I was raised going to church every Sunday, yet I couldn’t name more than a handful of the books in the Bible, didn’t know what a Gospel was or the difference between the Old and New Testaments (other than the fact that one was “old” and the other “new.”)
Though I had many unsuccessful attempts, I really didn’t start reading the Bible until I changed denominations in my late twenties. Once I started reading, I was convinced that my Bible was defective because it was missing a book. I didn’t have the book of Jobe (it sounds like the plant stakes, so it should be spelled like them, right?); I only had Job (where one goes to work.) I’ve come a long way, baby!
Recently I found myself in an online debate with someone. To prove his point (with which I disagreed) he claimed, “Jesus said, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’”
There was a time when I would’ve taken that statement at face value, but now I’ve read enough of Scripture to know that, while I believe these words to be true, they weren’t spoken by Jesus. The fact that this man credited Jesus with this statement made me question him all the more.
“God helps those who help themselves.” This is another one of those phrases that sound like it should be in the Bible, but it isn’t in there either.
“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” ~ Hosea 4:6
We have become a nation that is Biblically illiterate, and I was as illiterate as they come. In the busyness of life, I guess I didn’t think it was necessary. I spent an hour a week in church; isn’t that enough?
No. It isn’t.
How can we say we’re followers of Christ, but not spend any time learning about Him? How can we be like Him when we really don’t know Him?
The Bible doesn’t just teach us about Jesus (though that’s the most important part), it teaches us about life. I never cease to be amazed at the scope of topics the Bible covers, from salvation (John 14:6) to bland food (Job 6:6) and EVERYTHING in between!
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. ~ Psalm 119:16
Let’s face it. We have time for those things that we want to have time for.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. ~ Psalm 119:37
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” is actually a Chinese proverb credited to Confucius (usingenglish.com).
“God helps those who help themselves” was first recorded as the moral to one of Aesop’s Fables written in ancient Greece.
Father, forgive me for all the time that I’ve wasted on insignificant things. Increase my hunger for your Word and help me to choose you above all else!