I made the decision a year ago that I would read the Bible in its entirety in one year. It was something I always wanted to do, but I usually fell off the plan after getting to Deuteronomy. I almost gave up multiple times, but God gave me the strength to keep pushing forward.
When I embarked on the journey of reading the Bible in an entire year, it was mainly because I felt that as a Christian it was hypocritical to say you believed in God but never even read God’s word to us. I felt that we should know the scriptures inside and out. But as I read, my perspective on this changed. While it is great to have read the entire Bible and to know it well, it is not solely necessary for salvation. Some may believe that eternal life comes by reading scriptures, but the scriptures point to who really brings eternal life: JESUS (John 5:39)!
I also think about those who do not have access to a Bible but have been told the gospel and have believed. They may not be able to read the Bible at all, but they believe in their hearts that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). They will be saved!
I was all wrong when I first started my read through. I was seeking intellectual knowledge, not seeking salvation through Jesus or a personal relationship with him. I was also planning to post my accomplishment all over social media once I completed reading the Bible. Why? In order to brag or appear holy? As much as I hate to admit, that may have been the reason. Instead, I only told a few of my dear Christian friends that I meet with and a few family members.
As I embark on reading through the Bible again next year, it won’t be so that I can add a tally to how many times I’ve read the Bible. It will be so that I can see Jesus Christ shine brightly throughout the entirety of the scriptures (Old AND New Testaments) and to know Him even more as my savior. I need to get it ingrained into my brain that he is all I need for my salvation. I need to learn how to see others as loved by God. And I will do this while I still have free and unrestricted access to my Bible.
It’s been a while since I posted anything. And to be honest, this post is one that I decided to write at the last minute…before work!
There have been some great developments in my life (getting a new job has been the main thing) and I am so grateful to God that He has been listening to and answering my prayers. But with these new developments came a bit of apathy. Some of the important things, such as this blog, got pushed aside as I tried to adjust to my new circumstances. Also, my Bible reading slowed considerably. But over the past few weeks, God has truly renewed my passion for His word. I’ve joined a small group at church and I’ve also started back meeting with a Christian friend of mine each week. I have been continuing with my reading plan each day, which is essentially just to finish reading the entire Bible by the end of the year. Currently I am reading Acts, which is a powerful history of the early church. I have been intrigued by the sacrifices and the risks disciples took to spread the gospel around the world. I’m also studying Colossians with my friend and seeing how Paul showed concern and care for the church of Colossae. On top of that, I am listening to an audiobook called Tortured for Christ, by Rev. Richard Wurmbrand. So my mind has been completely engulfed in the persecution of Christians worldwide, past and present.
And while my Bible reading and study have been exciting, I’ve been even more excited about a close family member coming to church with me each week. This is another thing I’ve been praying about for a long time! God has proven to be faithful and trustworthy and I thank Him everyday for the changes that have occurred over the past couple of months. So while I may not post to this blog consistently, do know that God is working in and through me each and every day. I pray that He does the same in your life as well.
Today is sort of a new milestone for me: I have completely read through the entire Old Testament in the Bible! To be honest, I’ve been a Christian for awhile and never read through the entire Bible before. I will be beginning the New Testament tomorrow and I am extremely excited!
Many people do not pay much attention to the Old Testament since we are now living under the new covenant. But I still feel that reading through the Old Testament should be required because it says so much about God’s character. I learned how God is astonishingly patient with us and how He truly loves his children. While God is patient and loving, He is also like a parent who disciplines His child. Any good parent would discipline their children!
I am now ready to begin the New Testament and read all about the one that the Old Testament pointed to so many times: JESUS.
This past Monday, I attended a gathering at my church called “The Swap.” The Swap is essentially a monthly gathering of women who swap meaningful items (books, etc.) and advice/stories with one another. The Swap was ultimately created for connection with other women in the church.
Now I will be honest, I consider myself to be an introvert. Sometimes social interaction is too much for me, especially after work. But I decided to go to the gathering because as a Christian, I don’t believe we should do life alone (Hebrews 10:24-25)!
So after all of my internal dialog and anxiety, I am extremely happy that I attended this event. What I enjoyed most about The Swap was the interaction with other women. We were able to sit together at tables, worship, play a game and listen to other women share their stories. During this time of sharing, I realized that all of us have gone through or are going through tough situations…I’m not the only one in the world struggling! Some women have had very difficult experiences that they’ve had to work through. They may have even doubted God at one point or was confused by His silence or seemingly, His inaction. Knowing that other women are navigating through life’s disappointments gave me hope; their stories gave me the courage I needed to continue enduring. Their vulnerability was beautifully refreshing; we don’t have to put on a facade and act like things have always been perfect. Their gentleness really gave the gathering a sense of peace and calm…exactly what I needed after a long day of work!
We ended our time with worship and the exchanging of books. I brought a book called Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman; this book really changed how I viewed an authentic relationship with Christ. I was also able to pick out a book that someone else brought in called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. I’ve heard great things about this book!
Looking back on this experience, I feel that God wanted me there. He wanted me to interact with other women, hear their stories and just be in His presence. Sometimes stepping out of that comfort zone can be more helpful than we thought.