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Joined: 2012/9/10
Posts: 4

 Is this legalistic?

To tell someone that they must read their Bible on a daily basis? If so, please explain why. If not, please also explain.

 2012/9/12 22:00Profile

Joined: 2012/8/16
Posts: 80
Pacific NW

 Re: Is this legalistic?

Hi Hachi.....good question.

I suppose if a Ch'tn tells another Ch'tn they absolutely HAVE to do something to be a good Ch'tn, then it could be legalistic.

But the Lord wouldn't want someone reading the Bible everyday cuz they feel forced to do it.....He wants us to read cuz we're crazy about Him and can't wait to spend time with our BEST FRIEND and see what's next in His sweet Love Letter that He's written to us. Kinda like if your boyfriend/girlfriend or fiance or husband/wife was away for a long time and all you could get from them was letters or emails....wouldn't you be excited about checking your mailbox or Inbox quite regularly?

Another thought: How long would any of us be willing to go without food....1, 2, 3 or more meals or days 'til we're absolutely dragging on the floor?

If we need literal food quite regularly thru out the day in order to feel strong and full of energy....then it also seems true that we would want to snack/eat quite regularly at His table so that we have the strength to overcome our temptations and learn the things that are important for us to hide in our hearts and minds. One day His Love Letter to us may not be available cuz it is taken away by force.

Just some

 2012/9/12 22:39Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37703
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11



Here are some thoughts from a booklet on GospelFellowships that I have helped put together:

Principle 30 - reading the entirety of scriptures

For some Christians in the world, having access to the full Scriptures170 is not a present reality to them. Many simply have parts of the New Testament or literally scraps of paper with copied scripture verses on them. Yet for a select group in the body of Christ there is great abundant access to full Bibles in literally hundreds of translations171. Also with easy access to God's holy Word at all times, whether it is on digital device’s or in audio or book form. But sadly, compared to the Christians in other persecuted countries we have the least desire and love to read the Scriptures. As blood bought followers of Jesus Christ our life is not our own172 and therefore we should have the desire to be in the Word of God daily. Even beyond that our appetite to eat the Scriptures should be of such that it takes precedent over anything else in our daily lives173. One reason for the lack of intense Bible study is the fact that we really do not believe what is written in the book. If we truly believed the Scriptures and that the life to come matters much more than this life174 then we would be more diligent to be steeped in what God desires of us now and for eternity.
Of all the ways to read the Bible one of the most beneficial can be an overview reading of the entire scriptures, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and book by book175. And beyond this even a chronological reading of the scriptures can be of great benefit to know exactly when events took place. It is our burden that if the body of Christ in many areas would commit176 to being those who read the word of God constantly and consistently in context, this we believe would strengthen the body of Christ greatly. We must not be of those who take out a favorite few verses or even a few hundred verses, for the entirety of the Word of God is our standard and rule. We must not try to only delve into deep mysteries and secret things in the Word of God but rather read and believe simply177 what is written and allow it be become real in our practical daily lives178. We are listing the entire Bible chronologically here so that believers can commit to read daily a portion so that in 365 days, the entire Scriptures can be read in context and in its fulness. We believe this will dispel many doctrinal errors179 that have been held by some and allow us all to be more versed in the holy Scriptures which are a light to our path180 in this earthly pilgrimage181.

Principle 38 - A Love For God's Words

We take for granted the often dozen Bibles or more each Christian family owns in the America or other countries. We read Bible translations until we get bored with one and move onto another. We buy Bibles even for the style and look and other vain reasons. Yet the majority of our Bibles are not worn, marked, and memorized as the valuable possessions they actually are.
Bibles in the underground Church in China are scarce at times, and it is common that fellowships have handwritten copies of verses and epistles similar to the early Church days. The Chinese love their Bibles greatly and treat them as the most cherished item in the world that they own or have. Some of the current servant leaders in the Church would travel a day to just to be able to borrow and read a Bible and then travel back to their home. Most preaching especially in the earlier days of the movement was from memory, verses they memorized.
How much do we love God's word? Do you spend hours with your Bible reading over and over its truths? May God wake us from our spiritual slumber to see the true eternal value of the Word of God.

Principle 44 - Sharing Scripture With Each Other

This practice is necessary in the North Korean Church for there are not an abundance of Bibles. So each week members in the underground Church share scripture verses and lines of hymns written on pieces of paper. Most Christians in other countries can have up to 5-10 Bibles in their homes, in North Korea each believer, on average has 10 verses on a piece of toilet paper. These are passed around as precious items which build up and edify the body.
This is a Biblical practice where we are encouraged to speak to one another with psalms, hymns228 and to the practice of public reading of Scripture229. We can learn from this practice and actively share Scriptures more in our emails, letters, text messages and in person with each other. Such constant sharing of Scriptures with each other in the body of Christ builds us up in our most holy faith230.

