Something has been on my heart for a few weeks, I’ve wanted to blog about it but didn’t want to come across as “preachy”. Or worse, with a “better then thou” attitude. Because, let me just say….I have a long long long way to go. The ironic thing about a genuine growing relationship with God is- the closer you get, the more your eyes are opened, the further you realize you truly are!
This year has been an incredible journey for me in which God has peeled the spiritual blinders off of several areas of my life. It’s been incredibly humbling for someone who has spent their life in the church doors to become convicted that on my best days— what I’ve been living is tasteless watered down Christianity. On my worst days– nothing more then pure “religion.”
This year our church took on a challenge to read the Bible cover to cover in a year as a congregation. Now, I’ll be the first to say I am horrible with New Years resolutions. My intentions are really good, but typically I don’t make it past about March. When I started the Bible reading plan I had the concern that this venture would be the same. Life would get busy, I’d lose interest, and I’d give myself a “pat on the back” for a good try! To be honest, I actually heavily debated even starting and reluctantly bought the $10 reading plan Bible wondering if I was actually wasting my money!
In previous years I have tried to at least open my Bible a few times a month, but I have never been a regular reader. Maybe because I didn’t know where to start. Or, perhaps, I didn’t believe it was really relevant. Point is, my Bible got more dust gathering opportunities then it did pages being turned.
As I’ve read this year, I’ll admit– some books/chapters, have been challenging. Sometimes I’ve found myself confused, wondering what I’m reading really means. Some stories are so absurd that I wonder why they are even in the Bible.
Overall though, it has been the single best decision I’ve made all year. God’s word has opened my eyes, softened my heart, given me an abundance of hope, comforted my heart in times of trouble, and actively spoken to my individual circumstances. What started as a task or daily chore, within about two months of starting the habit became a necessity for my functioning as a Christian, a mom and a wife. As my heart became receptive to the truth in God’s word– a hunger for more knowledge, understanding, and application has grown steadily within my spirit.
One of the crazy things that has hit me like a ton of bricks lately is the fact that for years I have had the habit of reading almost daily. Reading fiction. Sometimes reading magazines. Online news. Most definitely reading Facebook. Non fictions books on personal growth. Even some books on spiritual growth. All potentially good things, some maybe even great things….but in comparison to the Living word of God— well, duh.
Even the best written, most influential, wisdom saturated Christian book is nothing compared to the Bible. Yet, prior to this year, merely ten minutes spent in the Bible seemed extravagant. Honestly, I’m ashamed of this! I mean, it is literally just insane that I have the active, living, word of God literally by my bed every day/night and for some reason all these years I’ve claimed a Christian faith and literally ignored it most days as though it had nothing to say to me. Now, of course, I’d never actually say that outloud (hang on, I just did say that!) but isn’t that what my actions said?
I share this with you, friends, for two reasons:
- Daily time in God’s word is attainable even if you’ve never done it before. I believe it is essential for a Christian to walk and grow, rather then remain stagnant. Start with a reading plan, there are lots of great guides here: http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/ Don’t be surprised if once you start you realize it is the healthiest and most vital habit you’ve ever had.
- If you already enjoy reading, consider this truth: Life advice needed? Bible. Interested in history? Bible. Wisdom? Bible. Comfort? Bible. Want to make positive changes for life? Bible. Make a difference in this world? Bible. Raise a family better? Bible. Manage your resources and finances? Bible. Seriously, it’s an instruction book for LIFE. Why in the world do we not take the time to read it more?