One of the many many wonderful things on the Bible Society Australia website is their regular “Reading the Bible with…” slot. It’s full of great encouragements to open up the Scriptures and stories and advice from others. This week they ran out of decent people to ask and scraped the bottom of the barrel…
David is the minister at Glenquarie Anglican Church, in Sydney’s South West.
Where do you live and go to church?
I live in Macquarie Fields, Sydney. I’m the minister at Glenquarie Anglican Church.
Name a Bible character you resonate with and why.
I’m tempted to say Samson, the moment right after Delilah cut all his hair off! But Samson is also a great encouragement to me; God used him despite his extraordinary mix of both wanting to lead God’s people but also being so often led by his desires. If God can use him, He can use other sinners like me.
What’s one thing from the Bible that’s stuck in your brain at the moment?
The almost brazen way Jesus dismisses Herod’s desire to kill Him. “Go tell that fox I’ll keep on doing my thing…” (I might be paraphrasing slightly from Luke 13:32!) It encourages me to not fear those around me who oppose the gospel, despite the suffering that may arise (and which Jesus Himself clearly expected to arrive).
Name one part of the Bible you keep coming back to again and again and why.
Galatians 1 and the Apostle’s scathing rejection of the false gospel of those who deny justification by faith alone. I fear that we’re sometimes so keen to include as many people as possible in the label “Christian” that we allow Biblical language rather than the Biblical gospel to be the defining issue and thus lose the wonder that the gospel really is God doing everything for us without any contribution on our part. No wonder Paul was so keen to defend it and so loud about rejecting his own pretty impressive record of good works.
Describe one of your Bible reading failures and what you learnt.
Just the boring failure of stopping reading! When reading my Bible becomes a chore then I lose the point of it so I have to remind myself that these are words of life and to go looking for that life, rather than simply getting the job done.
What advice would you give someone struggling to read the Bible each day?
Stop trying! Put it down. Stop telling yourself it’s something you have to do. Ask yourself whether you love Jesus and love the gospel. Then pick it up again and go read about your love.
And just for fun, if you were a monster what would be your defining feature?
Telekinesis – the ability to move things with just my mind. Imagine how you could wind people up with that one.