I hope your New Year is going well and I hope you are somewhere warmer than it is in Kentucky! Snowy, windy, and oh so cold.
As I checked the stats for the blog today, I was thrilled to see that we have 4 new members from the Ukraine and 1 from the Chec Republic!! I know y'all are a whole lot colder than Kentucky! But hang there; it is just 6 weeks till March, and that means spring, and it won't be long until the Easter flowers are up and the robins are building their nests in our wreaths on our front porches!
The one thing I hear most often in Bible Study, or when I am blessed with the opportunity to speak to a MOPS group is this: "I have a really hard time reading the Bible, then understanding what I read." Well ladies you are certainly not alone, I don't know of anyone who understands every single word of that Holy Script, but this I do know:
the Holy Spirit sure does, and with Him as my Guide and my Teacher, He will explain to my spirit everything my Father wants me to know about Him.
I read my Bible with a plan. I try to read a chapter from the Old Testament, a chapter from the New Testament, and usually a Psalm. I have a journal and I write down the book and chapter each day and how those "words that were written in Heaven before the world was spoken into existence" speak to me, or apply to a situation in my life. I often use a particular passage to pray back to God, the words He has spoken. (for me, that is the most powerful way to pray) When we keep in mind that it is not our job to understand the Word, just to read it, it changes the whole "Bible reading experience." It is the work of the Holy Spirit to interpret the written word to those who have accepted Christ as Savior. If I don't understand something I read, no problem; His job is to "guide me in all truth" (John 16:13. Great verse to hi-lite in your Bible) and make the message crystal clear. So don't worry about understanding it, just read it! As we make reading the Word a priority, the Holy Spirit begins to develop our understanding and before we know it, we (and those around us) begin to see real spiritual growth in our lives.
Back in October, I read the book of Phillipians. It has only 4 chapters and each morning as I read a chapter, I wrote down what I learned. Here is my entry for Oct. 3, 2013. Please forgive my penmanship; I certainly didn't know when I scribbled these thoughts that morning, that I would expose my writing to the blog world, but here it is, as only I can read it.
Try this in your quiet time each day and see what a difference it makes in your relationship with Him by the end of the week;
each day read a chapter in Psalms or the New Testament, and write down what you learn.
This is what I learned from Phil. 3, on Oct. 3, 2013:
1. I am to "rejoice in the Lord" no matter my circumstances. There is always a reason to rejoice in Who God is, that He loves me with an unconditional love, He will never leave or forsake me.
2. Always, I am to be aware of false doctrine, false teachers, and those "who pervert the purity of the Word of God."
3. God teaches me His Word through repetition. (I love that!)
4. The most important thing is Christ.
5. I want to know Christ better. I cannot possibly understand the "power of His ressurection" in this life, but when I experience ressurection myself, it will be clear to me.
6. I don't want to settle for the past, I want to "press on" with all confidence, knowing in my heart that there is always something MORE to be found in Christ! (this is huge for us ladies. Do you often get hung up (stronghold!) in the past? Past mistakes, past sins, past failures. Are you still re-living high school for heaven's sake, or an argument you had with your husband 6 months ago? Paul said, "PRESS ON!)
7. I am a citizen of Heaven and I wait expectantly for the return of my Savior.
8. Jesus has "subdued all things to Himself."
Thank you Lord that You are all-powerful over all things, and You are Absolute Authority! Thank You for Your word and what this chapter has taught me. I love You so much!
And that's my entry, unedited, for that day. I wanted to give you a transparent look into my personal Bible study because I know many of you struggle with understanding this blessed Book of Books. So here's a little homework; (I actually heard back from some who asked for homework!)
Choose a chapter and as you are reading, write down what you feel the Holy Spirit impress upon your heart. I promise it will be exciting and amazing and you will experience a surge in your spiritual growth immediately!
Let me hear from you and what you are reading and what you wrote about what you read.
Do you really want more from reading your Bible than just reading your Bible? Then Press On!!
Have a great day and read the Word with purpose.