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Message From Pastor Leon

posted Dec 18, 2014, 7:30 AM by Tracey Morris   [ updated Mar 26, 2016, 7:38 AM ]


Studies show that despite what is portrayed in the media, the Bible is still held in high regard by a majority of the American people. Those same studies also show that a majority of people in the United States do not read this Bible that is regarded so highly. The Bible has thus been called the ‘most revered, but least read’ book on the shelves. A sampling of Americans who attend church would probably have a higher percentage of regular Bible readers, but perhaps not even a majority of them take the time to do so.

Our congregation took some significant steps in this area last year with many people taking time to read The Story in small groups. Some of these groups are still reading The Story, while others have moved on to viewing the Faith Lesson Bible study videos, or reading another book together. This has been a great blessing for many of our members.

I would like to suggest an additional opportunity. A good devotional book or resource can help you discipline yourself to read the Bible daily, even if it is just a verse or two. Then, verse by verse your knowledge of the Scriptures can increase and your faith can grow.

I would like to give you some ideas for how you can do this. Some of you are already using these. If so, I encourage you to continue. If not, I invite you to have a look at each of these opportunities and see what might work for you.

#1) For the past several years, St. Paul’s has made available the Daily Text devotional book. The texts are from the European Moravian church which has been selecting these daily readings each year for almost three hundred years. Many generations of believers from around the world have read God’s Word each day by this method. Mt. Carmel, a Lutheran Bible camp near Alexandria, Minnesota, publishes an American edition of these verses, along with a prayer for each day. Pastor Gorden has been a part of the team that writes these prayers each year. There are only two verses to read each day, along with this brief prayer. There are further readings provided for those who have the time, and a longer devotion for Sundays. One can spend as much time as desired: one minute, or, several minutes more to meditate on the verses and to add your own prayers. Copies of Daily Text are available in the narthex or church office (suggested donation $5.00).

#2) A second resource is Pastor Leon’s daily on-line devotional. Many of you are already using this in your daily devotions. Each day’s devotion usually has three parts—a reading, three Bible verses, and a prayer. This will take a bit more time than the Daily Text. It averages about 1000 words a day, or about 5-7 minutes to read. The emphasis is devotional and educational, and the readings are widely varied, including Bible studies, church history, brief biographies, news from the church today, theological explanations, inspiring stories, movie reviews, stories behind popular hymns, etc. Following the readings are relevant Bible verses, and a brief prayer. You can read these daily at the website (along with all previous readings), or, you can sign up to have them sent to you each day by email. You can find this on the church website (homepage, right column, where it says ‘subscribe to email meditations’); or go directly to the website at: www.emailmeditations.wordpress.com

#3) The third option is also on-line at: www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/ This site has a wide variety of daily (or weekly) devotionals by specific individuals. Biblegateway also contains many other helpful Bible study resources.

Consider making it one of your New Year’s resolutions to read at least one or two verses of the Bible each day.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Leon