In part two we looked at the first, and most important thing that we need to do to make our faith ours, that is to actually surrender to Jesus and to make that decision for ourselves. I pray that, if you took that step, then you are already feeling the results of such a decision.
This next thing that I want to highlight is something that we should all be doing anyway, but it is something that often seems to be forgotten, or to fall by the wayside – any ideas what it might be?
The second thing of three: Read Your Bible
When I first became a Christian, this was the one thing that I could do without any trouble. Some people can just pray, it is like a natural thing for them, they just pick it up and they’re off, for me prayer has never come that easily, but the way that I have connected with God the easiest has always been through reading the bible.
When I first came to faith would read the bible all the time – I even had one at the retail job I was working, it was under the counter so that when we had no customers – which was often – I could get it out and read it! Reading the bible – a lot (frequently and a decent amount of text) – was one thing that really built my faith during the first few months.
But I want you to hear what I’m saying, I don’t want you to read the bible just because it is a habit, and to read it in such a way that you don’t actually pay attention to the words that are written on the page. Some questions that you might ask as you read could be, what is it telling you about Jesus? What is it telling you about people? What is it telling you about how God relates to people?
These are all good questions to ask, and I would encourage you to ask lots of questions!
Some people are afraid to ask questions of the Bible because it has been built up as something that can never be wrong, or something that we can’t question because God wrote it! And it is infallible! (Now, hear me in this, I’m not saying that the Bible isn’t infallible, I am making the claim that because people tend to see it as such, they feel that they can never have a disagreement with what it says, or that they can’t admit that it says some hard things, or that they don’t understand it, that is all that I’m saying) But I want you to ask good questions, if you don’t understand something send me an email or a message, and we can talk about it.
This habit of bible reading is actually much more than just reading the bible, because there is so much to interact with. I don’t want you to get intimidated either, though, because it is not intimidating if you take it one step at a time:
* Read something from the Bible at least once a day.
* If you think you understand it then that’s great! Let it sink in to your should and apply it to your life.
* If you’ve got questions then go and ask someone (several people) about it, and see what they come up with.
* Also read books about it, and not just books from your favourite author, books of people you don’t necessarily agree with.
* Come to your own decision, and, if it’s not about any of the distinguishing beliefs of Christianity (there’s a blog series!), then hold it loosely.
There is still much to say about this particular habit, but I will leave it there for now. The next post will be a set of resources and suggestions about resources that you might want to have if you are going to get serious about your reading and study of God’s word, because it is one of the best ways to understand who he is, and to grow your faith.
Question: Do you read the Bible often? Do you pay attention to the words, to what it says? What is the biggest obstacle to your reading large chunks of the bible and putting time in to studying the parts that you don’t understand?
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