Tuesday, May 27, 2014

10 Reasons to Read Your Bible Every Day

"Read your Bible, pray every day, pray every day, pray every day. Read your Bible, pray every day and you'll grow, grow, grow!"

A couple of weeks ago I sang that to a high school teachers whose days are full. Pressure is on and down time is out of reach. He looked at me and admitted, "I certainly pray every day, but I haven't been reading my Bible."

Here are a few reasons to read your Bible every day, even if it's not a V-8-hits-the-spot kind of passage:

1. Reading my Bible every day makes God a priority. When it's one of the things I do because it needs to be done--brush my teeth, get dressed, go to work, read my Bible--it's important. Reading my Bible is worth making time for. (Matthew 6:33)

2. Reading my Bible every day resets my mind. You and I are not God (we know this, but how often we assume we know what God wants because: fill in the blank). The only true way to think, speak and act like Jesus is to spend time in His Word, reading His mind. (1 Corinthians 2:9-16)

3. Reading the Bible every day is proactive. I have no idea what trouble lies ahead, but as I systematically read the Bible, God shows me how to handle both present and future situations. I may not know what to expect, but I know which way to go and where to look for help. (Matthew 6:34, Psalm 119:105)

4. Reading my Bible every day gives me peace. Years ago I began drawing boxes around text in my Bible that describes who God is and what He does. Now my eyes and heart are drawn to His might and power. My faith grows and I enter the day knowing my God is big enough to shut mouths that devour, remove impossible obstacles, restore life, and change hearts. If I think I have a need but "He doesn't meet it, I didn't need it." That's a great comfort each and every day. (Philippians 4:6-7)

5. Reading my Bible every day gives me hope. As I look at who God is and what He has accomplished, I begin to understand that He has a purpose for me, despite my shortcomings and failures. Even at the darkest hour--when His Son hung, humiliated, bearing the burden of my sin--He was the God of hope. The darkest hour is the One in which He is most needed and revealed. Jesus was raised from the dead and brings newness of life. Jesus gives me hope. (Romans 15:13)

6. Reading the Bible every day helps me focus on what's really important. There are many examples in the Bible of people whose priorities were out of whack. Mine are, too, when I don't study and read God's Word. When the things that matter to God matter to me, I am able to live intentionally and purposefully--doing laundry, serving others, even taking a nap! (Psalm 37:2-9)

7. Reading God's Word engages my mind. God does not expect me to follow an unknown path apart from wisdom and discretion. He wants me be wise, to keep my wits, to be aware of the dangers and distractions of life. Reading God's Word every day fills my head with knowledge I can get nowhere else. (Proverbs 3:13-26)

8. Reading God's Word gives me strength. My physical strength is limited--and as I age, it's becoming more apparent.  The greater threat to life is not physical strength, but spiritual strength. Without initiative, motivation, and ambition we don't move forward. Through His Word, God strengthens my inner man and gives me a burning passion to serve Him. He gives strength for my day as I renew my commitment to Him and His purpose for my life.(Ephesians 3:14-21)

9. Reading God's Word every day reveals the truth. Google News may have updates on the world's condition, but God's Word is timeless. The truth found in Scripture never changes, never gets old, and is steadfast regardless of the changes in my personal life, community, nation, and world. There is nothing man has to offer that is changeless and true apart from what is revealed in the Bible. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8)

10. Reading the Bible every day shows my love and devotion for God. He speaks to me through His Word and I respond in prayer. We have conversations and share ourselves through this incredible means of communication. Not reading my Bible is like having a one-sided conversation. We all know those are rarely effective and long-lasting. Jesus said, "Abide in me and I in you" (John 15:4).

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full...."
John 15:4-11

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Life: Making it Work

Wow--sorry for the hiatus, Readers. I have missed you.
One of the purposes of HeartQuencher is to share, to praise the goodness of God, to teach as God has taught: His Word intertwined with circumstances and people.

That's the way it works, you know. Changing, growing in Christ, requires1) God's Word and 2) life. If you and are already "in Christ," all the amazingly wonderful promises and identity characteristics of Ephesians 1 are ours--I'm not going to delve into the specifics (a worksheet is available, email me using the contact information at the end of the right hand column).

That understood, we grow in Christ as we live life with all it's ups and downs, applying or exercising what we know to be right (God's Word). "...the mature...because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14).

For today: look for where God's Word intersects your life. When you experience blessings, praise God. When you fight the fight of sin and self, pray for help. When you don't know what to do, ask for wisdom. When you're hurt or taken advantage of, rejoice that you share in Christ's sufferings.

It's going to be a good day! You won't want to miss it. God is at work and His Word is living and active.

"So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:9-16 NASB)