How useful is reading and knowing a book written over a period of 1.5 millennia over two thousand years ago? If “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” then I believe that we need to KNOW God’s word “so that as servants of God, we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
A few years ago, I felt challenged to make knowing God’s word (the Bible) a higher priority in my life. I had reached a point in my life where I was no longer sure what I should be doing. As a former homeschool mom struggling with an empty nest and a part-time financial officer for our business with few new challenges to tackle, I felt like I was going through the motions. I was looking for something to fully utilize my gifts and my passions.
Although I had read the Bible through multiple times throughout my life, I found that I needed and wanted to immerse myself in the words of God to refresh my soul and seek direction for the future. Since the Bible promises to direct our paths and show us the way in which to walk, I thought it was a good place to start.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:19-21
I started by setting down my Bible and picking up my phone. I downloaded the NIV version of the Bible to Audible and began re-immersing myself in the Word. My first goal was to refresh the entire biblical narrative in my mind, from start to finish. I wanted an overall “picture” of the character of God, as the Father, as the Son, and as the Holy Spirit. I gained that and so much more over the next 24 months, during which I listened through the Old Testament four times and the New Testament six times, using both the NIV and ESV. It was a new way to meditate on the Word of God (at least for me). And, since I have a pathetic memory, it also gave me a better comprehension of the unity of Scripture and the flow of Biblical history. I increased my ability to tie the Bible together in a comprehensive sense.
And through this process, I found that the many promises in Psalm 119 were fulfilled in my life. I found that immersion in scripture enabled me to stay pure in both thoughts and actions (vs. 11); to find delight in pleasing God through obedience (vs. 16); and to find strength in sorrows like the loss of my dad and in struggles like the pandemic (vs. 28). The Word strengthened me to turn away from worthless things and pursue things of purpose (vs. 37); to bring encouragement and hope to those around me who trusted in God (vs. 74); to have hope when I sinned or faltered (vs. 81); and to lean on the fact that God’s word never changes and that I can fully rely on it (vs. 89).
And, when I took all of the above concepts into consideration, it made it easier to identify the path that God has set before me (vs. 105 & 133). For “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. (vs. 160)
As I continue to seek God and His ongoing purpose for my life and the hope that is in Him, I am now reading through God’s Word systematically using a combination of a one-year Bible reading app in conjunction with a partner app that offers a daily devotional on the passages that I read each day. My purpose is to love and serve my Lord and to encourage others to do the same through obedience, truth, faith, prayer, service to those in need, and anything else the Holy Spirit shows me on a daily basis.
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