Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why Read the Bible?




Meet Jemma. She is a dear friend and a ministry partner. We love her family. She reads the Bible every day, and it is in that journey that her life has been forever changed. She shared about this recently on her own blog, and I just had to use it here!

I've been reading and journaling through Psalm 119 (the longest chapter of the Bible) this week. King David wrote this psalm that talks about God's word, how wonderful and vital it is. After going over this chapter, it is even more clear to me why it is so important to read, meditate on, and know God's word.

I'd like to share with you some things that really jumped out at me:


~Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are those who:
-walk in the word of God
-keep God's word
-seek and crave Him with their whole heart
~God's word is my delight and my counsel
~Your word strengthens me
~It removes falsehood and unfaithfulness
~It gives me answers for those who taunt and reproach me
~In Your word, I walk at liberty and ease and will not be put to shame
~Your word gives me hope
~It is my comfort and consolation
~It revives me and gives me life
~Your word promises mercy and grace
~Your word is faithful and sure
~Forever Your word stands firm in the heavens,
Your faithfulness from generation to generation

~Unless Your word is my delight, I will perish in my affliction
~I will never forget Your word; it is what granted my life
~The wicked wait to destroy me, but I have Your word and all
its testimonies

~Everything human has its limits and end, but God's word is
exceedingly broad and extends without limits into eternity
~Through Your word, You make me wiser than my enemies
~Your word is forever before me

~I have better understanding and deeper insight because 
Your word is my meditation
~I understand because I keep Your word
~God teaches me, HIMSELF, through His word
~Through Your word I get understanding; therefore I hate
every false way
~Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path
~When I am afflicted, Your word renews me and gives me life
~I can rejoice in the testimonies; they are my heritage

~The word is my hiding place, my shield
~Your word is wonderful, far exceeding anything conceived by man

~The unfolding of Your words gives light; their unfolding 
gives understanding (discernment, comprehension)
~God establishes my steps and directs them with His word
~God's word is very pure (tried and well-refined)

~Your word is truth

What does all this mean? 


First, God's word is truth. It's the only truth. The devil doesn't want us to know this truth and sets out to destroy us with his lies. When we read, meditate on, and KNOW God's word, we won't be subject to these lies. When you seek God through His word, He will implant His truths in your heart so you can quickly discern the devil's schemes and replace them with the truth you know. 

Second, there will be times when we face trials and afflictions. God's word provides comfort and consolation. The Bible is full of stories (testimonies) of groups and individuals that went through some really tough situations. Time and time again, these stories reveal God's faithfulness. These stories are our heritage. We can look back and see how God was always there and know that He will be faithful no matter what we go through. Finally, God's word renews us, giving us life and hope. The Bible is full of His promises, and He will reveal them to you if you seek Him.

I encourage you to OPEN YOUR BIBLE and let God reveal His truths to you. Stepping away from books and Bible studies and turning directly to God's word has transformed my life. Don't misunderstand. Christian books and Beth Moore studies are wonderful. I've learned a lot from these. BUT, there is nothing like sitting before the Author of my life and letting Him teach me directly rather than getting someone else's interpretation or opinion on Scripture. God has implanted His truths deep in my heart. He has spoken clearly to me and given me direction and dreams. I have comfort and can stand firmly in my faith when trials come. All of this because I seek God through His word. You can, too.

Don't know where to start? Pray. Tell God that you want to know Him better. Ask Him for revelation to know and understand His word. Start reading in the New Testament. Keep a notebook or a journal and write down things that jump out at you, things that God reveals to you.

I'm not going to suggest a typical study, but I have found a tool that has been very useful in my walk to know God more. 
SOAR (Seek God, Obtain Truth, Abide in the Spirit, & Reach Out), written by my friends, Sheri & Amy Groeschel, is designed to get you into the word of God. It is not these ladies' opinions or narration on the Bible. It is a guide that leads you in seeking God, that you may come to know Him intimately; in obtaining truth, that you may find freedom in God's word; in abiding in, living by, and walking by God's Spirit; and in reaching out and sharing the Good News. SOAR has been amazing for me. It was just what I needed to get me into reading my Bible. I have a freedom like never before. 



"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
(John 8:32 NIV)

 Find this freedom in God's word!

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