I'm listening to the Saddleback Drive Time Devotions via the iTunes podcast during my drive home each night and it's been a study of Exodus, a chapter a day. It was interesting that they pointed out that when they're talking about the Sabbath Regulations and Building the Tabernacle in Exodus 35, that it's all with people who were willing. It wasn't everyone, they weren't commanded.
And then today there was a guest speaker in Chapel at work and he was talking about the the sermon on the mount and one of the things he pointed out was in Matthew 7 where Jesus says "...anyone who hears these words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man..." that the chastisement is for people who have heard those words. But those who haven't had them are exempted -- he said if you looked carefully in the Bible, Jesus reserves his criticisms of people who claim to be pursing God and yet fall short.
And then a third thing, he talked about Philippians - how we all know it's a letter to the church in Philippi (but also to us), written by Paul from jail and it's four chapters long. So what do we do? Read a chapter and then close our Bibles for the day. We'll get the next chapter tomorrow. Really? He asked "If you were to get a four page handwritten letter in the mail from a loved one currently incarcerated, would you read the first page and then save the next page for another day?" He suggested that the way we read the Bible that we're just reading the words, but he challenged us to savor them - to pick an area and then live there for awhile, allowing yourself to become immersed in it. He suggested reading that large chunk daily. He did that and ended up memorizing a large section of the Bible and has since gone on to memorize other parts. He didn't like that term, though, he thought of it more as "internalizing," savoring, feeling the Bible come alive.
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