One of the categories for my One Word, discipline, is Bible reading. That may surprise you. I’ve been a Christian for 38 years. My bible is precious to me. It is worn and torn with many highlights and notes written beside verses. But the readings sometimes go in cycles. At times I devour it, at others, I nibble, sometimes just snacking. I love to read books and sometimes I get so wrapped up in my devotionals in the morning, (I have 6 that I read faithfully), that by the time I finish those, I grab a snack of His Word and then I’m up moving for the rest of the day. I am one of those women who has a constant dialogue going on with my Savior, but that's not always enough and I was reminded of this one day.
I picked up my Bible the other day and was just skimming through, reading all my highlights and notes from over the years and was reminded of all the times that God so sweetly spoke to me and confirmed things to me. I wanted to share some of those and encourage anyone out there who may not be picking up their Bible on a regular basis, or maybe just runs through it, how God speaks to us so clearly through His Word, but we have to read it to receive it.
Years ago, still having been a Christian for a long time and had never questioned it, I was sitting in a revival at my church where the evangelist was speaking a very good but hard sermon on the wheat and the tares. At the end of that service, he gave the altar call and I watched all these people that I knew to be strong Christians walking forward. I was shocked! I thought if they think they are not saved now, am I? I bowed my head and asked the Father, am I Yours? I so clearly heard him say to me, “You are my child, you are mine.” When I went home that evening, I opened my Bible and it was if God confirmed to me that I was his by Him leading me to Isaiah 43:1 “. . .Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Then I began to read in Second Corinthians and came upon 1: 22. It says, “ He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Again, He confirmed that I am sealed with His ownership, His Holy Spirit within me, guaranteeing that I am His. I knew this all along, from that day at 12 years old when I asked Jesus Christ into my heart. But He knew I needed that confirmation that night of the revival and He gave it to me. I have never questioned my salvation since.
Another example: My home was in
Another example: Back in 2007 after my oldest son had walked away, I was so depressed that I was not wanting to be around people and having to act cheery when I wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to quit my small bible study group. I opened up my Bible and my eyes fell to this verse, Hebrews 10:25, “ Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” I kept going. And I became stronger by going, by being around like minded people, studying His Word with others and being encouraged and prayed for. I am no longer in that place I was in 2007.
Another example: Climbing out of the pit took some time but there came a day when I was just about there, but could not seem to swing over the top edge and plant both feet firmly yet. I had stayed in my small group, my ABF class, going to church functions and volunteering but there was just something missing. I went to the Lord in prayer and opened up my Bible again and my eyes fell to this verse, “Titus 2: “Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” I thought, ‘God is telling me I need a mentor?’ Lo and behold, that year our church began a mentoring class, so I went and signed up to get myself a mentor. Others on the team picked her out for me and she could not have been any more perfect. She knew where I was coming from and understood. She was a wonderful listener, full of wisdom, kindness and compassion and patience. I fell in love with her and she has been a dear friend to me ever since. I then went on to mentor a younger one myself. And now, I have begun to mentor another. Did I mention, my feet are planted firmly on the ground again?
God knows just what we need when we need it. He speaks to us in many ways, but His Word is by far the best. We just have to open it, read it, chew on it slowly, listen and be diligent to keep going back, soaking in the words, and finding those answers He has for us as well as the sweet confirmations that we seek. . .and sometimes not seek, but He guides us to them any way. Why we would ever not open it, I don’t know. The devil shoots many arrows to stop us, arrows like tiredness, fatigue, work, play, hobbies, busyness, maybe even too many devotionals to take the place of his Word. I am following through with my One Word, discipline, and picking up the Word before any devotionals. Devotionals are great but not meant to be a replacement.
How about you? Have you a need for a sweet confirmation? Have you picked up God’s Holy Word? I’m guessing you would find it in there. (I’m not really guessing ;)
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:13