“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” Charles Spurgeon
I’ve been discouraged lately (it seems to come around each summer as women grab on to the latest summer reading lists and make excuses as to their dry and thirsty life.) I have this God-given drive to see women hunger and thirst for God’s WORD. I try to encourage women to be in the WORD on a daily basis and I know there is plenty of grace in this area, and I get fearful about beating my friends with the law. So, I remain quiet or just hint around the subject. Believe you me, I’ve heard all the excuses AND I’ve used most of them myself. But we don’t want to be ignorant, we are called to be learners and any successful learning is going to require some initiative and effort. Wise Christian women need to be in the WORD, it is vital for your heart health.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
I do not need to be ashamed of any encouragement or prodding to get women to be in God’s WORD as much as possible. Holy Spirit has used the scriptures to excite me about God, given me assurance while in trials, strengthened my marriage, fortified my devotion to Christ, enlightened my children’s heart towards gospel truths, and most importantly has drawn my heart to the One whom the whole bible narrative speaks.
Psalms 119 is filled with the sayings he “delights” in the WORD. He compares the WORD to gold and silver (72 & 127) He compares the WORD to honey (103) and a lamp that guides us. (105) The WORD makes us wise (98) and makes us godly (101). In 1 Peter 2 the WORD is compared to milk that nourishes our souls.
I know Christian woman want to know Him more but the distractions of this world frustrate the efforts to be biblically literate. Hey, distractions keep us from even reading His WORD! This leads to frustrations in our lives and cripples our confidence to be imitators of Christ. (1 Thessalonians 2:13-16) John Piper says, “God has ordained that the eye-opening work of His Spirit always be combined with the mind-informing work of His WORD.”
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8
We can not get around this ladies, you MUST be in God’s WORD daily to bear the fruit of His transforming work in your lives.
So, with all this said, here are three of the helpful things I have used over the years to grow in the knowledge of Christ through His WORD. These are not law, and not a requirement to be in right standing with God. But we also cannot get around 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as we desire competent lives to do the work He has called us to do.
Be Diligent to Hear God’s Word: We are so fortunate to live in a day of modern technology. You can listen to God’s WORD while your smart phones “read” to you; as you go around doing your daily shores, washing dishes, sitting by the pool. You can use the bible apps on your Bluetooth devises while running errands and waiting on children. Do not underestimate the advantages of listening to God’s WORD, it’s background noise with much greater treasures than anything else you listen to. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” Romans 10:17.
When reading to your children at night, add in a few verses of God’s WORD into their routines too. Straight from His Holy WORD the Bible, so that they too hear His WORD routinely. There is nothing wrong with Bible stories from children’s authors; but there is greater gain when you get it and give it straight from the Author!
Set a Timer and Just Read: Psalms 1:1-6 encourages us to meditate on God’s WORD day and night and the benefits that come with such delight. When we are not in the WORD, we can be so easily beguiled and deceived by sin! I don’t recommend the “just read” for long seasons, but it can be most helpful to set a habit of being in His WORD, for an extraordinary busy day (you notice I said extraordinary, not just busy…)
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the things for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
God’s WORD will never be just empty chatter. Even in seasons where you are not studying His WORD, your heart, soul and mind will benefit from being in His WORD!
Commit to Find and Invest In a Bible Study: There are so many thoughts I have on the call to “Bible Study”, so I will try to be concise and not offensive. There are women and men who have been gifted and ordained to write, have been to seminary and bible colleges, who have written great studies. So don’t just “try to wing-it” and delve in on your own…just yet. But try to avoid Topical Studies as your meat! Topical studies are good side dishes, but can distract us from really learning the Bible’s meta-narrative; Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration. Topical studies are usually more about us and less about HIM! Not all connection in scripture really grows our biblical literacy. If you have never done Bible Study Fellowship or Precepts and haven’t learned how to most effectively study the bible, I would highly recommend Jen Wilkin’s book, Women of The Word: How to Study the Bible with Both our Hearts and Minds. I actually think everyone should read this book anyway.
Ultimately my love for scripture has increased the more I spent in His WORD, learning about Him. My prayer that He would increase my desire and hunger for His precepts grew. He transformed my ideas about Himself, exposed my wrong ideas and then caused me to hunger for more. The more I am in His WORD, the more I desire to take on His character, the more He transforms my life.
Being in God’s WORD provides fellowship with Jesus. He speaks through His WORD. Being in His WORD will be the only way to a deeper understanding of His character, His attributes, of Him! It will strengthen you faith and shape your worldview by conforming your mind to God’s point of view. Being In God’s WORD will make it much easier to detect error in your thinking, protect you from false teaching and help you overcome the temptation of sin. When the assaults from the enemy fire their evil darts, you can be prepared with a defense. And lastly, being in God’s WORD will equip you to minister to others who are hurting and facing various trials. You will be able to apply the balm of His WORD to others, but only when you yourself are grounded in His WORD!
I want to encourage you friends, read for pleasure. Read fiction and poetry, read curriculum and biographies, read current events and rich historical novels. BUT! If you can’t spend time reading His WORD you should not read anything else! Be in His WORD. Like Daniel Hyde emphatically says, “If you love God, it is your duty to read the Word and your delight to receive it as the very Word of the true and living God.”
Giveaway Week #3
This weeks giveaway is a rustic metal baseball necklace from Toadily Handmade by Rhonda Price. Rhonda has been married for 25 years and has two sons. She wanted a way to rock her pride for her sons school and one piece just led to another. Now 5 years later you can enjoy her unique jewelry. (You can follow her on Instagram: toadily_handmade) This giveaway has two charms and a stamped tag,along with the large baseball pendant. (Your tag can say “Baseball Mom” or “Baseball Fan”) Remember to Like, Comment, or Share and you can find the BLOG on the new facebook page Evidence of Grace. Each time, your name will be entered into a drawing to win.