This summer, the women at our church have been doing this Summer Bible Reading Challenge. To be completely honest, this is my first time really reading the Bible intentionally. Reading the Bible should be an everyday occurrence. So why do so many of us find it so hard?
Approaching and reading the Bible can be scary, it definitely was for me. However, my Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) has been super helpful for me when reading through the New Testament.
Just like any new habit, it takes time to develop. I am by no means claiming to have mastered this discipline after a month and a half of reading the Bible.
However, I told myself earlier this year that I wouldn’t waste my morning breakfast/coffee time scrolling through social media. Instead I would commit that time to reading the Bible. While it may only be 20-30 minutes at a time, which is way too short to try diving into the book of Revelation by the way, I find myself so much more prepared for the day. Or if I don’t have time in the morning, seeking refuge from the stresses that occurred and diving into what God says is true is the best way to end my day.
“Every word of God is pure, He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” Proverbs 30:5.
Here are four things I have learned so far by being in the Word everyday:
1. Recently, I have found myself yearning for that time alone with God. Yes, I am human and often get distracted while reading the Bible but I always come back to it. I find myself hungry for it because I need the comfort, strength and truth that is only found in the Word.
“I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. I will delight in Your statutes, I will not forget Your word.” Psalm 119:15-16.
2. The Bible is where we meet Jesus, where we experience God’s love and faithfulness, where we learn about our purpose in Christ, and where we can go to find the truth.
3. The word points us towards reliance on God to help us stand firm in trials and conflict. It is there we find nourishment for our souls to prepare for all sorts of trials. When we feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or fearful we need to talk the truth of the gospel back to ourselves, which you can read about in this blog post.
“We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we rejoice in our afflictions because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ” Romans 5:2-5.
4. God’s word reveals to us both our struggles with worldly desires and the saving way of faith. The word convicts us of our sinful ways by revealing to us how to walk in the truth and light that is pleasing to God. When our desires don’t align with what is in the Bible, we are brought back to desiring after God through the word.
“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
If you find reading the Bible hard or just don’t know where to begin, I encourage you to try out this Bible Reading Challenge. Even if it is just for five minutes a day, I promise it will make a difference in your life. And if you skip a day don’t sweat it, give yourself some grace, and dive into the word the next day. I hope you enjoy this challenge as much as I have as we work towards being disciplined in being in God’s word together.