Principle 46 - Memorization Of The Scriptures

In underground Churches the need to memorize Scripture is not an option but a necessity. When Bibles are scarce and imprisonment likely, the believer desires to prepare for such trials by storing up the word of God in their hearts. Also it becomes a great blessing to share Scriptures with others in everyday life without needing a physical Bible present. Such believers become "living bibles234" where the Word of God is always present.
We can learn much from this discipline. To study and memorize the word of God shows our true love for the Scriptures in which we have in abundance. Do we really desire to read the Word above eating, entertainment and the many other things that occupy our time? While we have freedoms may God instill in His Church a greater love and desire for the Word.


SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/9/12 22:57Profile

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057

 Re: Is this legalistic?

by hachi on 2012/9/12 16:00:57

To tell someone that they must read their Bible on a daily basis? If so, please explain why. If not, please also explain.


What are your thoughts on the matter :) Having thought about your question my best answer is there is a very big difference between "telling" and "encouraging"

God bless

 2012/9/12 22:59Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Is this legalistic?

Legalistic: You must read your Bible every day or God will not be pleased with you, love you, or answer your prayers. In order to have right relationship with God, you have to read so much a day.

Not Legalistic: If you expect to have the word have root in your heart and be able to stand in faith on the word of God you must read the Bible. If you desire to know God in a greater way, it is necessary that you study the Word of God.

The difference may sound a bit subtle. Legalism bases relationship and righteousness on man's own ability to keep laws, rules, or practices. Being born again and having right relationship (righteousness) in the sight of God has nothing to do with whether or not you read the Bible every day. But a believer needs to be in regular study of the Word of God. It is extremely important that we do this.


 2012/9/13 8:08Profile

Joined: 2005/12/8
Posts: 119


if I am severe or strict with myself in reading the Bible, praying, ... - that's discipline
if I am severe or strict with somebody else in reading the Bible, praying, ... - that's legalism

Vasile Filip

 2012/9/13 8:45Profile

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


by vasilef on 2012/9/13 2:45:27

if I am severe or strict with myself in reading the Bible, praying, ... - that's discipline
if I am severe or strict with somebody else in reading the Bible, praying, ... - that's legalism


Thought this was very well said and completely true.

God Bless

 2012/9/13 9:20Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7504

 Re: Is this legalistic?

"Is this legalistic to tell someone that they must read their Bible on a daily basis? If so, please explain why. If not, please also explain"

Seems to be a better approach is to ask this person to consider WHY he/she does not want to study the WORD. This is the heart of the issue. You can read the Bible all you want and still be lost. Reading it will not save you.

There may be sin, rebellion or just plain laziness in the life of a person that interferes with the desire. Only the individual will know what is wrong.

In my life there have been times when Bible reading was done as an act of drudgery: I believed I had to do it but did not feel like it. Solution? Talk to the LORD about it; tell Him you what you are thinking and feeling, tell him you know you should not feel this way but that you need help with this issue. Keep talking/praying until you sense your spirit being cleansed. You think God is not interested in it? Well, then you are in for a huge surprise!

Lack of desire is the issue, not the act of reading itself. It is like putting the cart before the horse: the horse pulls the cart - the cart does not pull the horse.

Make sense?

Sandra Miller

 2012/9/13 9:37Profile

 Re: Is this legalistic?

It is a good thing if you read your bible through from cover to cover for the first time. Along the way in reading it, you'll discover some things. You may stop and stay at one passage for a few days and then move on. If you haven't read the New Testament from cover to cover, I encourage you to do that first. It will give you a good foundation so that when you read the Old, you'll see the scriptures coming to life as you'll see Jesus in everything you read. You'll just love it.

Reading the bible daily is good if you desire to do so, but it's not a daily requirement. Some people read the bible once a week, others daily. Don't allow the bible to become a burden because someone is condemning your liberty for not doing what others appear they do.

One of the things that God has discouraged me from doing is getting into a legalistic routine. I've tried to get into a regular giving scheme and He just won't allow me the freedom to that. Spontaneous giving He allows, but when I to get on some regiment, I instantly get this brick wall. The same goes for daily bible reading. I tried to get into some sort of a bible reading program, or try to do it myself but I get this brick wall. When I read it from time to time as the desire comes upon me and not out necessity, the Lord reveals His word. When I don't read it the bible for a little bit, the Lord comes to me with a word, a passage and I am always taken aback because I hadn't put my quota in for bible reading in a bit. I've tried the daily prayer closet thing, it don't work for me. When I go about my day and walk and talk to the Lord, that seems to work. My prayer is caught up in my daily living.

The systems that I have tried to get myself under never work. I was only frustrating the grace of God.

When there is a prayer request on SI, sometimes I feel this overwhelming need to pray for the person or situation, other times, I have nothing to offer in prayer. Like today for example, I saw a prayer request on the board and I told the Lord that I had nothing but words to offer but no faith to push it forward and I had to leave it.

 2012/9/13 10:06


the horse pulls the cart - the cart does not pull the horse.

Depends on the horse! LOL

I had one stubborn horse that did things the way she wanted to do it, it was her way or you were stuck on the highway while she is running back to the barn. LOL

I never had her hooked to the cart, but if I did, knowing her, by some miraculous thing, the cart would be pulling her. LOL

 2012/9/13 10:22

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