– it seemed so large
– and, it appeared so overwhelming
– I really did not have any extra time
– I worried about my lack of commitment
– I was sure it would be too confusing
– what if I didn’t understand it?
– and I had heard some chapters about genealogy were really boring
– I was sure reading random bible verses or devotions was sufficient
– if I just prayed a lot I would be fine
– listening to my preacher’s sermons would surely give me enough wisdom
– and I assumed I could still be close with God, without actually reading it
But… boy, was I wrong. How I wish I had put aside all my if’s and but’s much sooner.
I began reading the Chronological Bible last January, and this week I finally finished reading the entire Bible – and boy, am I blessed!
I tell you this not to get any accolades or pats on the back.
I have nothing to brag about, but much to regret. I want to profess my mistake of allowing the enemy to fill my head with countless reasons of why I could not, and should not, attempt to read God’s entire Word. I have asked for God’s forgiveness for taking for granted the beautiful gift of His Word.
I share this personal struggle with you, in the hopes that it might speak to someone who may be struggling with similar feelings, and encourage you to push past those excuses too!
You see, not only did I waste years of my life listening to those deceiving excuses from the enemy, but I also missed out on the rewarding, intimate relationship that God wanted to have with me.
I was a Christian. I went to church. I tried to be a Godly parent. I tried to be a good wife. I tried to keep my moral compass in check. I prayed. I read daily devotions and memorized important verses. I did bible studies. I even began speaking and writing in ministry… all the while defending my own excuses for not giving God my all.
But… deep inside, it was never enough for my heart.
And… I did not realize that my heart was longing for the inspiration that was to be found in all those black and white pages. Inspiration from spending time with the living God, through the living Word.
If only… I had known what was I was missing.
Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (NIV)
The Word truly is alive. All those black and white pages tell the story of God, and are packed with Words that are literally dripping with life…. saturated with wisdom…. soaked with guidance and encouragement… fueled by love and grace.
And that Life has filled me more life than I could have ever expected.
I cannot count how many times that God’s Word pierced my heart as I read through the daily readings. I cannot recount how many days that I needed to hear a special encouragement, reflection or clarity from God, and He was waiting to tell me exactly what I needed on the specific day I needed it.
There were days when verses would jump off the page, right into my soul, giving me the exact inspiration and wisdom that I needed for a specific circumstance or trial.
Irony? Absolutely not. Supernaturally time-orchestrated Life giving Words of God?
I just did not know what I was missing, until God showed me what I was missing. He could not open my spiritual eyes, until I closed my earthly list of excuses.
Have you secretly expressed some of the same excuses I touted, for not reading the Bible?
Has the enemy spent years convincing you of why you cannot read the whole Bible?
Has God been calling you to this task, but you have been hesitant or even afraid to get started?
Friend – push aside those excuses today! Throw out those lies. Toss aside those earthly reasons. Shatter those chains that have been holding you back.
Embrace the opportunity to get to know God in a fresh, new, exciting and unbelievable way this year. And allow Him to get know you.
Seriously , with God, all things are possible…. even when it comes to reading 66 books in the most exciting, adventurous, meaningful and life changing book you will ever pick up.
Over the next twelve months, I am so excited to share with you many of the things that pricked my heart over the past year as I read through the Bible. I cant wait to tell you about some really cool things that God taught me and some new meanings that I pulled out of familiar verses.
But most importantly, how He wove Himself into my every day life, and can do the same for you. It was so much fun, and this year is going to be even better!
With all excuses aside, we really can get to know our Jesus better this year.
No more if’s, and’s and but’s for us…… let’s allow His Word and His life to make a difference in our hearts.
I welcome your comments, feedback and questions this year, and pray that we can be an encouragement to each other as our hearts join together and we walk through this journey of faith together in 2011.