Saturday, March 22, 2008

Reading for Nuggets

Following a Bible reading plan is a good thing. Recently I have re-discovered McCheyne's Bible Reading Schedule which is designed such that you will read the Bible through in a year, while reading the New Testament and the Psalms thorough twice in that same amount of time. The surprising thing about this schedule is that it only takes about 15-20 minutes per day.
Of course it does me no good if I am not paying attention to what I am reading. That's the part about routine reading that I don't like. So this morning I focused on finding something that has not occurred to be before in every section of my reading, to see if there was indeed, something new, or something that speaks to me in a new way.

Sure enough; there is. SO I will try to remember to blog those items, and if they are a blessing to you, then great! Maybe it will encourage you to read regularly as well.

In John 12, just before the week of Passion begins, Jesus says something that struck me forcefully. “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me."
NIV (Jn 12:44-45).

In one sense, Jesus said this because He and the father are One. In the ensuing days Jesus said to his disciples, "If you have seen me you have seen the Father." But in another sense, it would also be right to assume that we are to take on the character of the one who sent us. Didn't Jesus also say to his disciples, "As the Father has sent me, so send I you"?
And in that sense it made me wonder: Do others see the One who sent you?

On another note, recently I have quit contributing to a discussion forum called It's a discussion forum for people who live in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario or are somehow connected with the city. I lived in that area for most of my adult years, so I was a regular participant and was responsible along with another Christian or two for getting a section in that discussion forum for religious threads.

One of the ironies of that move was that the non-believing crowd complained long and hard about religious discussions in the general area because they were always the most hard fought debates.
But when we started our own religious column, many of the non believers followed us there and continued to harass and mock the Christians. (Funny how they never mocked the Buddhists, Pagans or Wiccans or New Agers. Never. It's also odd how in the general area, the discussions were quite heavily moderated. Whenever insults and mockery occurred, moderators stepped in and deleted or edited posts. But in the religious forum, the mockery and insults went on and on and on with little to no moderation. My requests to moderate the place myself went unheeded.)

Be that as it may, aside from the time commitment it was I have come to the realization that more damage was being done that good. It seemed that God's honour was being dragged through the mud more often than not, so I left, still wondering whether it was the right decision to make. And this morning I read:

“Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
(Pr 9:7-8).

Those verses characterise perfectly the tenor of most public discussions about matters of faith.