It’s no secret that I am addicted to books. I love all types of books and I love to learn. Almost every time we go to a college campus, I get the itch to go back to school. I know to some this sounds like I have some kind of sickness, but I am for sure a nerd at heart.
I was raised in a conservative Christian home. My Mom was a pastor and my Dad was always teaching or involved in ministry somehow. Every time the doors of the church were open, we were there. Often times, as we drove home from church my Dad would ask me what the sermon was about. He would ask me what I learned, and if I believed what I learned. If I said yes, then he would argue with me (even if he agreed with me). He wanted to make sure I understood enough to fight for what I believed in. Often times, I would dig into our massive library to prove why I believed what I did.
After high school, I went to a bible college were I was encouraged to read and study the word. I had classes specifically designed to help me dig deep. Dan graduated college with a ministerial degree, so our library is full of books and tools to help me understand the word.
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve are in the garden, and the snake comes and encourages them to eat the fruit. God had told Adam and Eve they had complete freedom in the garden, however they were to leave that specific fruit alone. The very first thing the enemy said to Adam and Eve is “Did God really say, you must not eat from any tree in the garden?”
Friends, the enemy hasn’t changed since that day in that garden. He is still sneaking in and asking us “Did God really say?” The enemy knows that if he can get us to doubt what God says, he can get us to doubt everything. The only way we can know what God is saying is to read His word. Its in the pages of that book that we learn about His character.
All my life, I have been surrounded with the tools to read and love the word, however for a good portion of my life reading the bible felt like a chore. It felt like another thing that I wasn’t doing well. It was another thing that caused me guilt. Another thing that meant I didn’t add up. When we started walking through delayed fertility I felt myself falling apart. I believed I was broken and forgotten. I was relying on worship songs, sermons and things others were saying to tell me what God was saying. While none of those things are wrong, I was missing out on the relationship with my Father.
Imagine if you never spent time with your spouse or your best friend. If you only relied on what others told you about your spouse or your best friend, would you trust their character? If you only relied on what others told you about your spouse of best friend, I bet you would begin to wonder if the information others were sharing is true. Our relationship with God is the same way. Worship songs, sermons and books about our God are good, but it’s not the same as developing a daily relationship with him.
It wasn’t until I dug into the pages of my bible that I found myself. My journey with delayed fertility isn’t easy, however I can walk through hard times because I know what God says. I know I am not broken and I know what He has promised me. I know that my God doesn’t lie and I know He has a plan that is good. Don’t get me wrong, the bible isn’t a book about self-discovery. The bible is a book about discovering God. However, the more I learn about the character of God, the more I learn about myself.
If your Bible feels like a source of guilt to you, I encourage you to check you motives. Ask yourself, are you reading because you feel like it’s the right thing to do? Or are you reading because you genuinely desire to cultivate a friendship with God? This is a hard soul searching type of question, because no matter how much other people try to train you and encourage you, only you can fall in love with your Bible for yourself. No one else can do this for you.
Now let’s be real, there have been seasons of my life where I have not made time to read the bible. I have allowed myself to believe I am to busy and I have forgotten the gift that reading the bible is. Psalm 119:77 says this:
Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight.
It’s important to understand the Bible is a gift and a get-to. What do I mean by that? The Bible is a useful, relevant and unchanging book that provides us with encouragement, correction and training. It’s a gift from God to us. When I view the bible as a gift, something that I get to do to get to know my Father better, it changes my attitude. When I view the bible as a gift, it becomes a priority.
When I felt God tell me to create a blog, it terrified me. I am not sure what scared me more – that no one would read or that everyone would read! However, writing has become a blessing. My prayer is that God would continue to use this space to change my life and the lives of those who read my words. I am by no means an expert in studying the word, however several months ago I felt led to share how I study. With that in mind, I have spent the last several months trying different study methods to see what I really loved. Click the links below to read more:
As you dig deep into the Word, I know you will undoubtedly fall more in love with Jesus. As you fall more in love with Jesus, I know your life will be forever changed. My prayer for you is that you develop a love for God’s Word that’s unquenchable. Psalm 107:9 promises this in passion translation:
How he satisfies the souls of thirsty one and fills the hungry with all that is good!