Summer just flew by!
A group of ladies at my church decided to do a Summer Bible Reading Challenge. Well if there is anything with challenge in the name, I am in. Over the past 90 days, I committed myself to reading the New Testament. I did it!
Yes, I skipped a few days here and there but it was the most consistent I had been with the reading the Bible, ever.
Honestly, those days I missed, I found myself missing and craving the truth in the Bible. I did a review of what I had learned so far about halfway in, which you can read about here.
I want to share what I learned overall through this awesome Bible reading challenge.
Jesus Has All Authority
After this Bible reading challenge, I am filled with awe at the all-encompassing authority and sovereignty of Jesus Christ over this world. The extraordinary power by which Christ was raised from the dead is the same power at work in and through believers.
“Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18.
Jesus made it clear that He had the authority to interpret the law independent from and even contrary to the Jewish oral tradition. While Jesus always upheld the authority of the Old Testament, he opposed the misguided interpretations of the scribes and pharisees.
Ultimately, Jesus was raised and seated at God’s right hand, the place of authority from which Christ now reigns. Through God’s loving mercy, He has made us alive, raised us up and seated us with Christ so we might display the immeasurable riches of His grace.
God’s Grace is Sufficient
We are saved by grace, through faith and through believing the truth of the Word. The whole process of salvation is not our own accomplishment, but is an act of God’s goodness. Our view should always be on Christ, the object of our faith, not on the amount of faith.
“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Furthermore, God’s grace allows us to endure all things. Through our weakness God reigns victorious and His power will be displayed in you and through you. God’s grace is more than sufficient for your every need.
Each day we get to experience the abundant gift of grace that God has been freely given us. We should gladly boast in this.
False Teachers are Everywhere
Throughout the New Testament, we are warned against false teachers who deny Christ’s saving work and the second coming. False teachers can come in many forms. In this day and age we are even more susceptible because of how much access we have to information all of the time.
“For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
These false teaching ideas are fanciful and untrue. They are driven by the greed that comes from the world and the world listens to them. However, God has overcome false teachers because He is greater than the ones in the world.
Discernment is a critical aspect for Christians. Test every teaching, even your pastors and podcasts, against the Bible. As believers, we should make every effort to grow in the knowledge and practice of the truth in Jesus Christ.
We are Temporary Residents Here on Earth
It is so easy to get stuck in loving the comforts of this world. We are constantly amused, entertained and catered to. Instant gratification is in the palm of our hands. We often forget that our life here on earth is temporary.
“So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18.
Our inheritance belongs to the place that God has delivered believers, heaven our ultimate home. That is where we will find true joy and happiness. However, our time here on earth is an important preparation for our eternity with Christ.
Over the past 90 days, God has set my heart on fire to engage in the daily discipline of reading the Bible. I don’t want to lose that.
However, it’s kind of intimidating to read the Bible without direction. So how do I plan on keeping up with my Bible reading?
The Women’s Ministry at church is starting a Bible study on the Book of Judges in September. That will keep me actively in the word for eight weeks or so.
I think devotionals are great way to have guidance in the word. Although, like I mentioned above, we need to approach them with discernment. With that said, up on my list:
Awaken by Priscilla Shirer: A 90-day devotional that will help you start each day yearning for the sound of God’s voice. You will find yourself praying to God to receive His direction and give you wisdom to humbly and obediently respond.
Breathe by Priscilla Shirer: A 5-session study on grabbing hold of the concept of the Sabbath. We are so busy in our day-to-day lives that we often limit our ability to experience all that God has for us.
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas: A book and devotional that uncovers the mystery of God’s true purpose in our marriages. It reveals how marriage trains us to love God and others well, how it exposes sin and makes us more aware of God’s presence, how good marriages fosters a good prayer life, how married sex feeds the spiritual life, and much more.