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Reading the Bible
A friend of mine had asked my thoughts on how one should go about reading the Bible. I would first read the New Testament in its entirety in order to keep in the "flow" of it. After that - I would then start with the Old Testament - starting from the very beginning. It's long. I don't know how much you can read at a time.
But there are a lot of good things back in the Old Testament. I feel the New Testament is a revelation of who Jesus Christ is and the Old Testament is a revelation of who God the Father is. That is why Christians need to read both books in order to get a handle on who both God and Jesus really are.
The Old Testament will really give you a lot of knowledge about God the Father, His ways and how He operates. A lot of the "battle verses" - on how God will fight battles for you - are all back in the Old Testament.
The Old Testament will give you major insight into God's personality - what He is really like and how He has reacted to a wide range of situations involving His chosen people the Jews. After you read the Old Testament in it's entirety - especially if you read it without breaking off into something else so as to keep the "flow" going - you will really get an understanding about who God the Father is and get a grip on what He is really like.
This is how you really get to know God the Father - by learning from what He has done in the past! And this is exactly what the Old Testament gives to you.
There is not another book on this planet that will give you revelation, insight and knowledge about who God the Father is like the Old Testament will! It is the only book that we have that will give you exact quotes from God the Father. These quotes are direct words from God the Father. From these quotes - you get insight and knowledge into what His personality is really like. It's obviously the same with Jesus in the New Testament. When you read all of the things Jesus has personally said to all those around Him - you will really get to know Him. Same way with God the Father in the Old Testament.
If you can get both books under your belt - you will have instilled the Bible basics underneath you. It will give you a base, a platform in which God can continue to build your knowledge about Himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You will also always continue to learn more about the Three of Them in your own personal journey with Them.
It's like a one-two punch:
1 - Knowledge about God you get from reading the Bible. 2 - Knowledge about God that you get from what you learn in your own personal adventures and journey with Him.
But the book is long and most Christians won't take the time to read through all of it. They will read just bits and pieces of it at a time. That is better than nothing at all - but you only get "partial" revelation about who God the Father is when you only feed off of it in small chunks at a time.
Each book has it's own "flow" to it. That is why I would recommend staying with one book at a time instead of trying to mix it all up. You can do that after you have read both books in their entirety. Once you have both books locked into your "mind" and have developed a good understanding of what both books are trying to teach you - you can then bounce back and forth between the 2 books because you now have the basics instilled in you.
However - trying to read all of the Old Testament is a major undertaking. You would have to commit to it until you complete it. It all depends on how hectic and busy your personal schedule is and how much time you have over the course of a week or two to read.
Some Christians complain that there is no way that they could read the entire Old Testament. They say it's too long. Yet they could read 3 or 4 long fiction novels back to back. If they took that kind of time and applied it to the reading of the Old Testament - they could literally have read the entire Old Testament during the same amount of time that they had read the 3 or 4 novels.
However - the Old Testament is one book as versus 3 or 4 smaller novels. However - the number of pages is the same. The Old Testament may look "scarier" to try and read all of it - but it is just the same as reading 3 or 4 long novels back to back. If you decide you want to try and undertake the reading of both books in their entirety - don't worry about trying to understand everything little thing you read at first. Just get it all "in you" as best as you can. Then the Holy Spirit, over the course of time, will start to "work" the knowledge you have instilled in you.
However - before the Spirit will really start to "work" you in gaining new and deeper knowledge about God and Jesus - you have to give Him something to work with - and that something is the knowledge that the Bible will give you. Knowledge that the Bible gives you is the base, the platform that the Holy Spirit will use in order to build you up in the true knowledge of God. It's like building a house. First you build the base - and then you add everything onto the base to complete the house. The Bible and the knowledge it gives you will be your base from which the Holy Spirit can then add on to it.
However - if you don't build your base from reading the Bible - then the Holy Spirit has nothing in which to work with - which explains why a lot of Christians do not make much spiritual growth over the course of most of their life.
The knowledge you gain from reading the Bible will activate the Holy Spirit to really start "working" your mind and intelligence. He will increase your ability to remember and recall things. He will increase you intellect and your ability to understand things. He will increase your ability to discern truth from error.
This is a supernatural work that the Holy Spirit will do for each and every Christian - but only if they are willing to go into a seeking mode. If you don't press in and start seeking after the knowledge of God - then the Holy Spirit will not supernaturally start to move to increase your mental abilities.
I cannot tell you the millions of times that the Holy Spirit will "bring up into my mind's eye" a particular Scripture verse in order to answer a question from someone or to give me personal revelation and knowledge about something that I may be dealing with.
The Bible is literally a treasure chest of knowledge that can answer a lot of questions we all face in this life. If the Bible has been "implanted" into your mind, into your intellect by the reading of it - then the Holy Spirit can bring up for you specific Scripture verses to answer some of your own personal questions when you need them. The reason the Holy Spirit can bring those verses up for you when you need them is because you have spent the time to get the Bible "in you" by reading it. It's the Word and the Spirit working together that will cause spiritual growth to occur in your life. The Bible says we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. It's your mind that God is after and the renewing of your mind involves the acquiring of knowledge. The Holy Spirit is the one who really transforms you into the kind of person God wants you to be - but He only works this supernatural transformation into your mind and soul through the acquiring of knowledge.
The reason for that is that God wants you to understand exactly what He is doing in your life and why He is doing it before the transformation process really kicks into full gear into the specific parts and areas of your life that He wants to change.
Once I personally found out that reading the Bible and seeking after the knowledge of God would start to cause supernatural things to start happening in my life with God - I basically went crazy and developed a major hunger to finish reading all of the Bible in it's complete entirety.
The Bible is an incredible supernatural adventure showing how far God will really go to supernaturally show Himself to those who are committed to fully serving Him. It's literally one miracle after another.
The Bible will just show you other people's journeys and all of the supernatural things God and Jesus did for them as He will do for you.
For a complete and clean copy of this article can be found at http://www.bible-knowledge.com/Bible-Reading.html
Article written by Michael Bradley, author of over 100 articles which can be found at http://www.bible-knowledge.com
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