Bible readings, daily
The practice of reading the Bible from the chapters listed in
the "Bible Companion" has been a feature of the Christadelphian community for
This practice is a good one to follow, and we should not be
put off by the fear of its becoming a habit. There are, after all, good
traditions to follow, as Paul often reminds his readers, and the daily reading
of the Scriptures is one of these. Whether the tables of readings are followed
or not, it is still true, as Robert Roberts said in his introduction to the
Companion, that "salvation depends upon the assimilation of the mind to the
divine ideas, principles, and affections exhibited in the Scriptures".
This is therefore a plea to all of us, both young and old, not
to neglect the reading of the Word of God, whatever system of reading we follow.
May it long continue to be the practice in our homes to read our chapters as a
natural part of each day, and when we meet in one another's homes, let us get
out our Bibles and "do the readings" together. There is no better way of
promoting a good discussion of things worth talking about, and of leading us
away from mere gossip and small talk.
The new believer has at hand several methods of daily Bible
reading. The one most widely used by Christadelphians is embodied in Robert
Roberts' "Bible Companion", as mentioned above. Also available are two other
Bible Reading Charts which also cover the Old Testament once and the New
Testament twice in the course of a single year. While the Bible Companion
accomplishes this by three rather short readings each day, from different parts
of the Bible, the other plans concentrate on only one (somewhat longer) portion
each day. This has the distinct advantage of continuity in reading. That is, an
entire letter or short prophecy, or an entire connected section of a longer
book, may be read straight through, without the artificial (and sometimes
confusing) division into one or two chapters per day.
Whatever plan is used, it is certainly true that systematic
daily Bible reading is essential if one is to discover -- and remember -- God's
revelation of Himself and His purpose. Bible believers neglect the daily
readings only with extreme peril to their spiritual lives.
" 'Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path'
(Psalm 119:105). Salvation depends primarily on replacing the 'carnal' mind by
the mind of the Spirit. The only method we have in these days of knowing the
mind of the Spirit is by the reading of the Word of God, which resulted from
holy men of God being moved -- irresistibly borne along -- by the Holy Spirit.
The reading of the Word of God is therefore an essential duty of the children of
God. 'In God's law doth he meditate day and night' is one of the characteristics
of the godly man as delineated by the Psalmist.
"It may be objected that such a close study of God's word is
impossible in these strenuous modern days. 'Really it is impossible for me to
find time to do the daily readings' is an expression not infrequently heard. Let
us be on our guard, however, against giving in so readily to the challenge of
modern 'strenuousness'. Can we truthfully say that we cannot afford the twenty
or thirty minutes required daily to carry out the reading of the Bible on the
lines suggested by the Bible Companion? We know we can 'find' time if we set
ourselves to 'make' time -- so to plan and arrange our daily routine that the
daily readings find a recognized place in the scheme of things. 'Where there's a
will there's a way': if we have not yet so planned our lives that some time is
apportioned for the daily reading of God's word, let us delay no longer. Rather
let us 'redeem the time', knowing that in a special sense in this modern world,
'the days are evil.'
"It is useful sometimes to reflect upon and to compare the
various activities which make up what we call 'our life', and ascertain the
relative proportion of time and interest we devote thereto. In this question of
reading, for example, how much time do we spend upon it; what form does it take;
what proportion of that time is spent on 'light' reading; on reading the
newspaper (often a great time-waster); how much time is devoted to the reading
of the Word of God and to the Truth's literature? Have we ever taken the trouble
so to 'examine ourselves'? It is worth doing, carefully and impartially, in
order to inform ourselves of the balance we are preserving between the things of
God and those related to the world. Probably the results will astonish us, and
perhaps even mortify us. But if this examination does bring to light our
deficiencies we can take courage for the future and determine with God's help to
readjust the balance and see to it that the things of God receive adequate
attention in the days which yet remain to us.
"It may be true, and doubtless is true with many of us, that
the reading and study of the Word of God and of the Truth's literature is not
inherently so attractive, so fascinating or so pleasant, as that provided in the
newspaper or in modern literature. Let us not be either discouraged, or
deceived, by this contrast. The reason is to be found first in the difference in
the sources of the two types of writing; and secondly in the natural bias of the
human mind towards the things of the flesh. This is not flattering to human
nature, of course; but the words of Paul (himself one of those holy men of God
who were impelled by the Holy Spirit) remind us that the 'carnal mind (ie, the
natural, unenlightened mind of man) is enmity against God; it is not subject to
the law of God, neither indeed can be'. Experience of life teaches us the truth
of this. 'To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life
"Such is the choice before us: the way of the flesh
attractive, compelling, easy, but ending finally in death; the way of the Spirit
-- difficult for human nature to understand, demanding perseverance, courage,
tenacity, but resulting in peace and finally life. Every day the choice may be
made in the simple matter of reading. Let us choose good and life"