Yesterday was gorgeous in our town. The sun was shining and the temperature got up to sixty degrees. It was perfect for spending the day outside, which is exactly what my boys did. I took them to the park for a couple hours, they played basketball, football and they went on a few bike rides. I love days like that! I'm thankful the weather was so nice, because today is a different story.
(Today the high is only in the lower thirties and we reached that in the wee hours of the morning.)
While they played outside, and after we had eaten lunch, I spent a couple hours doing this:
I'm reading the Bible chronologically again, but I'm doing the study that Iva May has written to go along with it. I've done a good job at staying caught up, but on the weekends, I get behind. I think that's just going to be the story of my life until my kids are grown and out of the house, but I'm okay with that. I use Monday's to get caught back up.
I AM LOVING THIS STUDY! I've read through the Bible before, but what Iva May has written to go along with what I am reading is life-changing. Somehow what she writes and the questions we have to answer are making me see things I've never noticed before. It's like something old and familiar is new again, and that is what I love. I think sometimes when I read the Bible, it's really familiar and I miss out on some important truths.
One thing I've learned so far in doing this, is that there are so many visuals of what Jesus did for us~dying on the cross. One theme that is in Genesis over and over and over again is that in order for us to be saved, innocent blood has to be shed on behalf of the guilty. Jesus was innocent, and His blood was shed on our (guilty) behalves. In the very beginning of Genesis, after Adam and Eve had sinned and were ashamed to face God, it says that He made coverings for them. What kind of coverings? Coverings from an animal~an innocent animal whose blood was shed so that Adam and Eve (who were guilty of sin) would no longer be naked. A few chapters later in Genesis, when Abraham was about to slay his only son (HIS ONLY SON~another picture of God giving His one and only Son so that we may have life), and then God provided an innocent animal to be sacrificed instead, that is yet another picture the Lord has given us.
Fast forward a few years to the crucifixion and death of Jesus.
Can you even imagine what God must have felt, watching His one and only Son be crucified on the cross? What Jesus must have felt when He cried out, asking God why He had forsaken Him? What God must have felt, hearing Him ask that question?
Something I know for certain: I don't know if I can ever look at the verse John 3:16 in the same way again. I think it's a verse that I take for granted, because it's one that I've had memorized since I was a little girl:
"For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
The blood of the innocent being shed on behalf of the guilty.
Does that get to you the same way it does to me?
If you only take one suggestion of mine, let it be this: study the word of God. The more we know His Word, the more we know Him...His character and how good He is. When you read, ask that your eyes might be opened to whatever new thing He wants to reveal to you. If you don't know where to get started, find a Bible reading plan to go by~there are so many on YouVersion to choose from. Or comment on this blog, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will try to help you in getting started. The point is to get started.
One other thing that I've heard/learned recently is this:
"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Romans 10:17
If you want to know Him, if you want that kind of faith that moves mountains, you have to read His word. Bottom line, end of story. That is why I study the Bible. People do the same thing for different reasons, but when I am constantly hungering and thirsting for His word (or "righteousness", like in Matthew 5:6), I am strengthening my faith and my walk with Him.
His word and my relationship with Him are the most important things in my life~He gives me the wisdom, the knowledge, the discernment, every little thing that I ever need~He gives it to me. He can do the same for you, if only you study this word that He has given us.
Well. I suppose I've said all that needs to be said for today. I pray you find time, no...I pray that you learn to MAKE time to get to know Him better.
Love to all.