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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Read This

Do you struggle with reading your Bible? Are you one of the many who just can't seem to "get into it." I want to share with you some facts I found today.

58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school
42% of college graduates never read another book after graduation
80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year
70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years
57% of new books are not read to completion
And most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased.

Wow, after reading this it is no wonder we have a hard time reading the Bible. Think about it, compared to most books on the self, the Bible has way more pages, can be difficult to understand and the thought of trying to read it all the way from Genesis to 'Maps' can be very overwhelming.

Please know that you are not alone in your struggle, but please don’t let the uneasiness of the task stop you from getting started either. How many things in life of great value and significance are easy? If something has great reward, it usually requires great work. Case in point… an education, great marriages and living a healthy lifestyle, none of these come easy, but the rewards far outweigh the work.

The rewards of learning, living and loving the Word will far outweigh the work you invest in it too. So today I want to give you a few tips to help you get started or to help you as you continue your lifestyle of reading God’s Word.

#1 You have to commit to do it. You will never complete what you do not start. If you never commit to start exercising, you will never do it. It first takes a made up mind. And ladies, that’s half the battle. If you have to write it down and remind yourself everyday of your commitment, than do it. Whatever helps you reach your goal, that's what you need to do. Commit to it and do it.

#2 Be in it. If you do not go to the gym or put on the exercise DVD or step out the door to walk your neighborhood, don’t think just because you made a commitment to do it that it’s going to get done. You have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Those who practice a consistent pattern of daily reading soon discover it to be “more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10

#3 Live it. Most books that you will read are designed to be read and digested. The Bible on the other hand is a living book. For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 12:14 (NLT) Because it is alive it becomes a part of who you are, how you think and what you do.

Why is it necessary to commit to, be in and live out the Word? Jesus talked about people who built their lives on shifting sand- their own logic, best guesses and latest reasoning. When the storms of life begin to rage, the lives on weak foundations crumbled. But Jesus also said in Matthew 7, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock."

When your life is founded on the rock of God’s never changing Word, it is guaranteed against destruction. I agree it can be very difficult to just open your Bible and start reading expecting an explosion of knowledge to be unleashed and then be discouraged when it's not. Please let me recommend that you get a great devotional or a Bible study and start there. Two of my favorites are by Beth Moore, Jesus: 90 Days with the One and Only & David: 90 Days with a Heart Like His.

Maybe you have seen what sandy foundations can do, maybe you did not just see it, but lived it. Now, together let’s purpose to experience what a solid foundation can do and produce in our lives; wholeness, life, freedom, love, security, peace, joy and all the good things only God can and desires to bestow upon our lives.

I want nothing more than for your life to be the best it can be. That will only happen when you truly commit to study and live the Word of God. Remember your reward will far exceed your work. And honestly, after a period of time, it no longer becomes a struggle you dread but a blessing you desire.

Happy reading,
Tina

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