I am in 1st John. Where are you? I really knew that one has to read the bible deeply – but like a good beach book, people start and stop whenever a good wave goes by. I have started and stopped reading lots of little bible bits – but whole books are where I need to be – chapter by chapter – continuous in my reading. BUT also important is stopping to place Word in my brain and life – actually I mean place my brain into the Word that is ALREADY in my Life because the Word is life and I am the reader of Him in me. Just like we should not miss the scenery if we read the whole time on a train trip and forget to look out the windows. Life IS a journey and really where we are going is out into it, out into LIFE to test our own truth and understanding. To share His Light in the dark world. We need to carry these truths to light the way.
I have benefited greatly from reading all of Luke, then Mark, then Matthew, then John – the 4 gospels read deeply took me 3 years (?) because I was absorbing all that I could and re-reading when I needed to. I was wanting to read the commentary of Michael Card in his Biblical Imagination series, so to understand commentary you have to read source material FIRST. The scriptures are the actual Word of God – the sword of truth – cutting thru to the message – and that makes sense because you have to pierce the gobbly gook in the world with truth. Just like when soap hits oil and it scatters it to the side, the truth reveals clarity.
After the 4 gospels, and the book of Acts (as a church project), my next reading was the letters from 1st and 2nd Peter – I paused my summer reading book about Peter and Jesus (another Michael Card favorite) to absorb the whole letters. I certainly had read them piecemeal – great scriptures everywhere. Now in my “methodical for the moment” scripture perusal/absorption, I am in 1st John. I don’t plan on stopping until I hit the end of the New Testament with lots of backtracking and forward thinking. The time factor is NOT important here but the TESTAMENT of what I will have learned IS!!!! I think there is nothing better for a “new-in-Christ” or “ongoing-in-Christ” soul than to soak up the source scriptures. Like wisdom from 1st John – we need Jesus to purify ourselves from unrighteousness – to get us back on track and stay on track – to break up the clouds of our own fogginess. We need to know that we go nowhere without the Light of Jesus, we go somewhere WITH the Hope of Jesus, and we are not to even worry when He is going somewhere taking us. God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.
OK – all aboard for a track thru 1st John – I hope you are reading somewhere on your own tracks – from your station – keep steaming ahead and keep looking out the windows to see where the scriptures fit the scenery – or the scenery fit the scriptures. Don’t read to race but read to embrace.
(I encourage you to journal too! You never know where the Lord is taking you!)
Amen here means we have just begun!
1st John 1:5-10, 2: 1-2 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.