In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Today is a beginning…the first day of 2014.
This is a beginning…the first blog post I am writing for this new blog.
Beginnings – they can be exciting or scary, we can be hopeful for a fresh start or nervous about the unknown.
Some beginnings are not new, but just simply us trying yet again. I want to encourage you to begin this new year with the Word of God. The Word of God brings life! It is absolutely amazing! Have I always felt excited about the Word of God? Nope.
I was brought up an atheist but came to know and trust God in my teens and have been reading the Bible ever since. And I haven’t always been excited about it. I could put it down to “the baby/sleep deprived years”…reading when you have lack-of-sleep-induced-brain-fog, means that you can read a whole chapter without engaging your mind at all. Although, come to think of it, I can still do that now, even though I don’t have that excuse – my youngest is 10 years old and sleeps through the night! 🙂
But some years ago, I decided to read through the Bible, one book at a time, summarizing as I went. So I began with a dollar-store journal and read a chapter a day or a part of a chapter and wrote down a summary of what I read. To do this, I had to engage my brain. And once I engaged my brain, God’s Word came alive to me as never before! I read passages that I had read a hundred times, and meaning and life jumped out! I eventually went through the entire Bible this way (it took years) and then began a Bible reading plan which takes one through the whole Bible in a year, reading four chapters a day: Old Testament, New Testament, and a Psalm or Proverb every day. What I like about this is that every day there is something that speaks to me. So even if I happen to be reading through something not so captivating or relevant to me, such as the numbers of fighting men in Israel’s army, there will be something more relevant in another part of the Bible that I am reading that same day.
I have read through the Bible this way the last two years, and I plan to do it again this year. I began today in Genesis 1-2, Psalm 1, and Matthew 1.
God’s Word is Life! You’ll have to read it yourself to know what I mean! But it certainly addresses every area of life…God’s heart for the poor and downtrodden…for justice…health issues…marital relationships, parenting, friendships, using the gifts God gave you…not giving up, worship…love…it’s all there!
Let me encourage you, whether you are in the “brain fog” years or not, to pick up God’s Word, ask God to speak to you through it, and be prepared to be blessed!
Oh, and by the way, it’s in the putting it into practice (with the help of God), where one is blessed and life is lived the way it was meant to be lived…the way it actually works!
No one says you have to read four chapters a day, but it actually takes an amazingly short time, and there are plenty of Bible reading plans to follow if you want to do that. But even if you just read one chapter or a portion of a chapter, it is helpful to go buy one of those dollar-store journals (or ten cent notebooks), and jot down something from what you read.
Let today, the beginning of the new year, be a new beginning in reading the Word of God! I highly recommend it.