The Bible 101 - Part 1
The Power of 5 Minutes
Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.
Ever feel like there's so much to do and so little time?
Yet, January is when we try to make time for things we previously neglected - like exercise and meal-prepping or healthy eating and organizing and budgeting and replacing bad habits.
All so we can better ourselves.
While all these are good things and can have a positive impact on our lives and the lives of others, I want to challenge us to start one habit that will grow us from the inside out.
As I shared last week, I was challenged last year to read more. My goal was to read one book a month. Soon, this grew from a conscious effort to desire. Reading cultivates curiosity and curiosity cultivates wonder. Wonder cultivates praise and praise is what we were made for.
Stay with me.
As humans, we were created for worship. Think about it. We all worship something. Maybe our jobs, maybe money, maybe our families, our health, our homes, our hobbies.
But all these are less worthy than the One thing we were made to worship. Our lives are meant to be a praise offering to the Creator.
Yet lesser things are often the recipient of our curiosity and wonder and, therefore, praise.
A Google search reveals there are an estimated 130 million unique books in the world today.
One of those books is different than all the rest. If there's one book worth reading - even if merely for the sake of curiosity and nothing more - it's this one.
It's The Bible.
It's different because it is the only book that reads you while you're reading it.
It's different because it is the only book that is living and active and has the power to change lives.
Let's settle here for a minute. As I'm sure we can all attest, changing habits - shoot, even one habit - is hard to do. New Year's resolutions reveal this.
I don't know how many times I've said, "I'm going to eliminate sugar."
Speaking from experience, day 1 is tough. So is day 2. I'm proud if I make it to day 4 or 5 without the taste of sugar on my lips. And then I'm so proud I'm already thinking I deserve a reward ...like a sugary reward.
Gosh, changing just one habit is hard.
Changing a life is even harder. It's something we can't do on our own. We need a higher power at work within us to help us. We need to grow from the inside out. To do this, we need to open this book and read it and let it read us.
Jesus gives us this promise,
If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. - John 8:31, 32
How do we become free from sin and death?
By knowing the truth.
How do we know the truth?
By hearing the Word once?
By going to church on Sunday's?
By praying before a meal?
While all those are good things and lead our hearts toward truth, freedom and truth are our's to hold when we ABIDE in the Word.
And we know the Word is not just words on a page.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. - John 1:1
Five Minutes a Day
What if five minutes a day could change your day? Your life? What if five minutes a day could change your eternity?
Maybe this seems like an exaggerated claim. I can tell you this book has changed me and it is still changing me daily. It's given my life purpose and meaning. It's given my eternity hope. And because of this, my days - even my hardest days - know peace because my soul is anchored in love.
Friend, this is what I want for you. I want your life to have purpose and meaning. I want hope for your eternity. I want your days - even your hardest days - to know peace. I want your soul to feel the warm embrace of being anchored in love.
Is that worth five minutes a day? Is that worth waking up five minutes earlier or maybe five fewer minutes on social? This is something we each have to decide for ourselves. No one else can do this for us.
Like any change, it starts with a choice. We may make this choice on our own, but we are not on the journey alone.
First, we pray and ask for the Holy Spirit (think of this as our Helper) to help us make time for God's Word and give us a growing desire to be in it each day.
Then, let's start somewhere together. My favorite book is the Gospel of John.
John knew Jesus and writes so we will come to know Jesus for ourselves and believe in Him as the Savior of the world.
Believe - we're going to see this again and again and again.
Also, I've been told it takes 21 days to create a new habit. And guess what? The book of John is 21 chapters. We can read 1 chapter a day - just five minutes a day - and create a new habit that could not only change our days but our lives and our eternities!
It's my expectation and prayer that what may start as a conscious effort will soon grab our hearts and lead us to a growing desire.
Find your time, find your spot, and stay at it.
The desire will grow as we
Set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth. - Colossians 3:2
Ready, Set, START!
What if you miss a day? No bigs! There's grace for us in this. Just pick right back up.
I said we're in this together, and friend, I mean it. I recommend downloading the YouVersion Bible app. There, you can read it or push play and listen to it on your commute. Or, if you're a visual learner like me, you can watch the video. The Gospel of John is word for word the book of John with video context so you can engage while you learn.
May we find strength in the Word of God. May our joy for reading scripture grow as we intentionally choose to set aside time to spend reading it each day. May our peace overflow as the Word of God reads us and changes us from the inside out. Then, we will know rest this world cannot give.
Let's get started and read John 1 together:
And, here's what I'll be reading this week. I really hope you'll join me!
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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