One goal I have made for 2010, is to join a group of friends who are reading through Matthew Henry's Commentary. It's not my goal to get through it this year, but rather to read some every day. I love Matthew Henry and often read a little here and there, so it will be good to have an actual reading plan. Don't be surprised if lots of quotes show up on here:-) To read the commentary for yourself click here.
And while I am talking about reading the Bible, and such things, I wanted to share some thoughts on this I got from a friend's blog - I especially like numbers 5 and 6.
"But forasmuch, that as faith is the soul, so reading and meditating on the word of God, are the parent’s of prayer, therefore, before thou prayest in the morning, first read a chapter in the word of God; then meditate awhile with thyself, how many excellent things thou canst remember out of it.
As—First, what good counsels or exhortations to good works and to holy life.
Secondly, what threatenings of judgments against such and such a sin; and what fearful examples of God’s punishment or vengeance upon such and such sinners.
Thirdly, what blessings God promiseth to patience, chastity, mercy, alms-deeds, zeal in his service, charity, faith and trust in God, and such like Christian virtues.
Fourthly, what gracious deliverance God hath wrought, and what special blessings he hath bestowed upon them who were his true and zealous servants.
Fifthly, apply these things to thine own heart, and read not these chapters as matter of historical discourse, but as if they were so many letters or epistles sent down from God out of heaven to thee; for whatsoever is written, is written for our learning (Rom. xv. 4.)
Sixthly, read them, therefore, with that reverence as if God himself stood by, and spake these words to thee, to excite thee to those virtues, to dissuade thee from those vices: assuring thyself that if such sins (as thou readest there) be found in thee, without repentance, the like plagues will fall upon thee; but if thou dost practise the like piety and virtuous deeds, the like blessings shall come to thee and thine.
In a word; apply all that thou readest in holy Scripture, to one of these two heads chiefly; either to confirm thy faith, or to increase thy repentance: for, as bear and forbear, was the epitome of a good philosopher’s life; believe and repent, is the whole sum of a true Christian’s profession, One chapter thus read with understanding, and meditated with application, will better feed and comfort thy soul than five read and run over without marking their scope or sense, or making any use of them to thine ownself.
But it may be thou wilt say, that thy business will not permit thee so much time, as to read every morning a chapter, &c. O man, remember that thy life is but short, and that all this business is but for the use of this short life; but salvation or damnation is everlasting! Rise up, therefore, every morning by so much time the earlier: defraud thy foggy flesh of so much sleep; but rob not thy soul of her food, nor God of his service; and serve the Almighty duly whilst thou hast time and health.
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
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