I couldn’t wait to start the presale, and it’s truly a preSALE. Agree to sign up for my newsletter and instead of paying the regular price ($5.99) you’ll only pay $2.99! The sale ends when the book goes live, so time is already running out!
Experiencing the Bible is now available in paperback at Amazon. If you’re looking for a new way to explore the Bible, a fresh way of looking at the Word of God, or just curious about what it means to “get into the Word,” you can check it out now!
I’ve been asked about an ebook option, and I am looking into that possibility, but the power of this book is its introduction to journaling and the fact that you can journal on these pages. So we’ll see.
It’s been a long road to walk, a big project, and I’m very happy with it. I hope you will be too!
When I first started actively serving God, I thought I was doing great just to read a few verses every once in a while. I loved it when what I was reading fell in line with things I was experiencing or what ministers were teaching me. Even so, all too often it was ONLY reading.
By that, I mean that… It’s hard to know how to express it. I had trouble making connections, probably because I didn’t have much of a scriptural foundation. I also found myself reading, and then forgetting what I’d read. It was frustrating.
Things changed when I started using tools. Bible studies helped me make connections, and those connections helped me remember. Learning that it was ok to write in my Bible also made a huge difference because those notes reminded me of things I’d already learned. I considered dipping my toes into tried-and-true Bible commentaries because I knew that’s what a lot of wise people did, but the very thought intimidated me for some reason.
Now, with smart phones, things have changed. We have even more access to tools, and my current favorite, the Through the Word Bible app, has revolutionized my Bible experience. You can simply listen to the app, which is how I started, and it’s great. For months, it was my go-to for my drive to work.
I then moved on to first reading and making my own notes and highlights, then listening to the commentaries and making more notes. I’ve read these verses who knows how many times, but I’m getting more out of my reading today than I ever have before.
Yeah, I don’t just read anymore. I’ve changed the way I experience the Bible, and the Bible is changing me in increasingly greater ways.
We will live by the Word forever – starting right now. Don’t just read it; make it yours so that it can change you into who God wants you to be.
How many adults, with twenty twenty hindsight, wish they had given more while in high school…or in college..had put more effort into preparing themselves for their unknown future? Hindsight serves one important purpose; it helps us learn which mistakes to not make next time.
And there is a next time. We were put on this earth just as we were put in school – to prepare ourselves so that we will be ready to live the future that waits for us in Eternity. It is our responsibility, while we are here, to develop the closest possible relationship with God and to learn His Word, which we will live by forever.
My memories of school, and all the things the adult me would have done differently, help keep me aware of this truth. While I do forget and deviate from my preferred path on occasion, I try to continually be growing in the things of God, learning all I can about His Word and His will for my life, and getting just as close to Him as I can. I don’t want to just make it through the ultimate graduation; I want to excel now so that God can use me exactly the way He wants to in the next phase of my life.
Months ago, I shared that my word for the year is consistency. I also reviewed some things that were helping me stay consistent in my walk with God. One of those tools is the Through The Word Bible app.
It seemed right to return today and share that yes, I have been consistent. It’s taken self-discipline, sometimes in the form of a swift kick to my own backside, but I am working my way through the Bible in an eye-opening, methodical way that I’m loving. Best of all? It’s simple, requiring nothing but my Bible, pens, and one app.
I start my study by reading a chapter in the Bible – just one. I don’t ONLY read it, however. I ask the Holy Spirit to talk to me, teach me, open my eyes. As I read, I’m underlining and making notes (journaling Bibles help with that!).
Then I hit play on my Through the Word app and listen to what Chris Langham or one of his associates has to say about the chapter. While I listen, I’m making more notes as things become clear or I make connections I’ve never made before. I’ll sometimes go back again, afterwards, to make even more notes. It seems the more connections you make the more you see new connections.
It’s such an easy way to gain a greater relationship with The Word, which is necessary if we want a greater relationship with God, and a close relationship with God is an absolute necessity.
Time is short, my friends. If we’re putting off this vital aspect of our walk with God we are making a grave mistake. The day will come, soon, when there will be no tomorrow. I mean that literally. If you’ve studied the end times at all, you know what I mean.
I’m going through the Flourish journey (Passion Publishing/Lifeway) with friends, and we’re studying Psalm 119. I’m also, in my private time, working my way through Job yet again. It is amazing how much the two books teach me the same lesson.
“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.” Psalm 119:92-95 (ESV)
These verses also reflect a truth about Job. He could have written them, in fact. Job’s delight was in God’s precepts. They were more important to him than food. They were the most important thing in his life.
This passion is why his faith was so great that it prompted God to bring Job to the devil’s attention, and even though Job slipped near the end of the trial, the foundation that was his faith kept him from going under.
After all was said and done, it could have been Job who declared, “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”
In our Flourish journey, we are sharing what God teaches us, and I love how He gives each of us our own, personal lessons while we study the same words. So far, my lessons have all revolved around this point: The Word is paramount, and making it the focal point of my life is essential. It’s not that I CAN immerse myself in it and make it a part of me; it’s that I MUST immerse myself in it and make it a part of me.
Everything else that seems important will eventually disappear. Only one is eternal: God’s Word. (1 Peter 1:24-25) That alone should be enough to make us realize how vital it is to our very lives.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
“Be diligent,” Paul says to Timothy. “Be diligent,” God says to us. Diligence requires action…sincere and consistent action. Again, we are reminded that it is completely unacceptable for us to sit and hear the word but do nothing with it.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God
Here, then, is our goal – our reason for being diligent. We desire, in truth we must have, our heavenly Father’s approval. How? What must we do? In what are we to be diligent?
…a worker who does not need to be ashamed…
So we are to be workers, and not just ordinary workers, but workers who are so good at what we do, so thorough, so careful, that we need never be ashamed of either ourselves or our work.
…rightly dividing the word of truth.
And this is why we, as these diligent workers, need not be ashamed. We are mature and learned in the Word. We do not ignore the Word – we cannot if we are to divide it. We do not take the Word and twist it into new meanings to suit ourselves. No, we are to be “correctly analyzing and accurately dividing – rightly handling and skillfully teaching – the Word of Truth.” (AMP) We are to diligently do this; and in this diligence we will receive God’s approval.
“THIS is the kind of love I expect you to walk in…love that sees things from My point of view. So when I say study (love), I mean study Me. Learn what I feel in each situation-what I say and what I do-because I am love. I. AM. LOVE.”
I shared, last night, about the cashier who clearly didn’t understand the basics of percentage discounts. Had her math teacher witnessed the incident, he or she would surely have been appalled, and if her employer had seen? Hopefully someone can help her understand before it happens again.
As is common, God used this practical experience to remind me of a great truth. We must prepare for life ahead of time. The math lessons should have been fully learned before the customer stood in front of her with a 50% off item. Likewise, God tells us in II Tim 2:15 to study ahead of time: This is how we are prepared to face life events before we reach them. Whether it’s a sudden battle with cancer or an ongoing conversation about salvation, a question about which action would best please God or how to fight a battle, all of the information we need is right there, in His Word.
Yes, as some would say, His Word is at our fingertips and we can look it up, but a Bible won’t always be immediately at hand (as the cashier’s calculator must not have been) and the Bible you don’t know will be of limited help to you.
It is the math student’s responsibility to learn the difference between 40% and 50%, and know how to calculate both, however…it is not always the student alone who pays the price when she fails. (I paid an extra .25 because I wasn’t willing to give a math lesson.) When we fail to study God’s Word, to make it part of our lives, we pay… whether or not we notice the price being paid; and we are not the only ones affected. Those who surround us, those who come in contact with and are not helped by us… they pay a price too.