"I don't have time." "I can't understand it." "It's too boring." These are some of the excuses that I had used for not reading the Bible. I had tried many times, but never succeeded in reading it all the way through.
But I love to read! There’s nothing better to me, than being so enthralled in a good book that I stay up late at night reading it. Just can’t put it down! And yet for many years as a Christian, I didn't read the Bible.
I'm not alone. Most homes in America have several Bibles, and yet they go unread.
What changed me?
It started with a prayer.
I prayed to be closer to God. He answered - "Read the Bible".
So I opened it and began to read. Remembering my past failures, I didn't expect to succeed. But maybe I would get a little farther this time. I was only focused on getting closer to God, not on how much I should read.
I started with the New Testament because the Old Testament had been frustrating and confusing to me. Those people and their customs were so different from today. The New Testament was easier to read and I could relate to the people. Jesus was right there in it and His words were comforting. So I read more and more. There was no pressure. No time limit. Just fellowship. It started becoming more alive and vibrant.
By the time I got to the Old Testament, I was starting to see things differently. It wasn't boring and confusing anymore. I saw that those Old Testament people were starting to look a lot like me! And there was Jesus! He was in the Old Testament too! He had been there all along. I just had never seen him.
Occasionally God put in little pauses where I would stop and ponder something that bothered me. God used these times to teach me some very important things. That was when I usually would have a "wow" moment.
Sometimes when I went to church, the pastor's sermon would line up with exactly what I was reading!
Suddenly I found my passion for the Bible had grown so much, I couldn't wait to get home to read it! I would stay up late at night glued to it! It was just as exciting as those novels that I read. Even better! Can't put it down! What has happened to me? Where did this passion come from?
It was the Holy Spirit that awakened me, and taught me, and changed me. Changed me forever. Changed me so much that others have noticed the difference in this Christian girl. That was some years ago and I still continue to read the Bible today. He continues to teach me new things, to mold me and change me.
The Bible truly transforms people!
Perhaps like me, you have tried many times to read the Bible and failed. - Just lost interest or didn't understand it.
How you can do it:
Pray - Ask God to awaken in you a passion for reading the Bible.
Don't wait for the perfect time, the perfect study Bible, the perfect reading plan or anything else.
Please just open up the Bible and start reading today.
Start reading the Bible and let God transform your life!
"Once, the Bible was just so many words to us -"clouds and darkness" - then, suddenly, the words become spirit and life because Jesus re-speaks them to us when our circumstances make the word new." Oswald Chamber
Editors note: There are still places in the world where people hunger all their lives to have a Bible. Please consider donating to organizations like Gideons International who give out Bibles all over the world.
(BibleWomen.org is not affiliated with the Gideons. We are just trying to share the truth of Jesus Christ with all!)
All Scripture is God breathed and profitable. 2 Tim 3:16
Meditate on it day and night. Joshua 1:8
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One of our family traditions for Christmas, is to have a birthday cake for Jesus. We started this when our children were younger, and have continued it through the years. This is a way to focus on the real reason that we celebrate Christmas, which is the birth of Christ. No matter how many desserts we have, one of them is always a birthday cake.
1. Incorporate Christian symbols into the cake such as:
You can also share the story of Christ's birth by reading Luke 2:1-20.
2. Keep it simple
Don't get overwhelmed trying to make a perfect cake. Whether it is homemade or store bought, just pick your favorite cake, and put "Happy Birthday Jesus" on it. The kind of cake you have is not as important as the memories that you are making and what you are teaching your children. Be sure to include them in the decorating.
Source: Ambrosia Bakery
My children decorated this cake all by themselves! They had a lot of fun doing it. As you can see, they ran out of room, and had to put Jesus's name on the side of the cake. There was a lesson to be learned from that also. (Always have room for Jesus!) :)
No matter where we spend Christmas, we always bring a birthday cake, and sing "Happy Birthday to Jesus"!
What are your family Christmas traditions?
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11 KVJ
What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving?
Pumpkin pie, turkey with all the trimmings, and spending time with family?
But,Thanksgiving is more than food, family, and fun.
