If you're stopping by after reading "Grow...part one", welcome back! If not, just check out the previous post, and you'll be all caught up! Yesterday, we discovered that just like milk to a baby, God's word is the nourishment we need to grow in our faith. Today, I hope to share some things that will help you develop a love for reading your Bible every single day. In my conversations with women, I hear lots of reasons why you don't read the Bible regularly. "I don't know where to start." "I don't understand it." "I'm just not motivated to read it." are some I hear most often. So today, let's start right there.
"I don't know where to start." That's totally understandable! The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments that comprise our modern day Bible can seem pretty intimidating. There are several ways to dive in. I've read through the Bible several times, and one of my favorite methods is The One Year Bible. Available in several different translations, the OYB divides the Bible into 365 daily readings, each including a bit from Psalms, Proverbs, Old Testament, and New Testament. It only takes 15-20 minutes a day...brilliant! When I was a new Christian (and had never read any of the Bible), many people told me to start in the Gospel of John, in the New Testament. The love of God and the story of Jesus are the themes of this book, and will make you want to read more! Finally, visit http://www.youversion.com. You'll find many translations of the Bible there, along with so many reading plans, you're sure to find one that's right for you. It is a truly amazing, totally free resource!
"I don't understand it." I know. Neither did I! Here's what I've discovered: Pray before you read. Just ask the Author of the Book to help you understand what you read. He is well able, by His Spirit that lives in you (if you're a Christian), to reveal His words to you. Get a Bible you like to read. If you find yourself tripping over thees and thous and therefores, for Heaven's sake get a different translation! You can spend a ton of money on a Bible, but you don't have to. Check out online discount sites half.com, amazon.com, biblica.com, or christianbook.com. Join a Bible study group. I have been part of, and led, many study groups over the years, and I have grown so much from hearing other women's insights as we study together. We're starting a daytime study in late September at Crossroads, or try Community Bible study, or a group at your church.
"I'm just not motivated to read it." Rare is the person who is overwhelmed with desire to read the Bible as a new Christian. Discipline doesn't come naturally to any of us! For most people, it's something we grow into. For me, I knew that I should read the Bible, so I did. But the wonderful thing is, the more I read, the more I wanted to read! I think biggest motivator for me was discovering that God's word is no ordinary book. Not at all! The Bible contains the very words of the living God! By His word, God created everything seen and unseen (Genesis 1). His words are life (Proverbs 4:20-22, John 6:63), His word is the power of God that saves us (Romans 1:16), and His word accomplishes everything He desires (Isaiah 55:11). If I want to know Him better, I don't need to look any further than the words He has spoken to me...to us. Knowing that His word is alive and filled with His creativity, His life, and His power changes how we feel about reading it.
Tune in next time for part three of our Grow series. I'm calling it "Bloom".
Today's Verse: The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63 NLT
Prayer for Today: Father, I long to know You better. I pray that as I open the pages of Your Book, You will meet me there, and make me more like Jesus as I read and apply your Truth. In His name I pray, Amen.