Sunday, January 17, 2016

Daily Bible Reading Challenge

   At the beginning of this year I challenged you to read the Bible every day (with the goal of reading it all in one year) and then strive to learn from it and let in change your life. I have been working on that (the applying it to my life is always a work in progress) and I am hopeful that you are too or that you would be willing to.

   On Sundays I am going to do something different this year. As I read the Bible each week I am going to be asking myself some questions. My goal is to truly learn and grow from my reading - not just read to be able to mark it down on a chart. So the questions are these:

  • What did I read that causes me to worship God more? Is there a character trait of His mentioned that causes me to love him more? Is there a record of something great that He did?
  • What Scripture touched my heart? Basically just what verse really jumped out at me as what I need to hear and learn from just now.
  • What can I apply to my life? What from what I read just now do I really want to try to put into action? What action can I take?
  • Did I learn any interesting facts? Either from the scripture itself or from study I did to learn more about the scriptures that I am reading.
I will be thinking about these things every time I read and jotting things down throughout the week and then share a favorite answer from each category to share with you on Sunday. If you would like I thought it would be really fun if you would do the same and then share your answers each Sunday in the comments.

 So here we go for what I read this past week.....

What did I read that causes me to worship God more?
Matthew 10:28-31 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows."

From this I am reminded that God is in charge.  That he can protect us from the very worst possibility which is Hell. I also am reminded that God knows us intimately and really truly cares about us. That definitely leads me to worship. 

What Scripture touched my heart?
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

These verses really jumped out at me because I read them not long after a discussion with a friend where she had mentioned not feeling at peace or at rest and I was trying to figure out how to describe the peace and rest that I have found. I realize that there are many people who don't feel at rest or at peace both people of the world and those that are trying to follow Jesus. This verse says to me that God's plan for us is to have rest for our souls. I want to help others to get to that place.

What can I apply to my life?
Matthew 16:24-26 "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

  These verses made me just really stop and think- Am I really denying myself to follow Jesus? How can I better forget about the fleshly, proud me and instead focus on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and follow Him? Do I try to hang on to my ideas? My dreams? Have I truly laid it all at His feet and submitted my life story to Him? This is something that I have done but I think it is something we need to also be continually doing and sometimes we(I) get distracted from that. This is something that I will be praying for the Holy Spirit's leading in this week. I will be looking for ways that I should be denying my fleshly ideas in order to better live for His glory.

Did I learn any interesting facts?
When I was reading in Matthew 15:21-28 about the Syrophoenician woman there were some things that made my wonder and to search further:
  • Where were Tyre and Sidon? I didn't remember though I am sure I have studied it before in Bible college or some class. I found them on my map and they are North and West of the Sea of Galilee on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is 35 miles from Capernaum to Tyre. It is impressive how much walking Jesus and his disciples would have done getting around from place to place. 
  • The Canaanites of the area were a people that were very into Fertility rituals with the gods and goddesses.
So that is some of my gleanings from reading the Bible this past week. I actually read in Matthew, Luke and Genesis but ended up choosing everything from Matthew.

  What did you read this past week? I would love it if you would care to share some of what you were touched by in what you read!


Abbigail Gutierrez said...

This is really encouraging, I will be looking forward to these posts! I too decided to make my morning bible reading a daily thing regardless of what's going on. And also attempting to read through the bible this year. I've never successfully done that part. I am doing it a little different this time and it's been quite interesting for me. I'm splitting it up and reading 1 chapter from several different books and comparing them as well. It's neat to see how sometimes they all line up with each other even though there are different stories. I like the questions you have posted and will try to answer those as well.

Abbi said...

Abbigail, (It is fun to see someone else with their name spelled that way!) Thanks for your comment. I am so happy to hear that you also are working to read through the Bible. I will be looking forward to hearing what insights you have found through the week each Sunday!

Abbigail Gutierrez said...

I also go by Abbi :) it is a treat to see someone else with that name!

SpicingUpIdaho said...

Really good thoughts Abbi! I love how you are seeking after the Lord and asking Him to open more understanding to you, even in familiar passages. This is a wonderful way for the Lord to teach us greater things, and I desire that so much.

I have been reading in Esther, and there are many things that I have learned, or thought about while reading/studying this book. It is a great way to study and learn more about the Lord, opening your heart and asking the Lord to show you more than what just meets the eye in a familiar passage or story.

May the Lord bless your heart for Him today! :)

JES said...

Great gleanings! And when asking these questions as we read, we do absorb more! Thank you for sharing this challenge on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

Abbi said...

I enjoyed so much hearing from you all and hearing of your desire to read and absorb God's word as well.


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