I Encourage You: Read Your Bible.
Rector’s Letter to the Congregation (Week of January 6, 2019)
As I have encouraged you on numerous times to do, I encourage you again: read your Bible. There are many small bits of the Bible, like Daily Bread, My Utmost for His Highest and others. But these are only tidbits, snacks that fill in between full meals. As the body cannot be healthy and thrive solely on snacks, so the soul also cannot soar to higher heights of spirituality on these kinds of tidbits of its message. I encourage you to read the Bible for yourself from beginning to end. Begin now in January and finish it by the end of the year.
Find a Bible that reads good to you. There is a multiplicity of translations. Read whatever version you enjoy reading, one you understand well. There’s the King James Version, New International Version, Good News Bible, Living Bible, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, The Amplified Bible, American Standard Version, and many others.
Ascertain the number of pages the Bible you choose has, and divide them by 250 days. Do not divide by 365 days because there might days when you are not able to read although you want to limit those to the minimum. Pinch yourself to read if you must.
How to read your Bible
Read with the heart. Read at a measured pace, not speed reading. You are not in a hurry. You are before your God and you want to hear clearly what He has to say to you in His Word. Read quietly, slowly, word for word, pausing from time to time to drink in what you’ve read. You might want to have a pen with you to underline verses that jump out at you, or to write down questions that arise in your mind about the text, or reflections that the Holy Spirit brings to you in your head. Then seek answers to any questions that that might rise in your mind.
Dear friends, the world has changed. Lucifer has come out boldly in the open to fight against God’s cause. We, God followers, cannot keep playing the same game of spirituality that we played in times gone by. We too must come out strong to equip ourselves for the tough times we are in. That is the only way we have a chance to be on top of Lucifer’s stratagem. And things are not going to get easier. In fact, they are going to get tougher. Let us equip ourselves. We have the resources. Let us use them.
In fact, they are going to get tougher. Let us equip ourselves. We have the resources. Let us use them.
Weekly Readings to Help Us Walk With the King
Also, every Sunday beginning today, I will be bringing to us some portion of reading for reading at home. It might be my own writing, or a quotation from a book. If from a book, I will cite the source. All this is aimed at assisting us to up our game of walking with the King.
Reading for this week:
Is Christianity Hard or Easy?
The ordinary idea which we all have before we become Christians is this. We take as the starting point our ordinary self with its various desires and interests. We then admit that something else—call it “morality” or “decent behavior,” or “the good of society” has claims on this self: claims which interfere with its own desires. What we mean by “being good” is giving in to those claims. Some of the things the ordinary self wanted to do turn out to be what we call “wrong”: well, we must give them up. Other things turn out to be what we call “right”: well, we shall have to do them.
But we are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been met, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes. In fact, we are very like an honest man paying his taxes. He pays them alright, but he does hope that there will be enough left over for him to live on. Because we are still taking our natural self as the starting point.
(C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 1996:168-169)