- Make time for it.
- I started reading a chapter from the Old Testament and a chapter from the New Testament but then decided I wanted to know how I was supposed to be living NOW so I went back to the beginning of the New Testament and read the whole thing....that is my preferred way to start.
- The Bible is not meant to be read for enjoyment...it is meant to be read and reflected on. As I read (especially the New Testament), I would try to think of what in my life could this be related to...something I need to change? something giving me confirmation that I am on the right path? In our small group, the guy that leads it said to Read, Reflect, and Respond. I think that sums it up pretty well.
- Write down the verses that really speak to you. It is too hard to find them highlighted in the bible once you get so far along. I have a "good verses" section in my notebook.
- Make note of the sections that you just don't get...there are bible studies out there to help! Now that I am through the New Testament I am going to start doing some bible studies to help with the parts I didn't understand to kind of break up the Old Testament reading because there are parts of it that I just can't wrap my head around.
I don't at all have studying the bible figured out. I just started in January! I will say that there have been a couple of times that I KNOW that God spoke to me through my bible...and ladies and gents...that is AWESOME. Quiet time with the Lord is so great and it just helps me keep my priorities in check, helps me with my attitude and keeps me from being as selfish as I would like to be some days, and it just deepens my relationship with Him.
Third, the things at our church. Our church recently read the book Radical by David Platt (a good, honest, and convicting read) and it has really started changing the way our church is doing things. We have connection groups (aka small groups) and now the goal of the connection group is to turn them into mission groups. Where each CG (connection group) focuses on a group of people in the area to just show God's love and build relationships with...kind of local mission groups. We are about to get rolling and I can't wait to be able to share some details!
Also, our church is opening a new location and our family is going to be one of the core starter members. I have a feeling we have no idea what we just got ourselves into but we really felt God leading us to do it and we wanted to challenge ourselves to grow even more in the Lord.
Oh, and there is one part of the bible that has just been really on my mind lately so I thought I would share it. It is where Jesus is at dinner and he sits with the tax collectors and other "un-holy" type people and some people are asking Him why he was sitting with those people and he says, "I didn't come here to save the righteous, I came to save the sinners" (I am paraphrasing and probably butchering it but the overall jist is right.) I really feel convicted by this verse...I need to do a better job of reaching out to people that don't have it all figured out or that might even be difficult...I am not sure...I haven't got it figured out. Feel free to pray for some clarity as to why this is on my mind so heavily lately. (c: Let me know if you have any questions! I will try to do better at more frequent updates so I don't have to overload with lots of small details!