It's about giving thanks to God!
When the Pilgrims first arrived in America, they endured many hardships. Yet, they still set aside a time to celebrate and give thanks to God. Among the things that they were grateful for were a bountiful harvest, new friendships, and the freedom to practice their Christian faith.
Often at Thanksgiving, we can get so focused on the planning, the cooking, and the busyness surrounding the holiday, that we don't take time to thank God. This year make a deliberate effort to focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Here are some simple and fun ways to keep Christ in Thanksgiving!
1. Pray - Our family tradition is to stand in a circle, holding hands, and pray together before we eat.
2. Scripture - Have each person read a Scripture out loud about thanks.
3. Thanking - Incorporate some thanking ideas like these:
Have each guest write on a piece of paper what they are thankful for. Then when you sit at the table, have them pass around the jar and read one out loud.
What you'll need: pumpkin and marker
Write your thanks on a pumpkin. Start writing on it before Thanksgiving. Each day, add a few things to the list. Just turn the pumpkin and write them down one after the other. This is fun for kids to do.
Thanksgiving memory book
Each year have guests write in the book, including their name and what they are thankful for. Put a group picture of everyone that was there. You will enjoy looking back through the years.
Supplies: tablecloth and markers
Have each guest sitting at the table write their name, the year, and what they are thankful for. The younger children can even draw pictures of what they are grateful for. Use it each year and have memories of who was there.
Thanksgiving blessing mix
What you'll need: treat bags and candies
Give your guests a blessing bag full of treats. Include a card with the symbolic meaning for each item. You can download and print this label card at ihavenogreaterjoy .
4. Read a book together which tells the true reason that we celebrate Thanksgiving.
5. Movies - Watch a movie that tells the Thanksgiving story.
6. Share the love of Christ - Invite someone who doesn't have family to join your celebration. (college student, co-worker, neighbor). Bring food to a homebound person. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
This year as you celebrate Thanksgiving, take time to thank God for your blessings.
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works. Psalm 9:1 NKJV
What are some Thanksgiving traditions that you have?
related link: Thanksgiving word puzzles
How should Christians handle Halloween? Should we participate at all?
Halloween provides a unique opportunity to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of the kids (and parents) who come to your door on Halloween, may never have heard about Jesus. They may never have read the Bible or gone to church. We should be using this opportunity to tell them about Christ!
1.) Pray in advance for God to give you the right words to say, and for Him to open the hearts and minds of unbelievers, so that they are receptive to God's word.
2.) Tell them about Christ - Even if you only have a short time to talk to them, you may be planting a seed. Do this with gentleness and respect.
3.) Scripture - The Bible says that God's word will not return void.
Isaiah 55:11 " ... it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
-Have a sign by your door with a Bible verse on it.
-In addition to candy, hand out pieces of paper with Scripture on them.
4.) Include Bible tracts with the candy that you give them. (Put them together in a little treat bag or rubber band the Bible tract around the candy.)
5.) Better yet, don't wait for them to come to your door. Go out to the streets to meet them. Tell them about Christ! Invite them to your church!
In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
This would be a great way to start!
Here is an example of a Bible tract.
The inside tells a short story about salvation. You could also include crayons for them to color the booklet.
This isn’t about putting up Halloween decorations, taking your children trick or treating, or promoting Halloween in anyway. This is about whether or not we should answer the doorbell when it rings on Halloween night. We can either turn the lights out and not engage them, or we can reach out to tell them about Christ! There is a difference between participating in Halloween, and recognizing that it is a mission field. If we don’t tell them about Christ, who will?
Pray and ask God what to do. There are many ways that He can use us!
-He may call some to go on the streets and preach the Gospel.
-Others to open the door and give out Christian literature.
-Others to keep the door closed and pray. We need mighty prayer warriors!
-Others to abstain from Halloween, altogether. Perhaps they have a history of dabbling in the occult, and it would be too great of a temptation for them.
Remember, this may be the only opportunity that some of these people have to hear about salvation through Jesus Christ.
Instead of turning the porch light off this Halloween, shine the light of Jesus!
Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…” Matt. 9:37-38
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16
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