Sunday, May 26, 2013

Our Daily Bread

Simply put, this blog is about reading the Bible. In the past year I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit for going about my life and not reading the Bible as often as I should. Therefore in the past year, I try to do everything I can to read something from the Scriptures every single day, and have a quiet time with God. This has helped me tremendously in my faith and my relationship with God. In this blog I will tell my view on how reading the Bible daily has sustained me, and ways that it may help you!

Jesus prays to our Father in Matthew 6:11 about receiving daily bread. We need bread or food to eat daily to maintain physical strength. I believe we also need spiritual bread. I believe we receive our spiritual bread from reading the Scriptures. The Scriptures feed us and nurture us to remain full and healthy in our faith. One of the most important things we can do to remain focused on Christ and what He did for us is to read the Scriptures. The Scriptures are real testimonies, experiences, or stories of our ancestors, and show us how God has been present and worked through their lives. In this world full of evil desires and sin, we must immerse ourselves in the Word to remain a light in the darkness. There are so many distractions that surround us daily. Satan works efficiently through distractions. Satan tries whatever he can to deceive us and interrupt our personal relationship with Christ. Keeping us distracted is the easiest way, and possibly the most effective way that he works. That is why we must continually stay focused on our purpose in life. Staying focused on the Word is one of the easiest, and possibly the most effective ways to stay on track and not get distracted. It works to fight against what Satan is trying to do. I find that when I read the Bible each day, my heart is continually being renewed and my passion for God becomes greater and greater.

The Word protects our hearts for when we are tested for our faith. The more we read the Scriptures, the more we will be able to recite passages and verses that can, and will help guide us when we are being tempted and tried. When troubles arise, verses will start coming to mind; and parables that Jesus taught will begin to take a part in our lives and have more meaning. Also, when we are having to defend our faith to non-believers, we will have the Word with us if we come to the point of memorizing Scripture. This comes in time, and the more we read the more we will learn. Jesus was able to quote Scripture when He was tempted by Satan, as we see in the beginning of Matthew and Luke. Satan would tempt Jesus with Scripture, but Jesus would resist temptation with the truth! How great it would be for us to be able to quote Scriptures in truth for when we are being tempted or tried! Continually reading the Word every day helps us to see the truth in the passages.

Here are some tips on what has helped me for when I read the Bible. First, you should pray that God guides you and points out the truths of each passage you read. You may desire to take from the Scriptures what you want them to say, but God may want to show you the truth in the passage. If I have time, it has been good for me to get a mix of about three different sections of the Bible. The first section would be one of the gospels ( Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John), or the epistles (the letters of Peter, Paul, or John). This is where we see the teachings of Jesus and begin to have a personal relationship with Christ. This is what guides our faith of Christianity, by reading the parables and about the life of Jesus. If you are low on time, I would say the gospels and the epistles are the most important passages to read each day. The epistles are where we see applications for the teachings of Jesus, and instructions for how we should apply His teachings to our lives. The second section would be something from either Psalms or Proverbs. These are songs of praise and words of wisdom. These are good to meditate on; a lot of the Psalms are good for praying and worship to God. The third would be the stories of the Old Testament. These are good to read because they teach us about who our God is, and show us the origins of our faith. They also show signs of Christ's coming and give more depth to His purpose. You can read these sections in any particular order. If have enough time I will usually start off with a passage from the Old Testament, then go on to a Psalm, and then one of the gospels or an epistle. Otherwise, I will just be sure to read the gospels or one of the epistles.

In order to get the full context, you have to ask yourself a few things about each passage: Who wrote it? Who is it written to? And why was it written? These questions will help you be able to focus on the meaning or purpose of each passage, and give you a base of understanding of what you are reading. Reading the Scriptures make Christ alive in us, and give us a new purpose to our lives. Going through the Bible together with a few others is a great way to hear different truths that each of you may have found in a passage. There are usually many truths to one passage that we each might  see differently. I urge you to stay in the Word, and pray that the Holy Spirit transforms your heart to be open to what it has to say, so that you may have a closer relationship with God our creator, and Jesus Christ our Lord!