Take up and read!

Our foundation for understanding God. ‘Let’s open our iPads at Nehemiah chapter 1.’ 

CMS SummerView Mission Conference was underway and our Bible Study leader wanted us to have our Bibles open. Participants flipped open their iPads to touch a screen or flipped open a book to touch paper pages.

Reading by touch screen or paper is a personal preference, the discussion of which can lead to much good-natured banter.

Of course, it matters not which is your preferred reading style. The issue is to read: to read the Bible.

Why? Why do you read the Bible?

Take a moment to reflect and note down the immediate thoughts that pop into your head.

Well, what have you noted? I wrote down three reasons: the Bible guides me, nurtures my life and inspires me!

We are all different and the reasons that quickly come to mind may be very different.

Whatever the reasons may be, followers of Jesus are to follow his example and be soaked in Scripture.

Do you remember how Jesus responded when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness? Yes! Jesus quoted Scripture.

The Scriptures were part and parcel of Jesus’ life. They guided and guarded him. If this is true for our Lord, how much more true it is for us, his followers?

During a former season of my life as a university chaplain in Argentina we wanted a logo for our mission. We were called the Argentine University Bible Association. It was clear that the Bible would appear somewhere! The result, after much scribbling, crossing out, discussion and prayer, was a sketch of two people facing each other in conversation, with a cross in the centre of their conversation, and standing on an open Bible.

We thought that this was pretty good, and still do. It continues to symbolise the call of university mission in Argentina today.

The Bible, open and active, is vitally used to proclaim Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.

The Bible is our foundation for understanding God and God’s world and our participation in it. Praise the Lord!

Gayelene and I visited a Christian bookstore at the beginning of this year and bought two copies of the same Bible reading devotional in order that we can encourage one another as we read the Bible.

How do you find encouragement to read the Bible? I have a reading buddy! ??And you?

God bless your Bible reading in 2014!


+ John
Bishop of Tasmania

This was published in the February edition of TasAnglican magazine.  Click here for the link to TasAnglican


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