “deceitful tongue” is responsible for destroying the credibility of gossips, talebearers, editorial writers, propaganda press, factory fables, and many others. (Verse 3) There will be a judgment against a “false tongue.” “All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). (Verse 4) Whoever said “words can never hurt me” wasn’t familiar with this verse. Words can pierce like “sharp arrows of the warrior,” and burn like “coals of the broom tree.” “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:2-8).

Verses 5-7: (Verse 5) Little is certain of these places, “Meshech” (slave traders, Ezekiel 27:13) and “Kedar” (wanderers, Isaiah 21:16-17), but they represent the hostile environment many people experience, even today. (Verses 6-7) Patience and longsuffering can wear us down or wear us out when we are mis-matched with polar opposites on a subject like “war” and “peace.” There is “a time of war, And a time of peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:8), however “wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroys much good” (Ecclesiastes 9:18). The wise can avoid war, but the foolish advocate it and their foreign policies depend upon it! Christians are not waging carnal war against their enemies (2 Corinthians 10:2-6). “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7).

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-reading, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #deceit, #faith, #god, #life, #lying, #obedience, #salvation, #sin, #truth, #wisdom

Why I read Scripture

• I READ THE BOOKS OF MOSES (Gen-Deu) to master, from the historical narrative materials, the timeless models of life with God and to learn from the priestly materials a basic sense of what it means to be holy, forgiven, and in communion with God.

• I READ THE PSALMS to learn how to respond to God with the full range of my faith and feelings.

• I READ THE OLD TESTAMENT NARRATIVES to understand how God–who is always the hero of these stories–relates to humans as they really are: elusive, complex, culturally conditioned, unpredictable, and inconsistent.

• I READ THE WISDOM BOOKS (Pro, Ecc) to learn the arts of godly living–how to live sensibly and well in life as it really is.

• I READ THE PROPHETS to be inspired by God’s vision for a moral and just society that one day will fill the earth and to be amazed as I see God’s spoken word take concrete form when predictions of future events come to past in minute detail.

• I READ THE GOSPELS to see God in His definitive manifestation of Himself in the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and to respond to Him by growing in ways of life-changing and world-changing discipleship.

• I READ THE BOOK OF ACTS to enter consciously and confidently into the never-ending story of the triumphant, joyful, spiritual expansion of the Gospel throughout the world. Continue reading

#bible, #bible-reading, #scriptures

A Daily Basis?

In the latest issue of the Gospel advocate (GA), there is a small piece concerning the amount of time Christians read the Scriptures on a daily basis. The numbers were discouraging.

On a daily basis only 195 of the respondents to a survey said they read and study the Bible; 36% engage in Bible study once a week. “The Christian Post, in an article titled ‘Study: Most Churchgoers Do Not Read Bible on a Daily Basis,’ reported that [the author] felt attributes from the modern American culture influenced the responses… Too many churchgoers want the benefits of salvation without investing in personally knowing Christ and the abundant life he offers” (cited in the GA, November 2012).

There are a number of warnings to be found in Scripture: there is the warning that pertains to failing to live a godly life, there is a warning concerning the Lord’s ultimate return and judgment, and there is a warning pertaining to Jerusalem’s destruction. These warnings exist in order to help people understand particular dangers associated with not listening. Because people fail to heed the Lord’s word it is only to be expected they will fall into the trap of Satan. Why do people refuse to hear? Hosea said: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (4:6, ESV). Two reasons the Lord’s prophet gives us: rejection and forgotten. Hosea spoke to those who were in positions of religious authority. You will note, that destruction is the result of ignorance, and ignorance is the result of refusing to learn from the Lord. Paul said many years late, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).

It is a serious matter, and only the fool-hearted person will not take it to heart! Just as the report said, there are many people who go to church and want to be saved by the Lord’s mercy, but these same people are guilty of what Hosea said.

Are we so busy at home that we can’t take time—even twenty minutes each night—to read together as a family, or even individually? Are we so busy with work that when we come home we can’t take that same amount of time to give to the Lord when He so abundantly gave to us? As parents and adults we are able to offer any number of reasons why we didn’t so this or that. Others will express understanding and sympathy. How do you think the Lord will respond to these reasons, especially if the children leave Him who gave so much? I think you know.

#bible-reading, #daily