Walking Through the Word

Thought I'd chime in today to chat a little bit about my walk through the Bible this summer and where I'm at. I want to say up front that I'm so glad I decided to do this!! It's been like fresh wind in my sails already and I've still got two months to go. Sometimes I can't believe I'm going to get through the entire Bible this summer and then I realize, I did just read the entire book of Leviticus in one day, so I suppose that will do it! Ha ha! Because I don't want to forget this summer and this experience, I thought I'd list a few things that have struck me so far, 23 days into this journey.  BUT I also want to hear from you if you are doing this with me! I know there are a few of you who have joined and I'm loving keeping up with you via twitter or facebook.  I'm interested in hearing what YOU think of this challenge so far, no matter where you are in the process. So chime in or blog about it and leave the link here.

-In general, so far I would say that this has been easier than I thought it would be. The hardest part is just carving out the time to read a chunk of scripture, but I'm surprising myself at how easy it's been to find those pockets of time that I typically waste on other things.  This is a discipline I am already asking the Lord to help me maintain after this is "over."  It's been very convicting to realize how much time I can easily waste when I'm not busy. 

-I don't mean this to sound irreverent, but think I was worried that this would somehow be "boring" or something I was going to have to endure.  Instead, it's riveting and it's fascinating.  Reading so many of these stories is bringing back so many memories of Sunday School for me but it's also connecting the dots as far as the big picture of the Bible is concerned.  When I step back and think of the Bible as God's love letter to us, as the story He's written to tell us about how He came to rescue us from something we couldn't do for ourselves, it helps tie all of these stories and events together in a fresh way.  Most importantly however, is the picture I'm seeing of who God is.  From the beginning on my way to the end, I'm getting a refresher course in the ways of the Lord.  I'm reading about the miracles He performed for the Israelites, the way He withheld his wrath and poured down manna to provide each day, for example.  And this time around, I'm also seeing His chosen people not with eyes of judgement, but with a humility that recognizes, I could have been one of them.  I am one of them.  I grumble, I doubt, I fall prey to snares along the way and yet, He forgives, He gives me grace and He restores.  Who doesn't need to be reminded of that on a daily basis?? 

-I'm behind, by about 2 days worth of reading, but by the grace of God, it hasn't gotten me down yet.  I'm staying up with the plan and just letting myself feel free to do what I can, when I can.  I still plan to be all done by August 31st, but I don't want this challenge to become some big burden that I have to do.  I have enough of that stuff in my life, and I don't want reading the Word to fall into that category.  My prayer is for this to feel like an intense craving that I can't wait to fill. 

-And speaking of craving, can I tell you that so far the best part may just be the appetite that God is giving me for His Word??  Reading in large volumes like this, is making read a little bit more before I go to bed; it's giving me an excitement to see what's up on the list for the next day; and it's making me think about what I'm reading all day long.  And I'm amazed by that because I just know that all of that is NOT of me.  It's totally God-given.  He has begun a work in me and His Word is living and active, so it's doing its' own thing in me.  I remember praying a few years ago that God would give me the desire to "want to" read His Word, because for so many of my years it always just felt like a chore.  A chore that I was constantly failing at.  But when I prayed for that desire, when I took the pressure off myself and realized I didn't have that but HE could give it to me, it totally changed the way I approached His Word.  He filled the empty places in me and made me realize how much more I wanted of Him.  And now, as I've committed myself to giving His Word my time this summer, He is providing the energy and the craving and the time to do it.  And that's amazing to me.  So simple and yet, very profound in my daily life.  Obedience and surrender really do go hand in hand, but the blessing that follows both is always greater than the motivation to dive in from the beginning. 

-I'm just geeky enough to really get into using the "my version" Bible app on my phone everyday, to keep me on track.  I mostly use my Bible to do my reading, but I love checking the chapters off the list from my phone!  Twitter has also been fun to keep up with several people.  Just last night, Jill let me know about an incredible app that we downloaded on Trav's ipad, called "Glo Bible."  We bought the full version and we LOVE it!  So often all this technology can be a waste of time, but I love when you discover ways to make it work for you!  Or more importantly, ways to redeem it and use it in your relationship with the Lord.  If you have an ipad or iphone or itouch, check out "Glo Bible!"

-This is already long enough, so I'll save this for another post, but I am also keeping a running list of things God is showing me in each book.  Not tons and tons of notes, just big picture themes or lessons that are truly speaking to me in this season.  So far I've read through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Job and most of Deuteronomy.  Wow!!!  So many lessons to learn from the Israelites and the way the Lord loved them, led them, disciplined them, provided for them, and taught them.  There is a reason the Bible is the best selling book of all time, why it's survived 2,000 years of history and why every Word is not wasted!  I love it!  It's powerful.  It's alive!  It's God's very words, written for us and applicable for EVERYTHING we face.  Let me encourage you to pick yours up today and read it!  Any part of it.  You will be blessed I promise...

So what about you?  Have any of you ever read through the whole thing?  Or even books at a time?  What did you learn?  What did you love?  What is He showing you right now if you're doing it this summer?

Let's cheer each other on to keep reading!!  Stay the course and don't give the enemy an inch to weasel himself in there and rob you of the joy of God's word or the blessing of staying in it.  Let's be do-ers of the Word and not just hearers only.  If you're in, I'm praying for YOU! 

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:617

1 comment:

Jason Barthelemy said...

I'm also really enjoying the summer reading. I completely related to your post and I love how you crave His Word the more you're in it. I love that I would rather read the Bible than watch tv. Travis showed me the Glo app this afternoon and I agree it's pretty amazing. I can't wait to use it with my kids.