Last spring, a couple of friends and I had gotten our kids together a time or two for play dates, and we talked about how much we would enjoy using our time together to fellowship around the things of the Lord and his word. After tossing around several ideas, we decided to read through a book over the summer and discuss it when we could get together….
Do you long to hear God speak? The Bible tells us that God does speak to us, and that His children recognize His voice and follow His leading.
There have been times I have longed to hear a “special” word from God — an audible voice, some ordering of circumstances, a change in situation, a prophecy from another Christian, even just a sense, or an unction — something of personal significance to feel close to God, assured of His love and our relationship, or to give me special guidance and wisdom.
And yet, in the Bible, we possess EVERY authoritative word of God, all that is necessary both for being born into His kingdom as well as living in a manner worthy of His calling (2 Peter 1:2-4). God’s Spirit speaks to us through His written word….
When I was little, I would often pray and ask God for help: “Help me have fun today at the park,” “Help me be kind to my brother and sister,” “Help us have a good day.”
As I got a little older, I really didn’t like to pray that way. It sounded condescending for me to suppose that God was my Helper. It sounded like I had a running wish list or to-do list and wanted a butler to come alongside and help all the conditions to be just right for me to play outside or have fun or be nice.
While the little-girl-me didn’t have a full Biblical understanding of what the Bible meant that God is my Help, I think that the grown-up-me has a lot to learn from seeking a God who helps me….
Do you ever wish you could just escape it all? Press pause for a while, stop the world, and get your bearings before the next deluge of needs and demands and pressures?
I was reading about Noah and The Flood yesterday (Genesis 6-8), and a truth in this short phrase brought such cheer to my heart:
“And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood.” Genesis 7:7
Maybe you’re in a stormy trial, or you’re walking through a struggle where you see no soon escape. Maybe the demands and pressures and expectations of those around you leave you desperate for rest and relief. If you’re fighting for joy, needy for grace, and looking for a place of respite, escape into the Ark Himself, Jesus Christ….
Do you want to read the Bible but don’t really know where to get started? The Bible is a really big book, and it’s filled with a lot of challenging passages, long books, and hard-to-understand truths.
But just as a little baby needs a lot of milk to grow strong and stay healthy, our spiritual lives need the milk of God’s word to grow.
“Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” (1 Peter 2:2-3)
If a baby doesn’t constantly receive nourishing milk, she doesn’t just stay a tiny, cute little baby — she gets sick; she grows unhealthy; she cannot thrive and grow. In the same way, a healthy Christian is a growing Christian, receiving constant nourishment from the rich milk of God’s word.
So how do we get started? What books and chapters should we read first? How can we learn to navigate this big book?
Rather than letting the length and gravity of the Bible paralyze us, I want to suggest ways for you to get started with reading the Bible for yourself and thereby grow in your salvation in Christ. Depending on how you respond to the questions below, I think you’ll be able to find a good place to begin reading, as well as some tips and tools to better understand the word of God….
“What is God’s will for my life in this situation?” Whether it is knowing God’s will for this afternoon, next week, this year, or a lifetime, I’ve often prayed and sought earnestly to know the will of God in my life.
In order to accurately hear from God concerning His will in a given situation, I must hear His voice through the Bible, His written word. In the precious Bible, He has given me all that I need to live godly in Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:3-4).
As the Holy Spirit applies the word of God to our hearts, we discern His will. I want to mention three things that the Bible clearly states are God’s will, and then look at how to know God’s will for our lives when the Bible does not literally state what we are to do or not to do….
Do you know very little about the Bible or Christianity? Let’s read through a “skeletal overview” of God’s word!
ALL of God’s word is important to read and know, but until we have a bit of a framework, it can feel challenging to get our bearings when we jump into a new part of the Bible. If you have not heard very much about the Bible, there will be quite a few things in the following chapters that you may not can piece together yet, and that’s okay! You will be able to learn some truths that are vital to a beginning knowledge of God through His word….
Are you in a season where you feel dry and thirsty?
Jesus promised that Living Water that wells up and spills out, satisfying and quenching our own thirst and running over to those around us. But what about when you’re in a season where the wheels have fallen off the wagon and you’re in a rut that you just don’t know how to climb out of?
Last year when I had a newborn, my soul felt so dry and thirsty during that hectic season. When it seemed that I needed the help and encouragement of the Scriptures the most, I struggled to consistently find quiet time to spend with the Lord in prayer and in His word.
James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
With my life feeling so upside-down, my usual routines for spending time with the Lord were not falling into place, and I didn’t know what to do to find that space in my days or the want-to in my heart to drink at the Fountain. I asked the Lord to help me to draw near to Him, and He provided for me two main ways to seek Him during those challenging months….
As a wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, godmother, granddaughter, or friend, we are uniquely suited to serve as INTERCESSORS before God on behalf of those we love.
In Christ Jesus, Christian women are spiritually a holy, royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9), Jesus having made us “priests to His God and Father” (Revelation 1:6). One of the roles of an Old Testament priest was that of INTERCESSOR.
When the priest went into the Holy Place to minister before the Lord, he wore an ephod and a breastpiece carrying stones with names engraved upon them, the names of the tribes of Israel. Each name of the 12 sons of Israel was carved onto those stones, and when the priest came into God’s presence, he carried those names before the Lord….
When I think about what it looks like to live a life of worship, I think of things like fervent prayer time, worshiping God at church, giving sacrificially to missions, and Bible study.
And while an obedient Christian woman’s life will encompass each of these aspects, that’s really not what my life looks like most of the time. Most of the time, my life looks and feels very unspiritual.
It’s not that I’m pursuing worldly passions or only living for Jesus on Sundays. No, it’s just that most of my waking (and sleeping!?) hours are filled with dirty diapers, breastfeeding, grocery lists, and scraping dried avocado and mashed banana off the high chair…..