LIKE the Bible!
LIKE if you know what this is and take the 21-day bible challenge!
When was the last time you read it? When was the last time God spoke to you through it? When was the last time the words jumped right off the page and you knew God was talking to you?
My Very First Bible
At the risk of seriously dating myself, here goes nothing. This was my very first Bible, “The Way” published back in 1972. I now affectionately refer to it as my hippy bible. Not because I was a hippy, although my daughter is convinced otherwise. Just because the cover sort of has that free spirited 70?s look. I drove to GEMCO (the first ever membership discount store eventually bought out by Target) in my first year of college. And I drove there in my really cool 1959 Volkswagen Bug complete with chrome wheels, metallic green paint and custom upholstery and yes, an 8-track player. And I wasn’t the only one that this car was cool it was later stolen from a mall parking lot never to be seen again. Sigh, that’s another story.
I brought my hippy bible home that night and cracked open the pages to the book of 1 John. I was awe struck by what I read. There it was, the promise of a fresh start!
?If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 NKJV).”
And with that, in the privacy of my own bedroom tucked away in my parent’s house, I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and I gave my life to him. The very next day I woke up, grabbed my hippy bible, jumped in my very cool car and drove to church and heard my first sermon.
I Fell In Love With God’s Word
Early on in my faith walk, I fell in love with God’s word. Because of God’s word, that night alone in my bedroom, I had my first encounter with Jesus. I had my first conversation with Him. I didn’t hear an audible voice but He used the words on those pages to speak His heart to mine.
He has used His word to show me habits and decisions that would hinder me from becoming all I could be and would rob me of the abundant life He promised. He’s used His word to direct my path and help me when I needed to make important life decisions. He’s revealed more to me about His character, His sovereignty, His power, His hope, and His purposes. And He’s continued to do that over the last 34 years that I’ve known Him.
The Jesus I’ve come to know and love in this book is nothing like the Jesus you see portrayed in the media and probably nothing like what you may have seen portrayed in the lives of hypocritical Christians (me included). Your decision to love Him or hate Him, accept Him or reject Him should be solely based on what you discover about Him and His message of hope and love for you that’s found in the pages of this book.
I don’t want this book to become one of those pictures on Facebook. Like if you know what it is! My fear is that we’re drifting away from our personal study time in the bible. Our pastors can’t do all the heavy lifting. Being fed Sunday morning will only sustain us for so long. Reading Christian books, going through bible studies about the bible are meant to supplement not replace our personal time in the word.
Even Beth Moore studies ladies!
Jesus himself said, Man shall not live by Facebook, I mean bread, alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Jeremiah said, your words were found and I ate them. I think a lot of our troubles are rooted in us missing God. We crave and chase people, places and things when we’re really hungry for is God. We’re supposed to feast, fill up, on His word and be satisfied and changed in the process.
The writer of Hebrews says,
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV).”
We want to know more about ourselves and we’ll never find it on FB personality quizzes – Which state should I live in? What job should I have? What do the letters or my name say about me? If I want to know more about me and the life I should be living, I’ll find the answers here. God’s word get’s to the core of my heart in a personal and loving way every time I crack open the pages.
Life is found in this book. That’s the reason why brothers and sisters in persecuted countries ask for two things — prayer and bibles. That’s the reason why the enemy in this country wants us to believe it’s obsolete, not relevant for today when nothing could be further from the truth. When was the last time you read it? When was the last time God spoke to you through it? The words jumped right off the page and you knew God was talking to you?
Come back. Come back to the days we were disciplined, hungry and anxious for God to speak to us through these pages. Come with your heart and your study tools. And watch what God does in your life and in the people around you. There’s a lot that’s broken in this world today. Politics. People. Churches. It’s overwhelming. What can you do? What can I do?
We need revival. Revival starts when we as individuals return to the word of God.
I Challenge You!
I’m throwing out a challenge. For the next twenty one days, when you get up, before you open up the USA Today app, before you open Facebook, before you play your next word on Words with Friends, before you open email, open up your bible.
Don’t know where to start? Start where I did, in the book of 1 John. Or go through the Psalms. Or choose one of the four gospels. Challenge yourself to study one chapter per day.
While you’re at it, have a notebook handy. Write down whatever strikes a chord inside you. That’s God talking to you. Write it down so that it doesn’t slip away. I promise you this? That’s where the joy is.
God loves you like crazy. He has so much He wants to say to you. So much He wants to reveal to you. So much He wants to accomplish through you.
Twenty-one days, a chapter a day!
And don’t forget to share the joy!