#233: Christian Leaders Need to Read Their Bible!

A recent survey by Lifeway Research found a lot of Americans think the Bible is helpful, but they don’t read it much.

Leaders Read Bible

What? Tell me it isn’t so! How can you say a book is helpful if you haven’t read it?

Some Have Read

In this survey of “representative Americans,” Lifeway found only 11% had read the Bible all the way through. Only 9% had read all the Bible more than once. Another 12% said they had read almost all of it, and another 15% stated that they had read at least half.

So, 47% of Americans have read half the Bible or more.

Some Haven’t Read

On the other side of the equation, 10% of Americans have never read any of the Bible, 13% have read a few sentences, and 30% have read a few passages or stories.

So, 53% of Americans haven’t read enough of the Bible to know what it says or doesn’t say.

This doesn’t make sense! Nine out of ten homes in America own a Bible, and the average home has three Bibles! What are we doing with them – using them as paperweights?

Many Think It’s Worthwhile

What is even more confusing is a lot of people seem to think the Bible is worthwhile:

  • 52% said it is a good source of morals.
  • 37% said it is helpful today.
  • 36% said it is true.
  • 35% said it is life-changing.

I’m going out on a limb here, but I bet the people that think the Bible is a good source of morals, is helpful, is true, or is life-changing are the 47% of folks who have actually read a good chunk of it.

Some Don’t Think So

A few people didn’t have a positive view of the Bible: 14% said it is outdated, 8% said it is bigoted, and 7% said it is harmful. Again, I’m going out on a limb here, but I bet these folks are the ones who haven’t read much or any of the Bible.

We Have a Problem

If you claim to be a Christian, a follower of Christ, you need to know who it is you are following! The best way to do that is to read and study His Word.

I am absolutely convinced that many of the political and societal issues we are facing today are the result of two things. First, too many professing Christians don’t know the Word of God. The second reason for our political and societal issues is that we are not doers of the Word (James 1:22).

Christian leaders, we need to step up. We need to take responsibility and be the powerful, inspired leaders God has called us to be. We need to know the Word, and we need to be doers of the Word.

Our example as leaders will be a light that shines before others. They will see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Start Reading and Studying Today!

If you are one of the Christians, who hasn’t read and studied the Bible as much as you would like, then I implore you to start today. Find a Bible reading program and start reading. Get into a good Bible study. Get into a good Bible teaching church.

Do you want to get into a program to help you read and understand the Bible in the course of a year? If so, you are welcome to join with me and people from over 100 countries who are reading and studying the Bible daily.

I’ve developed two reading and studying programs that will get you through the Bible in a year. One is a straightforward Genesis – Revelation study. The other is a Chronological study which presents the Bible in the order events happened in history.

If you are interested, check us out and join us out at Bible Study Daily.

Join the Conversation

As always, questions and comments are welcome. What do you think of these survey results? Do they surprise you, trouble you, or is it about what you expected?

I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?

 

Category: Personal Development | Commitment

#189: Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho! It’s Off to Work We Go!

5 Steps to Getting You Whistling While You Work

Anyone who has ever seen the Walt Disney classic Snow White can picture the seven dwarfs singing and whistling as they march off, tools in hand, to spend their day working in the mine.

Work Dwarfs

Walt Disney made this epic film shortly after the great depression when people were thrilled to have jobs. A job meant they could feed and clothe their families without taking government handouts.

That was then. Today’s bumper sticker reads, “I-owe, I-owe, so it’s off to work I go.” We get up before dawn to join the freeway demolition derby, arrive at work stressed out, grit our teeth through another day at the salt mines, and then clench our teeth as we battle the traffic back home. We endure all this so that we can pay our mortgages, save up a little for vacation, and maybe put a bit away for a rainy day.

What has happened to us? Why aren’t we thrilled with our jobs? Why aren’t we going off to work singing and whistling like the seven dwarfs?

Perhaps you are so far gone that you think the only reason the seven dwarfs were singing is because they were strung out on mega-doses of antidepressants prescribed by over indulgent doctors, who were in cahoots with Simon Legree, the owner of the mine!

Some people think that work is a curse that God put on man after he sinned. But in reviewing Genesis 1, we find that God first blessed Adam and Eve, and then gave them the command to rule over the fish of the sea and birds of the air and every other living creature that moves on the ground; to work.

Long before the first sin, work was part of the plan even in paradise. So if work is part of the plan God has for our lives, and God blessed Adam and Eve before He gave them the command to work, then our attitude toward work should have us singing “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho,” not the familiar Johnny Paycheck song, “Take This Job and Shove It!”

