Guest- Nathan Bentley- Please don’t read this… go read the Bible

What can I write that will be of benefit that has not already been laid out in scripture? What can I write that has not already been said by a Christian author, blogger, speaker or evangelist? Not only has it already been said, but assuredly it has been said more eloquently than my abilities will allow me. Sure, I can relate scripture for you with modern examples and illustrations, but wouldn’t it be better for you to just go to the Bible and begin to read with a humility and hunger that has been given to you because you have cried out to a holy and righteous God? Wouldn’t the benefit of learning to read scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit be infinitely more valuable to you than spending another minute reading this blog post? And yet, I continue to sit here and type and you continue to sit and read.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Well…at least now we have something of value here.

Now having been in ministry for 20 years, in just about every capacity one could serve, I have come to appreciate the Bible so much more than I ever thought possible. The bookshelves in my office at the church have more than 200 books, 95% of which are Christian related. Honestly I can tell you that as much as I am handed a new book nearly every week, and that is not an exaggeration, with the caveat that, “this author really nails it,” or “wow, you must read this, what an inspiration.” The one place that I have consistently turned to when I needed inspiration, had an important decision, or needed to spend time with God, is His Word.

What am I saying here? Let me first start with what I am not saying.

I am not saying that reading outside of the Bible is wrong or a waste of time, I am not saying that there is nothing more to be written or blogged, and I am not saying that God does not still move on men’s hearts to reach the future generations.

I guess what I am saying is, if the Bible does not hold a preeminence in your spiritual growth and foundation, if it is not the end all be all of how you learn about the character of God, who you are in him and without Him, then you need to put away the books and get very familiar with the scriptures.

Psalm 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

In 2011 I began a journey of deciphering all the different doctrines of scripture and look into all the debated parts of Christendom. After 2 years, and more than 40 books, journals, & commentaries later I can tell you I was more confused and dismayed than when I started. I learned that if you are seeking the truths of the scripture you could find a Christian author, commentary or Bible college that would teach exactly the truth you already had a bias towards. For example: if you grew up with a premileenial view of Revelation then there was a God fearing Bible preaching college that would show you without a doubt that is what will happen…also, if you held to a more amillennial view of Revelation there was an equally God fearing, Bible teaching college that would show you how it must obviously be their way of thinking.

And that is just ONE issue in the Christian church, there are hundreds of others.

Some issues are minor and ultimately inconsequential and others are much more central to the faith and the character/nature of God. At the end of those two years, so the beginning of 2013, I was seeking God and asking Him who to read, where to study and to please lead me in truth and wisdom. I felt in my heart so strongly that He was telling me to just read the gospels for the entire year…over and over and over again; to get to know Him and humble myself before Him. He wanted me to see a crucial truth that I have carried with me for the last 7 years as a senior pastor, and that is, before you go seeking the will/nature of God from man, you should first see what He has to say about himself, and not only what He has to say, but submit yourself to it wholly and without reservation, commit it to memory and write it out whenever possible.

Even this concept is not new, according to Solomon by the time he got on the scene nothing was new, it had all been done and it was all meaningless. I know that there are those who would want nothing more than to debate, challenge or refute some of the things in here and even probably use scripture to do it, but hear my heart.

Above all theology, doctrine or denomination, get to know the unfathomable and comforting love of God Almighty! Humble your predispositions and prejudices before Him. He is right there in that LIVING book we call the Bible.

Peace,

Nathan Bentley
Guest Discerning Dad

For more on Discerning Dad click HERE

For information on my new book, Everyday Discernment, click HERE

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