Read the Bible in less than a year?

I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I blogged about my Bible reading.  I finished Revelations over a year ago! I’m currently on track to finish reading the Bible in less than a year…since I’ve yet to read through it in a year, this is amazing! 

I am finding that the more I read it, the harder it is to put it down.  Since this is my third time through the whole Bible (my first time through, I took my time…read all the notes in my study Bible, and looked up verses in commentaries so it took about a year and a half…the second time, I almost made a year, but because I was often “too busy” to read my daily chapters, I fell behind in my reading and didn’t stay on track…this time I am about a month ahead of the Bible reading plan I’m following) it is amazing the things I am noticing as I read through it so quickly. The Spirit really does help you to understand the scriptures, and leads you into personal revelations of who God is.  While I have always seen this to be true in reading the Bible, I am truly discovering it even more this time through!  God truly is amazing!  

The interesting thing is that quite often when I am lead to a discovery through my Bible reading, it will be reiterated through Bible teaching on the radio, in my quiet time devotions, another book I’m reading, or in a sermon at church. The Lord wants to lead us to new places in our knowledge of Him, and then makes sure we know that what He revealed really is true!  I love Him so much! It is so unbelievable that He could love a sinner like me, and wants me to know Him better, what a wondrous God we serve!  

I only pray that He will help me to be obedient to what He makes plain in His Word.  I was at an Awana conference one year, and one of the speakers said something that really stuck with me. He said, “We are educated way beyond our obedience.”  I think about all of the Bible studies I have attended over the years and all the knowledge I have of the Chrisitan life, and the Bible…yet I am not much more obedient than I was before I learned so much of it.  Yes, I have grown in many ways, but the biggest commandment? The great Commission? I fail so often, I know Romans 1:16 by heart, but I don’t live it out in my everyday life.  

It’s easy to be a Christian in church or with my Christian friends, but put me in a room full of people that I don’t know are saved, and I just don’t carry it through.  Why is sharing my faith so hard? I love Jesus and I know the sacrifice He made for me, why am I embarrassed to talk to unbelievers about Him?  I will just keep praying for God to grow me in this area. I really do want everyone to know Jesus and be saved from God’s coming wrath, but my actions don’t reveal this.

Wow, I’m way past what I intended to blog about, but this is something I struggle with…can anyone else’s out there relate?

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Revelation – The Crowning Book of the Bible

This book is so awesome, every time I read it I get something new from it.  I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging about what I have been learning.  In my readings of the book of Revelation I am using H.A. Ironside’s Revelation: An Expository Commentary.  He starts off saying that the whole book is The Revelation of Jesus Christ…not Revelations as many of us want to call the book. As he puts it, this book is “one blessed, continous revelation or manifestation of God’s unique Son, the anointed Prophet, Priest, and King.”

Another “revelation” for me is that the whole Bible can be looked at as a perfect circle.  Starting at Genesis with the creation and circling around through the rest of the Pentateuch, the prophets and poetry of the Old Testament through the New Testament Gospels, history, and epistles, until it comes around to Revelations where it “dovetails” right back into creation (the new heaven and the new earth).  The Bible really is “one absolutely, unbroken, and unbreakable circle.”  It is an inspired circle of truth! 

It takes my breath away to realize our precious Lord loves us so much He would reveal Himself in such a perfect way!  Loves in the present tense!!! He is alive and living in us!

What wonderful thoughts Ironside brings out in his book, and how wonderful to be able to have that same great Spirit inside of me that lived inside of him to inspire me to higher thoughts and enable me to understand the precious Word of God!

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Why is it so hard to be consistent in reading God’s Word?  One reason is that Satan sends distractions, because he doesn’t want us to get into God’s Word.  But when we ALLOW those distractions to keep us from digging into the Word, Satan wins, and our faith is weakened.  The longer we go without feeding on the Word of God, the less hunger we feel for it.  Satan whispers in our ear, “That book is outdated…it isn’t relevant to your life…you don’t need it…God is just a crutch for the weak, and His Word is filled with inconsistencies…” on and on his lies are whispered until we start believing them. 

BUT, when we ignore those distractions and MAKE the time to get grounded in His Word by taking the time to read it every day, or at least several times a week, and take the time to THINK about what we’re reading…our faith muscles will begin to grow; our flabby faith will begin to be toned, and suddenly we realize that God’s Word is not only relevant to our lives…it’s hard to get through the day without it! 

If you are a Christian, but don’t read the Bible regularly…I encourage you to join a Bible study, it’s one of the best ways to get into the Word. There will be people there with whom you can share what you’ve learned in your readings (make sure you do the readings, and prepare for the Bible Study to get the most out of it), and usually there are wonderful discussions about applying the scripture to your life, but don’t stop there…make sure those discussions become fruitful by actually applying the scripture to your life in the ways that were discussed.  Is it easy?  No!!! I fail all the time.  Is it worth it?  A resounding YES!  The difference you will see in your relationship with God will be amazing, especially if you’ve never experienced a closeness with Him through reading His Word!

I hope that reading this blog will keep you digging deeper into His Word.  Three years ago I read through the whole Bible for the first time in my life (I was 49 years old, and had been a Christian for 40 years).  I have since read it through two more times, and am currently just re-reading Revelations.  What a wonderful book!!! 

God has such wonderful things in store for us as believers…but it’s also a book of warnings for those who aren’t believers.  It’s a wake-up call for us to go share our faith; we are to witness to the world.  There is an urgent need for believers to take part in the Great Commission that Jesus has given us!  Read Revelations and re-read it (make sure you either have a good study Bible or a commentary on Revelations to help you understand it, if you are new to the book), and then think about your friends and family, are you willing for any of them to perish under the tribulations that will happen? for them to be thrown into the lake of fire with the devil and his angels, because you never shared your faith with them?  It’s definitely something to think about…and it definitely isn’t easy…but then most things that are worth doing aren’t.

I will try to blog everyday about what I am learning as I begin again on that amazing last book of the Bible.  Please feel free to leave me comments and if you disagree with what I say, let’s get a discussion going!! 

 

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A Prayer from the Heart

Who are we, Lord, that you would take notice of us?

We are like ants compared to You, running to and fro in our busy-ness.
Why have you not washed Your hands of us long ago?
You are so mighty and awesome, Lord, yet You care for us – Your love for us is everlasting.  
How can this be?  We continually turn away from You and misuse Your name and the name of Your   
Son,

Yet You are always there waiting for us to turn to You in our hour of need, to forgive us, and to call us 

to live with You in Your eternal dwelling place You are preparing for us.

You alone are God.  There is none other like You.

You, the  creator of the universe – our creator – You love us.
Is there anything so amazingly incomprehensible that you could love us, even in our messed up lives?
No, there is nothing as incomprehensible as Your love for us!
 
You make my heart sing Your praises, You are my God, and I love you.
Please keep my heart turned toward you; help me to not get caught up in the craziness of this life and 
forget Your loving precepts for my life.  Help me to follow Your path, not my own.

Please, Lord, give me the strength to follow you, and to not fear what man can do or say to me.

My heart cries out to You, Lord.  Your way is too hard for me, I continually leave Your path because I 
fear the pain of embarrassment or rejection.  
Help me to not be ashamed (embarrassed) of the gospel; help me to stand up for what I know is true…why am I so weak?
Oh, Lord, please give me strength to do your will, give me strength to share your love,
give me strength to be all that you want to me to be.
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