I have a confession to make. I am NOT a religious Christian. I hear some people saying, “It’s not a religion; it’s a relationship.” I feel ya on that, but it’s becoming evident to me that God commands up to pray without stopping and to write His words on our hearts for a reason. We need to keep coming back to Him, being reminded who He is and who we are to Him.
I do not believe that we should read our Bibles like a daily chore, but I do believe we need to be in the Word daily. That seems contradictory, but our faith will starve if we don’t feed it.
This conviction is fresh and far more apparent to me than it has been in the 17+ years of following Christ. I have always been a person has to understand why something works before I’m willing to accept it. God is patient with this stubborn child. He’s showing me the why…
We have moved into a new neighborhood, and the drive to reach out to the families around us is strong. However…I feel myself pulling back. Why don’t I tell people that they are sinners in need of a Savior? I really started pondering that question, and I had a real come-to-Jesus-meeting with, well, Jesus. I asked myself and sought God in prayer…”Do I not believe they are going to go to Hell if they don’t come to Christ? Because if I really believed that, wouldn’t I be more compelled to tell them about Christ and beg them to come to Jesus? If I do believe, do I not love them enough to share Christ? Do I not care if they go to hell?” Wowza. Talk about a conversation to knot your stomach.
Fast forward to today when I was having a discussion with a friend about a doctrine we disagree on, and I couldn’t refute what she was saying. I know what I’ve believed most of my life. I even know there are scriptures to support it. But I wasn’t ready. Again with the knotted stomach.
Friends, I have been a Christian for almost two decades. I have read through the Bible, front to back. And yet, the Bible isn’t fresh in my mind, because I don’t study it regularly. I believe in God, and I have been faithful to Him in many ways, but I’m a Christian slacker. Without those constant reminders of Truth, my convictions about what I believe and about sharing that message with others has seriously waned.
I have reasons to believe that we meet God in all sorts of ways, and being in nature is one of my favorites. However, Deuteronomy 11:18 says, “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead” (NASB). That is not an image of a person who reads the scriptures once and then goes about his life, only communing with God in the ways he enjoys. The Bible was given to us as a gift and a command, and it should be a constant in our lives.
You want to know what is constant in my life? Eating. Sleeping. Showering. Working. Mothering. Wifing (Is that a word? I just made it a word). Facebook and Instagram (I loathe myself). Housework. Schoolwork. Reading other books.
How many life lessons is God going to have to teach me before I make [TIME WITH JESUS] a constant? So here’s a challenge for me and for anyone else out there who is a terrible Christian (Ha!)…Choose one thing that you do daily to which you can say, “Not until I read my Bible.” You know you want to do that thing that you do everyday. Use that as a catalyst for making your communion with God a habit. If you have trouble concentrating, putting the Scriptures in context, or understanding what you’re reading, grab a Bible study guide and allow it to guide you. Chances are, once you are deep into a study, your learning and growth in Christ will far surpass what the author even considered when he or she set out to write it. Just pick a starting point and go from there.
For now, I’m off to bed…but not until I read my Bible. Let’s do this thing.