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Archive for June, 2015

dusty-bible-read-me

I started another challenge at the beginning of June. Reading through the whole Bible in 90 days. It’s hard. It probably takes me between 30-45 minutes a day to get through each large section of Scripture. So far I’ve galloped through Genesis, escaped with the Jews in Exodus, learned the Law in Leviticus, counted and re-counted in Numbers, dashed through Deuteronomy, defeated the enemies in Joshua and Judges, and lived the romance of Ruth. All in 19 days.

I hope you read the Word each day. You don’t have to take on this kind of challenge but I hope you take the time to listen to what God is saying from Genesis to Revelation. Oh – I can hear you now…all kinds of excuses. I know this because I’ve used them too…

I just don’t have time.

Yes you do. We all make time for what we value. It isn’t unspiritual to actually make an appointment with God. Makes perfect sense to me. We all keep appointments with doctors, teachers, accountants, friends, church activities…why can’t you schedule a time to read God’s story every day? I know many of you have young kids who take up boatloads of your time. Get them involved in your Bible reading. There is no better lesson they can see than Mom and Dad reading Scripture every day. They will understand the importance of Bible reading when YOU place it as a priority. Read with them – read it out loud to them (as always, use wisdom when reading certain portions to young children. “But Mom, God said to wipe them off the face of the earth,” says Billy as he straddles Susie in the backyard).

Yes – you may need to skip your daily dose of Facebook (at least 30 minutes of it), or pass on Dr. Phil or Judge Judy. Take a Bible audio app with you on a long walk. Multi-task with steps and Scripture. Now that’s how to get fit!

I just don’t understand it.

Then find a way. Use a different version. There are literally hundreds of versions to choose from. Go to a Bible website and browse. Try a new one every day, just as a test run. Maybe you learn better through the spoken word. Try an audio version. Maybe you like to see the Word come to life. There are DVDs which use the New International Version to “act out” Scripture – word for word. Don’t believe the lie that says “I’m just too dumb” to understand this stuff. There are all kinds of study helps available online. The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of each book and He can give you understanding too. Ask for it. He wants to speak to you. He wants you to know Him and the only way you can is if you read what He’s written.

I’ve already read it once.

My husband is a really smart man. He knows the Word of God better than anyone else I know. He teaches it, lives it and breathes it. I don’t know how many times he’s read through the Bible but probably more than you have. Yet – he still does it. He still reads it every. single. day. You know why? Because he knows God still has a lot to say to him and he always finds out new things about God every time he reads it. Once is not enough. Twice is not enough. Keep at it. Don’t stop. Change it up if you want. Read a different version. The Message is kind of fun for a change of pace. Listen to it instead of read it. Watch it on video.

It’s boring.

If you haven’t noticed by now, the excuses are just that. Excuses. Once again – what you value you will pursue. If you find God’s Word boring (another word for “I just don’t get it”), then find a way to make it exciting. Read it with a friend. Challenge each other with a reading plan or a memorization plan. Read up on the backgrounds of the various authors. Determine to find something you can take away from each day’s reading. Recently I read through Leviticus. Before I started I determined I would find some practical lesson I could use. Quite a few people skip Leviticus. It’s a hard book to wade through. Lots of details. And I mean lots. But God was faithful. I found lessons on salt, blood, value, atonement, festivals & celebrations, grace, consuming fire, unauthorized fire, the holiness of God and how to approach & who can approach God. And finally, I learned God is in the details. He cares about everything. If He cares about skins sores and moldy houses, I’m pretty sure He cares about the details of my life too. See – Leviticus speaks to us today. Don’t skip it!

Find an accountability partner. Print off a paper Bible reading guide. Pray for the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit who will teach you the deep things of God as you read His Word. I promise you – you will not be disappointed. The value of Scripture – the richness of His Word will saturate your Spirit and refresh your soul. A little side benefit – when you’re tired and worn down, only the Word that you’ve placed into your heart will revive and restore. When the battles rage around you, only His voice, speaking His Word, will keep you fighting. It isn’t called the Sword of the Spirit for nothing.

 

Dust it off and get started. No excuses. No regrets.

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