Sep 12, 2012

Tools are Meant to be Used

If you're like me, you've probably asked yourself, someone else, or God, 
"HOW DO I READ THE BIBLE?! Where do I start?"

The answer to this has always been a puzzle to me... do I open it up and where ever I land is where I should read today? Should I start at the beginning? Do all of the New Testament? Skip around and feel like I'm getting no where? Should I do one of those plans to read the whole Bible in a year?

Never finding an answer to any of my questions 
has left me not reading my Bible a lot, too much in fact.

Having two young girls I always have my arms full with them, the diaper bag, my purse, my camera bag, their stuffed animals, blankets, change of clothes (just in case), drinks, etc. Not leaving a lot of extra room or strength to carry anything else. I love having a Bible that has been used and worn, with highlighter markings on every page. But I recently decided to go digital. I now can carry my iPad around and have everything available at my fingertips. Books, games, internet, and my Bible. I use the free Bible app: YouVersion. You can download it on any mobile device for free. It has SOOOO many different translations, reading plans, notes, highlighters, and other features to make reading the Bible so handy!

But still that did not answer the question - Where do I start?

This past Sunday at church we started a new sermon series, There's an App for That. There were sooo many good points. No new information or facts that were out of this world, but my FIL has a way of telling us the things we already know in a way that makes sense to everyone. He is such a practical and applicable preacher. Facts are useless unless we know how to apply them. Well, I had a "DUH!!" moment that I hope to never forget. He answered the age old question of "How do I read my Bible?"

Do not start in Genesis and go through Exodus to Leviticus - yes, there is great stuff in there because the WHOLE Bible is the inspired Word of God, every word. But PM (Pastor Mike) suggested an alternate plan. He advised us to make a list. - YAY! I LOVE LISTS!!...  
A list of what is going on in our lives! Get SPECIFIC!!! Our NEEDS, things we are struggling with, questioning, fears, worries, habits, etc. Make a list and go to the Bible to find out what God has to say to us! GENIUS I tell you! One of those, slap hand on forehead and ask why didn't I think of that moments! After you make your list go to a topical search, or in the back of your Bible, or use YouVersion and search for a Bible Reading plan in those areas! They have all different plans that will bring up verses that relate to the topics and God will be able to speak to us through His Word.

God has given us the gift of prayer. He wants us to come to Him and talk with Him. But we also must go to HIS WORD and learn how to extract information from it.

He gave us this "tool" to use!!! To get to know Him better. To get to know ourselves better. To know how to live a pleasing life. To get answers. To get help. To become wiser and to know how to stay away from sin. It teaches us how to love others and it draws us closer to Him. The Bible is a gift to us. It's a shame how often I (and probably many others) sit it on our bookshelves letting it collect dust, mainly because we don't know where to begin. (Or because we are lazy and Facebook is a lot more "interesting".)
"The more you open up to God's word, the more He breathes life into your circumstances."

The Word is ALIVE. (Hebrews 4:12) It can speak to us and it has relevance in our daily lives. God wants to be a part of our every minute and every decision. He is a BIG God, but is an intimate God.

I want to stop missing out on what God has to say to me. I want to quit missing the opportunities of letting God work through me. I want to get to know Him better. I want to LOVE my God. I want to LOVE others!

Today I am going to make my list of what is going on IN me & my life 
and then I am going to go to His Word. 

**Anyone else up for this task/challenge? 
**What is going to go on your list?
**What's your favorite way to read the Bible?

Psalm 119:105 NLT  "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."

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