It has been an incredible year for my relationship with God. He has worked in me such that I have given more of my life to him.
Before some point in 2010, I multi-tasked on God by praying daily during my early morning walk with the dogs. Once in awhile I would kneel by my bed to pray, but most often my time with Him was during that walk, interrupted by verbal commands to “Leave it”.
When I began devoting special time to prayer, I also became more diligent about recording requests, answers, and praises in my prayer journal. Paging through the journal helps remind me to include something I might otherwise have forgotten, and it enables me to check off prayers that are answered. I also feel more connected with my Heavenly Father. Making God first is so important.
I have been reading the Bible more frequently – almost daily. It has never been just a simple act of reading for me. I take notes. Since I’ve had my Study Bible, I record some of the commentary and life application notes that I did not have when I read through the same passages previously. As I study, I note a verse I want to memorize.
Previous to the last four or five months, I was able to recall the exact wording of fewer verses than I thought I should. I would memorize one or two, then have difficult recalling either the location or the wording after I had moved on to others. If you are in the same category, don’t get too frustrated. If you’re like me, even without being able to perfectly recite Scripture, through it, you may know God well enough, through reading of the fulfillment of prophecies and promises, through the examples of the least likely people for his purpose, and more, that you can do what he says, know how much he loves you, and know what it means to be saved.
On my dog-walk, with no prayer to occupy my mind, I began reciting Scriptures aloud to increase my ability to memorize them. It has worked very well. I should not be surprised. When you place God first, He makes other things work out.
Reading the Bible is crucial. It enables us to really know God. To obey God. To separate truth from the false teachings that have become dangerously common among leaders that rely on you to not know the Bible that would contradict them. The false teachings are what have led to “Christianity in Crisis”, as Bible Answer Man, Hank Haanegraaf, phrases it.
Note: Knowing the Bible as a scholar knows a textbook does not mean anything to God. What matters is that we do what it says.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says: 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In my next post, I am going to review the past year, as briefly as possible by related Scripture to each of several months that have something noteworthy to include.
Happy New Year!