I Fear God Because I Read the Bible

I didn’t read the Bible because I feared God, but I did come to fear God once I read enough of the Bible to understand its message.

In other words, it was reading the Bible as an adult that gave me a reverence for God.

When I began reading the Bible in earnest, I was an agnostic in my late 20’s.  My purpose was to read the Bible as literature and thus round out my education.  Although I was a college graduate by that time, no part of my formal education had involved reading the Bible.  In fact, I had read few classics of literature and thought that reading the Bible as literature was a necessary part of my “catch-up” work in becoming more “culturally literate.”

The period of time I had spent in formal education – first grade through my senior year in college – was 1957 to 1972.  In retrospect, I’m struck by the fact that I had so little exposure to the Bible during that time period, and all the more so since this was all taking place in the American South:  the Bible Belt!

In any case, it was reading the Bible without any expectation of “being converted” or “having been converted” that I soon became converted to its way of thinking.  That is, reading the Bible established in me a reverence for God.  (In this regard, see the verses cited below.)

The Scriptures have that sort of power because they were written by holy men of God.  Though they wrote in antiquity, they speak to modernity, because that truths about which they wrote are timeless.  And because these writings were inspired by God Himself, they can inculcate in us the appropriate fear of Him.

The following verses speak to the power of the Scriptures to evoke in us the proper attitude toward God.  (All are taken from the NASB.)

Psalm 119:38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
As that which produces reverence for You.

Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Isaiah 57:11 “Of whom were you worried and fearful
When you lied, and did not remember Me
Nor give Me a thought?
Was I not silent even for a long time
So you do not fear Me?

The One Who Can Save Us

There is only One who can save us, and He is not – nor has He ever been – a politician.

His name is Jesus Christ and He is Lord.

You will experience His salvation not as you get other people to obey Him, but as you obey Him.

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.  –  Galatians 6:1 (NASB)

 

Does the Bible support the view that God’s laws should be interpreted into legislation?

This post originally appeared as a comment to this question on Quora.com.

David Trauffer, who describes himself as a “self-taught Christian scholar,” responded to it by saying, “My answer is no, there is not a biblical basis for making scriptural laws into legislation, for 3 main reasons.”  He then went on to give his three reasons, and the biblical support for each.  You can see his entire answer at the link above.

I responded to his answer in this way:

Generally speaking, I agree with you that there’s no basis for seeking to impose God’s laws through legislation. That said, I think you are overlooking an important aspect of this issue for our time.

Most of us today live in a democracy. In a democracy, it is the responsibility of citizens to not only obey the law, but through voting and other responsible activities, help shape the law. Every citizen is expected to be guided by his conscience. Believers cannot help that their consciences are affected by what they know of the Bible.

When Jesus refused to answer political questions, He was refusing to support rebellion against the governing authorities. He thus remained “subject to the governing authorities.” However, when a believer today refuses to answer questions about, say, abortion or “gay marriage” he is dodging democratic responsibilities. You could actually argue that he is defying the governing authorities because he’s refusing to do that which a citizen in a democracy is expected to do.

Therefore, while I agree with you that it’s misguided to try to make everyone obey the Bible by making it the law, I think it’s also misguided to go to the other extreme of withholding good ideas from the public square just because they’re in the Bible.

To quote from a couple of fellows who wrote none of the Bible:

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

“The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” – Plato

It is actually a hindrance to believers to have to be involved in democracy because it can be a distraction to the gospel. Yet for the sake of our fellow men, we must engage to some degree lest they be oppressed without restraint by evil leaders and evil ideas.

Lord, Teach Us to Number Our Days

So teach us to number our days, that we might present to You a heart of wisdom.  –  Psalm 90:12 (NASB)

This Actuarial Life Table (showing life expectancy by current age) will show you how much longer science thinks you have to serve Christ here on earth, after which you’ll be reporting to Him in heaven.  Use that time on earth well, as you want to be able hold your head up when you get to your final destination.

Related post: Fact Quote: Average life expectancy increased 30 years in the 20th century: Surprising signs you’ll live to 100

Farmer’s Quote About Planting Seed Beneath the Sod

“Who plants a seed beneath the sod,

and waits to see,

believes in God.”

–  Unknown

I remember from my boyhood hearing the local farm agent recite these poetic lines as a way of signing off his radio program of farmers’ advice.  It was the perfect coda to his scientific advice to help them farm better.

Now think of the seed of the word of Christ planted beneath the sod of your heart for an even more blessed truth, for though bread for the body is dear, bread for the soul is more dear.  And though this quote is edifying when it comes to gardening, it’s even more edifying when considered in the light of our spiritual growth in Christ.

Keep Christ planted in your heart (that is, think of Him always), and He will grow and bear much fruit in your life.

Where Did the Fathers Go?

Excerpted from the article Surprising facts about birth in the United States:

The marital status of new moms

A rising number of new moms are not married: 41 percent of babies were born to unmarried women in 2009. That percentage has been on the upswing since 2002.

In 2010, 9.9 million single moms were living with kids under 18 in the United States, up from 3.4 million in 1970.

via Surprising facts about birth in the United States | BabyCenter.

Where did the fathers of those babies go?  They couldn’t last the nine months from conception to birth?

Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote in 1965 that the black family was headed for destruction because its out-of-wedlock birth rate was 25%.  The black out-of-wedlock birth rate is now 73%!

If Moynihan was alarmed by a 25% illegitmacy rate, what would he think of 41%?

Where do you think America is headed if its current overall out-of-wedlock rate is 41%?

Through It All – Andrae Crouch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFzdFzzBqTc

Ce Ce Winans, and others from what looks like a Bill Gaither event, sing as well.  [Lyrics included]  

“Through it all…I’ve learned to depend upon His word.”

Sex Outside of Marriage Is Wrong Regardless of the Form It Takes

Do you think that homosexuality is a worse sin than adultery?  Either one will keep you from enjoying the benefits of the kingdom of God in this life.

Sex outside of marriage between a man and woman is sin.  That should not be hard to understand, but a pleasure-seeking world struggles with it.  Those who fear God, however, find more than enough pleasure in this life.