Can I be honest for a second? When I was younger, I actually found it really hard to read my bible. It felt like such a chore and quickly became a tick box for being a good Christian. I thought it would make God happy and keep my conscience clear. What I didn’t understand was this,
READING THE BIBLE ISN’T ACTUALLY ABOUT PLEASING GOD, IT’S ABOUT KNOWING HIM.
As a Christian, reading the bible is not a religious obligation that somehow wins brownie points with God. It is 100% about connecting and receiving from Him. Gods desire from the beginning of time has been connection with us. If we look all the way back in Genesis, we see Gods heart was to walk closely with humanity. “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” Genesis 3:8. I once heard someone describe intimacy as IN-TO-ME- SEE. Gods desire is for you to see into Him and vice versa.
For many years as Youth Pastor I don't think I fully grasped this truth and actually failed to teach young people to prioritise Gods word. I can recall one conversation that completely shaped my thinking on this subject. In passing a prominent minister casually said to me, "You can pretty much boil every sermon down to - read the bible more and pray more." Sadly, my take home from that exchange was, "Oh gosh I better make sure I don't do that!" It left an indelible mark on me and I spent many years trying not to preach sermons that pressured people to read their bibles.
If I had my time over I would change a lot, and this would be at the top of the list. I would shout it from the roof tops, yes read the bible! Not out of guilt or obligation, but desire and discipline. Read it because you'll actually get to know God. Read it because there's power in its pages. Read it because it will actually change you.
GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR US TO BE A PEOPLE THAT KNOW THE KINGDOM BUT HAVE NEVER BEEN ACQUAINTED WITH THE KING.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve uttered these words, “I don’t have time to read my bible” far too often. I’ve thought to myself how can I possibly read my bible for more than 5 minutes today? I’ve got a family to juggle, a house to manage, work to finish and a double degree to complete, the list goes on (like I bet yours does too). The problems is I’ve managed to scroll through Facebook a few times, filter an insty pic, watch an episode on Netflix (not really, we don't have Netflix) post a blog, hang with friends, and a whole bunch of other stuff that yes needs to get done, like feed my kids, clean the house, do reports, write a sermon but still…..you get the picture. The point is,
IF YOU'VE GOT TIME FOR NETFLIX AND INSTAGRAM, YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TIME TO READ YOUR BIBLE.
IT'S SIMPLY A MATTER OF MANAGEMENT AND PRIORITIES.
You and I have the same amount of time as the Pope or the President. It’s what we do with it that counts. Each one of us has the ability to seek God daily. Yes, daily. We just need to make Him a priority. We need to see His word as a living breathing weapon shaping and empowering us. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
We need to stop making excuses for not reading the word and drop all those TV shows that keep us up until midnight. You know I'm telling the truth, right? Honestly maybe it's time to cut the clutter from our schedules and stop simply feeding our soul while our spirit man slowly starves to death? The past year I have seen a marked change in my faith as I have literally made the pursuit of His word a priority every day and it's produced an intimacy with Him like never before. So how are you spending your time? How long have you been scrolling Social media tonight? Or watching that show you just can't miss?
MAYBE IT'S TIME TO SAY NO TO SOME THINGS AND START SAYING YES TO OTHERS THAT ARE FAR BETTER FOR YOU?
I really don't care if this this blog get's the likes I just want you to know that God loves you and He is so desperate to be close to you tonight. Take time out to hear from Him today. Find your space. Find your medium. Pray, journal, read, study. Whatever it takes. God doesn’t just want you on a Sunday in a service, He wants you everyday. And I guarantee as you begin to seek Him in the secret place you will find Him there.
THE FUNNY THING IS - THE MORE I STARTED SPEAKING TO GOD, THE MORE HE STARTED SPEAKING TO ME.