I thought I would start off by telling a little story from my own life as we prepare for the 2015 Bible Reading Challenge. Over the course of the next few weeks, I thought I would share a few posts that will helps us prepare for the Challenge. I truly hope you will join me in reading through the Bible this coming year!
Now, for a little story–
I feel like I’ve been a believer for my whole life. I professed Christ as a young child and then re-dedicated my life as a thirteen-year old. I never strayed real far from the principles I have been taught and I have been viewed as a real “goody two-shoes” for most of my life. I am not sorry about this. I am thankful that I have been spared so much hurt and pain throughout my life because I have followed the principles laid down in God’s Word.
That being said, however, I want you to know that even though I professed Christ and did all of the outward stuff, I drank milk so much of my life. I filled my mind with romance novels and the words and advice of other men and women in non-fiction books, but I didn’t spend time in God’s Word. Oh, I’d read The Daily Bread or some other light devotional that gave a verse and then a paragraph written by someone else. That was what my devotions consisted of for a very long time. I used the excuse that I was a busy homeschooling mom and didn’t have time to dig into God’s Word. Funny how I did have time for so much other stuff, though.
Fast forward to a year or two ago, when I was riding in a car with a friend. We talked about how we would both like to attend a Bible Study where we actually study the Bible instead of a book. She told me if I’d start it, she’d attend. She was a lot busier in Christian work than I was at the time (and probably still is) and so I took the idea home to my husband and asked him what he thought. He gave his blessing and so I — very hesitantly and tentatively — started talking to a few close friends to see if anyone else was interested in coming. I offered to be the “discussion facilitator”, as I felt very uncomfortable being viewed as “the Bible study leader”. It ended up being about six of us and we chose the book of I Peter, using Kay Arthur’s inductive study guide.
Around that same time, a different friend told me how she had read through the Bible during that year and it was changing her life. I bemoaned the fact that I had never done that, even though I had been a Christian for such a long time. She told me I should definitely try again and even bought me the special one-year Bible she had used.
And so I was off an a double adventure of getting into God’s Word. One through a Bible Study and the other through another attempt of reading through the entire Bible in a year.
Over the course of this past year, I have learned in a new way the truth of these much beloved verses–
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Since I have started to study and read the Word of God with serious intent, I have grown in leaps and bounds in understanding and knowing God. I have truly come to finally love the Word of God. I never understood that love for the scriptures will come if I just do it in obedience, even when I don’t feel like it.
Of course, some days are hard and difficult. Sometimes still I can think of a thousand other things I need to do. Some days I read a passage and I tell the Lord, “I just don’t get this…” But, now, when I look back over the year, I can see that God has changed me — really changed me– through study of His Word.
While I have studied, I have never felt under more spiritual attack than this past year. You need to know that. If you get serious about studying the Bible, you will be attacked spiritually. It confirms in my life that our enemy does not want us knowing the Word of God. But we know that God is bigger, stronger, and so much more powerful than our enemy. We can’t back down in fear. The blessings and joy that come from persevering through the temptations and trials are real and tangible.
So… that is my story. I am quite aware that I will have lost most of my readers by now. Posts like this don’t seem to appeal to most of my reading audience. This topic doesn’t seem to garner much interest and perhaps the challenge of reading through the Bible seems like an overwhelming and impossible task.
But I really hope that you won’t let fear stop you! Read through Psalm 119 to get a bit of an understanding just how vital and life-changing God’s Word is to us as believers.
In this confusing cauldron of modern Christianity, I find that so many people have started to gauge their spirituality on mystical experiences and how many visions they see. But I am here to testify that we learn to know and love God through His inspired and inerrant Word. Not only does His Word tell us this, but I have learned it first hand. We need to stop looking for some ethereal experience and dig into the Word of God.
You may have noticed that God’s Word has become a major focus of this blog. This testimony of mine shows you why I have become so passionate about this recently. I long to testify to the power of God’s Word and to encourage others to read it and study it.
If you want to join us in January, then hop on over to this page that will give the details for the challenge. I will send out encouragement and tips to my subscribers throughout the year, so if you are serious about the challenge, I hope that you will take a moment and subscribe to the blog (find the box for this in the upper right of this page).
If you’ve read this far, then I want to thank you for seriously considering this challenge and encourage you to go for it! With God’s help, you can do this! And it will change you.
Have a great day!