Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bible in a Year: side-effects

A few years ago I decided it was time to "attempt" to read the Bible. I said "attempt" because I always thought the Book was so overwhelming, I should attempt to read it and see where I landed. 

I started one month late yet finished on time. Each following year I say the same thing: let's attempt to read and see what happens in the process. 

One time I got derailed in spring time: I just couldn’t keep up. I still read the Bible, I just wasn’t able to follow my 15 daily minutes Bible reading program. Many other times, I was able to succeed. 

As of today, I’ve read the entire Old Testament plus the book of Matthew. I must confess that I’m glad I switched plans (I’m now using the ReadScripture app). This app was created by The Bible Project guys, which I’ve always admired. 

The new plan has given me a wholesome view of Scripture. The way they organize the reading is different than I’ve experienced before. I wasn’t sure about it at first but the division as well as the video explanations really help me learn and understand the Bible. 

I am glad that no matter how busy life gets, I get to wake up and read the Bible. Mornings work best for me. 

Reading the Bible in a year has helped me to practice the presence of God. Whether I am listening to the Bible or reading it, I realize that I am in the presence of God daily. 

I heard R.T. Kendall say the more you know the Bible determines how well you know God’s wisdom. I wholeheartedly agree. In a world where fear and desolation are everywhere, I cling to the Words of Life.

I choose not to live in an unrealistic world. I know the world around us is not the best it could be. It is also unrealistic not to cling to God’s wisdom found in the Bible. If I claim to serve Him and how can I do it well if I don’t know Him? I get to know God through His own words. 

My Bible reading goal is never to become the number one Bible smart woman in the room. My goal is to know God better. I’ve always believed that as I know Him, my life on earth makes more sense. 

The side-effects I get from reading the Bible? Greater peace, joy and an unshakable hope. These things can’t be bought with money yet Jesus paid for it with His life. I gladly walk in it as His follower and servant. 

If you haven’t read the Bible in its entirety for yourself, I encourage you to do it. It is wise to know God for yourself. 

Friend, It’s okay to be scared. I can relate to your feelings. My inadequacies went away when I started to study what I was reading. Reading the Bible and studying the Bible are two completely separate activities. Both are doable by regular people like you and I. 

My advice as far as Bible study is: start at your local church. They either will have a Bible study you can attend or they can point you out to a Bible teacher. If there is a scheduling conflict, or if your church does not offer a Bible study at this time, consider listening to the Merry Ministries Podcast (www.merryministries.com or look for it on iTunes). 

Merry Ministries teaches the Bible in an easy way to understand. They believe that in order to understand the words of the Bible, you need to understand the world of the Bible. They teach each book verse by verse, which is an advantage when you are really trying to understand the meaning of the words of life. I listen to Merry Ministries often, whether I am doing chores, running or if I have a Bible question. 

I recently went to their website and printed the book summaries for all the books of the Bible. This resource is free and it is great to have when you have a question about a book of the Bible. 

I hope that you can make time to read and study the Bible. I will keep you posted on my progress. I start Mark soon and before we know it, it will be time for Revelation!

Here is my question: how do you stay accountable in your Bible reading habit? 
Here is my encouragement: start to read the Bible. Start with John, Proverbs, read Psalms and keep going. Even if all you have is 5 minutes, your spirit will benefit from being in touch with God. 

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