Jeremiah 12:16: And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people.
When you compare this verse with what Jesus said that we should not swear at all (Matthew 5:33-37), you can get confused. But when you realise that the blood of Jesus draws a line in the relationship of God with humanity then things get clearer.
We get confused when we are not able to rightly divide the word of truth. How should we view the Old Testament in this time of the New Testament? How should we view the words of Paul? Some even make a proposition that we should put more premium on the words that come directly from the mouth of God, written in the bible, as if all other words are now second class citizens among the words of the bible. That kind of segregation is called apartheid. We should not want to segregate the words of the bible, what we need is to know how they relate to Christ, to each other and to the eternal plan of God. Problem solved.
Start with reading the bible for yourself; how about taking a year to read from Genesis to revelation on a word journey with the Holy Spirit? Doing so is as an expression of your love for God, not some trophy you want to collect.
Do not deceive yourself that such an undertaking is only meant for the pastors and ministers, while you should occupy yourself with the issues of making money, socialising, making your contribution to society and doing a lot of social commentary. And some will say, being deeply religious and going to church more than once a week is for the super spiritual, those who are not trying to get ahead in the world, like you.
Back to the issue of the bible, reading through it; you do not really have the right to express an opinion about something you are not familiar with, least of all the bible. Reading through the bible, therefore is something to do to be familiar with the content. To say the least, it is the most important book in the history of the world; you should not be ignorant of its content.
Forget about the traditional interpretation that you have heard over the years. Read the bible for yourself. Someone once told me that I will go mad if I read the bible too much, as if it is something of the occult, and not an expression of the life of God. I do not know what people have said to you to scare you off the bible, but the taste of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. Do not allow the effort the Lord made over the ages to put the book together, through numerous writers and against the oppositions to the message it contains, go to waste in your life.
There is a treasure to be found there, there is a competence to be gained, and there is the experience of God to be gained. There is the empowered life at the end of it all. Maybe you tell yourself that you are not the reading type, but the fact that you are reading this piece proves otherwise.
You say the words of the bible are archaic and some of the expressions are not easy to grasp. But you are probable referring to the King James Version. But you may ask: is that not the divinely approved version? It is not more divinely approved than the grape is the divinely approved fruit you should eat.
To read the whole bible in a year you will need to read an average of four chapters a day. Dive into it from Genesis and wade through to Revelation. There are things you do daily without fail, (like eating) what about the bible? The word of God in the bible should be more important to you than the food you eat, if really you are a Christian.
What do you think will happen to you at the end of reading the bible from beginning to the end? For one there will be a new you. By the time you are through you will realise that you have developed more hunger for the word of God, and might decide to go through it again and again.
When you make the effort to seek God, reading his word, you are taking responsibility for your spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is not a gift. It is not something that happens to some people and doesn’t happen to others. It takes some effort on your side. We all should go on to maturity, leaving the elementary principles of Christ. A time should come when you do not need to be spoon-fed any longer, but you should be feeding others (Hebrews 5:11-14).
When you plant a seed certain things are needed to make it flourish, because there are natural earthly conditions that will definitely set themselves against the growth, but by the grace of God you can move against the grain of societal norm to be transformed into the image of the son of God, changed to become a change agent, as you read the bible consistently (Romans 12:1-2, 2Corinthians 3:18).
There should be hunger and thirst to know more of God (Matthew 5:6). That means existing in a state of dissatisfaction when it comes to spiritual growth. Many people pursue money to the detriment of God; eventually they will discover that their lives have been based on a futile pursuit.
Jesus spoke of a man who thought his life was about what he possesses (Luke 12:15-21), but died an untimely death. He said that the man was not rich towards God. “True riches” is about being rich towards God. Everything else is nothing more than futility and aiming for the wind.
To a church in the book of revelation, Jesus said that they thought they are rich and clothed in fine linen (Revelation 3:14-18, 2:9), but they needed to come to him for true riches. He charged that the life of a man does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses, but there is an abundance that your life should consist of, which is the abundance of the knowledge of God.
God said if anyone wants to boast it should be that he knows him (Jeremiah 9:24). That is real riches, the knowledge of God. That was what Jesus described as his mission on earth, that the disciples may know the Father as the only true God (John 17:1-8). He manifested God on the earth. We are also to manifest him on the earth too in all ways. Through that, what the bible says will be realised, that the knowledge of the glory of God will cover the earth as the water cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
- The More Trials We Face In Our Spiritual Journeys, The More We Advance To The Eternal Kingdom (foodforthespiritualsoul.wordpress.com)
- What is love? (patternstriedandtrue.org)
- Tips for new Christians (yourmesshismessage.wordpress.com)