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Reading the Bible for the First Time

By:  Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.

Fort Fairfield Journal, March 30, 2016

 

      We're all taught to read a book starting with page one and proceed to the end.  When you read the Bible in that order; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy you're going through all kinds of really antiquated and frankly kind of dry and dusty stuff.  You're also getting a picture of God when reading the Old Testament that would cause you to want to drop to your knees and say, “God please don't kill me!”  This is because based on the Old Testament rule book, based on humankind's relationship with God before Jesus Christ came on the scene we really had to be in a continual position of, “Please God don't kill me because I really deserve it, you're a just and righteous God and you have every right to kill me because I am such a complete and pathetic sinner.”  Now that can be quite a burden to bear if you haven't yet heard the good news. 

   The New Testament is where I recommend everyone begin.  It goes Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It's the last third of your Bible.   On every radio program I produce, I run a little ad reminding you about the book of Matthew.  I've been running that ad for almost ten years now. I really believe a person just starting to read the Bible for the first time should begin with the book of Matthew in the New Testament.  Don't start with Genesis, start with Matthew and get to know Jesus Christ first.  Once you understand Jesus Christ, once you've read the New Testament, once you understand that we're not getting the punishment that we deserve, that we're getting grace and forgiveness, because of Christ and his sacrifice, then go back and read the Old Testament and then you can go, “Whew! Thank goodness, dodged a bullet there!”

   My radio program is not a Christian program but I am obviously a Christian so I can't do a show without talking about the good news. Anybody out there who is thinking those Christians seem to have something and I wish I had a piece of it, I wish I could understand what they understand, see what they see, feel what they feel have the faith and security, the certainty and the promises in their hearts that they have, I would encourage them to read the Bible beginning with the book of Matthew.  I know there are many people reading this column and listening in my radio audience who don't have that relationship, who have perhaps a lot of skepticism.  Maybe they've hit a point in their lives where they're ready to open up their hearts, they just don't know how to do it.  That's okay, reading the Bible can help.

   God is present in the Bible.  The reality of the Bible is it is a living book.  It is not like any other book that I've ever read.  It is absolutely alive.  It's not like the words will leap off the page and start moving around the room or anything but the Bible has a way of really conveying to you the actual living Spirit of God, himself.

   So many people pick up the Bible when they have a problem.  They read a passage they've read a thousand times before and all of a sudden it comes to life to them in a different way and has a different meaning and it speaks to exactly where they are in their life right at that very moment.  The Bible is so powerful.  That's the reason why it's the most published book on planet Earth, always has been, always will be.  That's the reason why there's a Bible in virtually every American home and if you don't have one in your home you should get one. 

   Everybody who listens to my radio program, or reads this column, I want you to dust off that Bible and turn to the book of Matthew.  Maybe you've wondered if God is really out there, maybe you haven't believed in Him, maybe you haven't followed Him, or you lost track of Him.  I suggest as you read the book of Matthew, ask God to just be there while you read and let Him direct your thoughts and understanding.  I believe you, too, will find that the Bible really is alive and communicates to you directly through the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission. Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at www.gcnlive.com Katherine’s website is: www.katherinealbrecht.com 

 

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