Do You Want Your Life to Change Forever? Keep Reading

I remember getting my very first Bible when I was going into 3rd grade. I knew there was something very special about it. I remember it seemed like God was speaking to me through the words I read. That was the start of something so wonderful for me. My limited understanding only made me desire more. I got many other Bibles along the way, and my love for the Bible and the great God behind it grew the more I read it. The words captured me. I became more and more grateful to God for His amazing faithfulness and love even when I felt so undeserving. And, so I am. I have been so overwhelmed by God’s love and grace poured out on such an underserving sinner like me.

Yet, the truth that comes from His Word tells me of the grace and righteousness He freely gives to those who put their faith and trust in God’s Son, Jesus. Yes! With each day, I have found great joy and hope in our Savior, Jesus through seeking Him through His Word, the Bible.

In the new year, we often think about new initiatives or goals. One really important one is to read the Bible, God’s Word. It must be more than just checking a box. When we know that the Bible is God’s eternal Word to us, we begin to see in a greater way that it is God’s one big story. This is a true story rooted in history, of which we are a part.

I’ve taken a pretty practical approach these days when people ask about Bible reading. “What Bible is the best?” people ask. I usually respond, “The best Bible is a Bible that is read.” If the Bible sets on a shelf or stand but it is not read, it does not do any good for our life or to our understanding of God’s great purpose for us. We need to pick it up and read.

Some people ask, “What part of the Bible should I read? It is so big. Where should I start?” Since the Bible is not necessarily chronological, I often recommend one of the Gospels—the story of Jesus. Genesis is also a good place to start, since it is the true account of beginnings and sets the stage for everything else in the Bible. When seeking to understand prayer and interaction with God, the Psalms are both personal and insightful. When seeking to understand the grace of God, Paul’s letter to the Romans or Ephesians are rich.

Whatever it is, I often tell people to start reading the Bible in one of these places and continue to read until you hear from God. Since the Bible is God’s living Word to us, His Spirit will speak to us if we are open to hear from Him. Then, write down or underline what stood out to you. Ask simple questions. What does this say about God? What does this say about humankind? How is what I am reading asking me to align myself with God and His purpose? God wants us to know more than information about Him. He wants us to truly know Him personally. We will find Him absolutely worthy of our praise. We will delight in following God the Father through His Son by the power of His Holy Spirit living within us. Our desire will grow to tell others about Jesus and what He has done for us.

There are three things that last forever. Our Triune God Himself, those whom He has created in His likeness, and His living Word, the Bible. Reading and listening to the Word of God transforms our lives and we become more like Jesus. Oh, and the Lord Jesus is the greatest treasure of all! Read the Bible and be changed forever.

“The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.” Isaiah 40:8
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Pastor Mark Anderson

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