“It is well to remember that reading books about the Bible is a very different thing to searching the Word for oneself.” – Henry Ironside
Finished this month:
The Bible… yes, all 66 books!!!! It was a real commitment and a lot of reading every day, and sometimes I fell behind, but managed to find time to make it up. I followed the outline from The Reese Chronological Bible which is KJV, but except for some in the Gospels (because there it jumps around a lot) I pretty much read the section/chapters/books from the New Living Translation (NLT) (NOT to be confused with The Living Bible which is a paraphrase). The translation I actually prefer and normally use is NKJV, but I actually really enjoyed reading the through NLT; it gave some neat insight and it was kind of like reading through the Bible for the very first time. There are some spots of course that I didn’t think were translated well (no translation is perfect anyway!), but there were many where I thought it really helped the meaning/intent to come out. Oh, and the paragraph divisions are a lot better in certain spots than what I’ve seen elsewhere.
This of course was a really fast overview of the Bible, but it was really neat! I would recommend that everyone read through a chronological Bible at some point – it allows you to get a great perspective of the history of the Bible and what was going on at any one time. There were many connections I had not seen before. I will be posting something in the next few days of a summary of the books of the Bible – what I found to be the theme and key verse(s) of each book. I did my best to see the attributes, characteristics or intent of God in each book. I also highlighted passages in each of the Old Testament books that foretold or foreshadowed the Person and work of the Messiah. I posted that a week ago, but you can find it here. If you read the Bible and don’t find Jesus, you’re missing something!
And, as I mentioned last time, I hope this inspires you to be reading the Bible every day yourself… just start with one chapter a day. The Word of God really is life to our souls!
"You all have by you a large treasure of divine knowledge, in that you have the Bible in your hands; therefore be not contented in possessing but little of this treasure. God hath spoken much to you in the Scripture; labor to understand as much of what he saith as you can. God hath made you all reasonable creatures; therefore let not the noble faculty of reason or understanding lie neglected. Content not yourselves with having so much knowledge as is thrown in your way, and as you receive in some sense unavoidably by the frequent inculcation of divine truth in the preaching of the word, of which you are obliged to be hearers, or as you accidentally gain in conversation; but let it be very much your business to search for it, and that with the same diligence and labor with which men are wont to dig in mines of silver and gold."
- Jonathan Edwards
For my CCEF class I also read The Christian Life by Sinclair Ferguson.
This is a great and simple doctrinal introduction to what the Christian life is, and what it’s all about. It discusses new birth, grace, faith, repentance, justification, sanctification, our relationship with and fight against sin, adoption, union with Christ, perseverance in the faith, glorification and more! I love Sinclair Fergusons perspective and he has a great way of seeking to bring doctrine to meet our personal experience.
Favorite quote: “There is something seriously wrong with our understanding of Scripture if we regard [certain doctrines] primarily as a source of theological controversy.” (p. 19) The teachings in Scripture are there to bring us light and life!
Spiritual Depression: It’s Causes & Cures by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Additional books I want to read this month:
The Joy of Fearing God by Jerry Bridges
The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung
And maybe start The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot (it’ll be a busy month, so we’ll see!)