A few years ago, I was tired of making excuses for not knowing, or understanding, God’s Word. Although I had completed many bible studies on specific books of the Bible or biblical characters, I had always wanted to read the Bible in it’s entirety. However, I never thought it was possible for someone like me.
Someone who had tried in the past, but had easily gotten bored, discouraged or too busy. Someone who didn’t consider herself a Bible scholar. Someone who wondered how anyone could possibly read that huge intimating book, including all the chapters about genealogy, lineage, temple building and sacrifices. Someone who could hardly make it halfway through the first few chapters of the Bible, much less 66 books.
But the time came when I was fed up with my own excuses, frustrated at my lack of overall knowledge of God’s truths, and sometimes embarrassed when someone asked me the answer to a spiritual question that I felt I should know. So I began to pray for God to help me get to know Him in a new and deeper way, and learn how to apply His promises and instruction to my every day life.
Then my church began a new small group class whose purpose was to read the Bible in one year, by using the NLT Chronological Bible. With hesitation and anticipation, I jumped right in. Then I prayed again – for the willingness to persevere, the ability to understand and for a passionate desire to dig into God’s Word every day.
365 days later, I had completed my goal – and I was ready to do it all over again. You see, for the first time, I had a glimpse of the bigger picture of God’s story. Not just popular bible verses, childhood stories, or important biblical characters – but the story of God. I now want to open God’s Word each day with excitement, instead of obligation because I have realized the importance of getting a daily portion of God.
My pastor once said that when we open God’s Word, we should say “OH MY! I AM ABOUT TO MEET WITH GOD!” I loved that! He also gave the example that if we saw an email in our inbox that was delivered from God, we would eagerly open it with great excitement. We would not wait, put it on the back burner, allow it to sit there idly, or procrastinate about it. We would open it immediately!
In essence, the Bible is really an email from God, quietly sitting there, waiting for us to open it every day. An email chocked full of vital, life giving information that we desperately need.
The key to getting a daily portion of God, resulting in spiritual growth and deeper Bible study, is choosing to open up that ‘email’ – and discover the truths and promises within.
During my time reading the Chronological Bible, I learned to keep a daily journal of answers to a few simple questions. These questions helped me stay focused on the reading and deliberate apply it to my daily life. Now this journal that I kept during those 365 days is now a priceless treasure to me. It not only holds deep truths of God that I would have never known, but also precious memories of my daily encounters with God, and each whisper that He spoke to my spirit.
If you are ready to toss out your excuses and pick up some great summer reading that will impact your entire faith walk, then you might want to consider purchasing a chronological Bible, or find a daily Bible reading plan to use with your own bible, and just get started! It’s never too late to start meeting with God!
Below are five questions to consider using in your daily reading to help you learn to dig deep and experience God through His Word:
1. Is there a promise to believe in the passage you are reading?
2. Is there a sin to avoid?
3. Is there something about God to learn?
4. Is there a timeless principle to apply?
5. How should I pray in regards to this scripture?
It is so easy to read a passage of scripture, and check it off our to-do list without really trying to apply it to our lives or asking God to make the Words come alive. Yet, when we delve into the meaning of the readings by answering these thought provoking questions, the windows of our heart are opened so that God’s voice can be heard loud and clear.
Psalm 119:97-104 says:
Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide. Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your laws. I am even wiser than my elders, for I have kept your commandments. I have refused to walk on any evil path, so that I may remain obedient to your word. I haven’t turned away from your regulations, for you have taught me well. How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.
We are to treasure God’s Word, and deem it sweeter than honey to our lips, and through a daily portion, He will use His Words to shape our faith, heart, mind and life. Only then can we truly experience the reality of God in our life, and maybe for the very first time.
When you deepen your study of God’s Word and let it sink into your heart, you will also deepen your relationship with God, making every minute of study well worth the time.