By understanding the plan God has for our lives we can improve our attitudes, and find new motivation for our work. The Scottish philosopher Thomas Chalmers said, “The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Incorporate these essentials into your life and you may even find yourself whistling while you work!

5 Steps to Getting You Whistling While You Work

Something to do, something to love, something to hope for. If we cannot find a way to live the part of our lives that are our occupations Biblically then we shall have empty, unfulfilled lives. Here are five steps to get you whistling while you work:

Attitude

Remember Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 7:17) to be content in their stations. The one with the most toys is not the winner!

Your occupation is secondary to the fulfillment of your vocation; to be a servant of God, a light unto the world. Forget what the “world” says. It really doesn’t matter whether you are the janitor or the president as long as you do the best work possible as unto the Lord.

So the first step is to adjust your attitude to reflect your vocation while you’re working at your occupation.

Diligence

It is not honoring to the Lord if your coworkers can accuse you, a Christian, of being a sluggard. So work as Solomon said with diligent hands. That way no one will be able to say behind your back that Christians are a lazy bunch who don’t carry their fair share of the load.

Passion

If you do not have passion for your work it is a clear signal that you do not love your work. Perhaps it is because you do not have a job that makes use of your talents, or perhaps it is because you are focused on your occupation rather than your vocation. Take steps to either work in your job with passion or find a job in which you can!

Perseverance

Life is not as they say “A bowl full of cherries.” Often times life is more like just the pits. Paul was shipwrecked, stoned, flogged, and put in prison. Yet he counts these difficult times as “light and momentary afflictions.” Paul’s passion and his sheer determination kept him from being defeated by the difficulties that he encountered.

If he can count his tribulations as light, what are ours in comparison? Is it really that important to get mad at the fool who cut you off on the freeway, or take personally a comment that a coworker made about your department? Or are these things the really “light and momentary” afflictions? For goodness sake, do not let the light and momentary take precedence over the eternal implications of your vocation to serve God.

Hope

We are, all of us, nothing but flesh and blood. And with that frailty comes the knowledge that eventually, no matter how loud we whistle, we will fall short. When this day happens, remember to hear the melody of the future and dance to it today. Our melody is the knowledge of our salvation through Christ. We may not be able to physically see Him with our eyes, but we can certainly hear His melody in our hearts.

One Final Thought

Every morning when you get up, you have a very important choice to make. “Shall I live this day as though tomorrow will never come, and work as though God were standing beside me?” Or “I will live this day for myself, tomorrow is always another day”?

James writes, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year here or there, carry on business and make money.’ Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ Anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” (James 4:13-15, 17).

Spend a few minutes every morning in quiet prayer seeking God’s direction for your life. It is all a gift from Him! You’ll be amazed at the results. You might even find yourself singing “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho” as you drive the freeway to work!

Bonus Whitepaper

This week’s post is excerpted from a 6-page whitepaper entitled Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go!

This whitepaper is a broader discussion of how you can begin whistling as you go off to work:

  • Something to Do. What’s the difference between vocation and occupation?
  • Something to Love. Is it Biblical to love your work?
  • Something to Hope For. How to get the drive and determination to see the race through to the end.

You can download the free 6-page whitepaper here: Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go!

Join the Conversation

As always, questions and comments are welcome. What do you do that helps you “Whistle while you work?”

I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?

 

Category: Personal Development | Commitment

 

#090: Are you Peter on Monday Morning?

Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin for a trial, and Peter takes up a vantage point in the courtyard to watch. First, a servant girl accuses Peter of being with Jesus the Galilean and Peter denies it saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” (Matthew 26:70).

Fear, Peter's Denial

Then another woman approaches Peter and accuses him of being with Jesus the Nazarene and Peter denies it with an oath saying, “I don’t know the man!” (Matthew 26:72).

Finally, a group standing nearby confronts Peter and accuses him of being one of the disciples with Jesus because his accent gives him away. Peter curses and swears another oath saying, “I do not know the man!” (Matthew 26:74).

This is the same Peter who just a few hours before picked up a sword, and despite being surround by over 600 Roman soldiers, cut off the ear of Malchus, the High Priest’s servant (John 18:10).

One minute Peter is bravely defending Jesus against all odds, and a little while later, he denies knowing Jesus, swears an oath that he doesn’t know Jesus, and ultimately, he even curses at those who suggest he knows Jesus!

Wow, we would never do that, would we?!

Recently, an acquaintance told me that trying to start bible studies in the workplace was a challenge because people didn’t want to “come out of the closet.” These are folks who are perfectly comfortable going to church on the weekend and even serve those in need in the community. But they draw the line at being identified as a Christian in the workplace.

Why is that? Why do people shrink away from being known for their beliefs in the workplace?

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