I’m actually meant to read my Bible??

I know what your probably thinking, she grew up in a Christian home, went to Church every week, she’s a Vicar’s wife, she must have lost count of the number of times she’s read the Bible.

Wanna know the truth??

I don’t think I’ve ever read the whole Bible…like EVER!!

I’m probably quite like you in that I have good intentions

I’ll read it from start to finish

(That didn’t last long)

I’ll read this novelised version

(That didn’t last long)

I’ll get fancy detailed Bible notes with extra reading

(That didn’t last long)

Oo I know, I’ll bullet journal my way through the Bible

(That didn’t last long)

I always manage to get so far with reading the Bible and then something’s happens, I miss a day, then two days, then a week and then…yeah, I’ve already given up!

So when I heard from IBRA (International Bible Reading Association) about their Fresh from the Word campaign I figured I’d join in, what do I have to lose? I might actually read some more of my Bible!

All they asked of me was to use their Bible reading notes for a week and then blog about it, so here I am, I week later tapping away!

And I like these notes, you know why? Because they are short, to the point and simple. A short Bible passage followed by a thought about the passage followed by a prayer and then a further thought or a challenge. And some of them have been a real challenge!

For me God has highlighted the fact that I judge others all too quickly

Oo, did you see that? I’m no way near as bad as they are, did you see what they did?!

‘We call people monsters if they commit horribly violent crimes…and the people who want to lynch them or who demand their execution’

Um…ouch! How many times do we put ourselves as judge in the place of God? I do it all the time, I read some horrendous news piece and demand someone be punished. These notes have reminded me again that I have my part to play and God has him. Just like passages from this first week have included people’s ‘Here I am send me’.

I have been reminded that without this simple statement, here I am, send me, we could be leaving ‘potential heroes to stay in isolation and darkness’.

Now I’ll admit there have been a couple of days where I have sped through the reading but there have also been days when I have taken my time with them, to really place myself into the setting, to almost see these people around me, to watch Samuel as he is called by God. And when you do that, you notice the detail. Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Hello?? That is one holy place to be laying your head down!

And I have been challenged too. So many times if I have been given a Biblical word from someone I have been quick to brush it off

Oh that’s nice but really that was meant for so and so way back when…

When truthfully, and this hit me hard,

‘Jesus is simply taking the whole of God’s message in scripture seriously, responsibly – and personally. Jesus never forgets it applies to himself: the call to trust, to suffer, to serve, to resist temptation and to confront fear, but above all else to listen and to say yes to God. It’s all about him. And therefore it’s all about us.’

Let me say that again

It’s all about him. And therefore it’s all about us!

‘The invitation is personal. It’s there in writing. And it’s serious.’

I don’t get to just brush Biblical truth off my shoulder like it’s a piece of fluff.

These notes have also reminded me that I don’t have to have it all sorted and together to be used by God. Because we think that don’t we.

If only I get get this sorted out (my daily Bible reading) then I will be a “better Christian” and then God will use me

It’s not like that, that is one big fat lie!! God will use us as we are, however we are, wherever we are, as long as we are willing! We just have to stop believing that the things we hide about ourselves are the things that stop God using us. God will use me despite my low self esteem and my constant comparison with others. He will use you despite your depression, addictions, perfectionism, striving. Whatever it may be for you, God still wants to use you. We (the Church) are God’s great plan to bring humanity back to him, he hasn’t got a plan B! So either we accept the truth written in the Bible and raise our hand

Here I am send me

Or we say

Well God, I’d love to help you out, just let me sort x, y and z and then I’m all yours. By the way, x, y and z will probably take my whole life time so I wouldn’t hang around if I were you!

For me, this week of daily Bible readings (which I hope to continue) has been about reminding myself of my simple YES to God. A yes as a step of faith, a yes to trust him and for him to guide me.

One of my biggest yeses this past year has been this blog. To speak out and to not know where the words will fall but to speak them out. And there have been times these works have come from deeply personal places, from pain and doubt and that is costly but it is more costly not to!

My part = speak and obey, God’s part = all the rest!

So, what are my tips for actually reading your Bible?

  • Find notes you get on with – Fresh from the Word has been great for me
  • Don’t put pressure on yourself, so what if you miss a day (or two) just pick it back up, don’t bother trying to catch up what you’ve missed – you never will!
  • Slow down, these notes only had a few verses to read so take your time, let the words sink in
  • Find a time that works for you, but do try to plan it in, if you don’t you just won’t do it, it’s a bit like exercise!

So get into your Bible this year, maybe for the first time and meet with God on the pages!

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