I am thrilled to have Jen Ferguson joining us on The Scenic Route today! Jen is one of the few blogging friends I had the opportunity to meet(in real life) this past summer at the She Speaks Conference. And, yes, she’s just as sweet in person.
If you have not yet discovered Jen’s loving and growing community over at Finding Heaven, I encourage you to check it out!
Changed by the Word
I saw “2010” printed in blue ink above the date, “October 11.” One year ago, I began my journey with the One Year Bible, and yesterday, without even noticing, I had completed my goal – to read the entire Bible.
And how ironic that just on Sunday, as I Skyped with my father, he asked me this:
“Does it really make a difference in your life if you read the Bible every day? If you read the entire Bible?”
“Um, yeah, Dad. It does.”
“How is your life changed since you started?” he asks me.
I had only a few minutes to reflect before I answered him, but now, after pondering for a few days, I have a fuller understanding of how the Word has changed me.
For all the ways that reading scripture daily has changed my life, I can boil it down to this statement:
I know God better.
Because I know more of His character, more of His heart, more of His desires for me and mankind, I am more willing and able to be transformed by His Word – that which is written in the pages and that which He whispers to me through His Holy Spirit as He prompts me to act in the world.
Because my foundation in scripture is so much richer, I am able to minister to others not just with my own opinions, but rather with God’s truths and encouragements.
Because I have read the Old Testament stories, I better understand the relentless pursuit of God for His people. Even in the middle of reading about His wrath, I can see the love that is behind the discipline. I know what it is like to cast idols as the Israelites did, even though mine do not take the form of golden calves. And I know what it like to then have those idols disappoint. I realize now that even though there is pain in the smashing of the idols, it is a necessary practice, for He wants nothing to separate us.
Because I have read the New Testament, I understand more deeply the sacrifice of the cross, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and what it means to truly be a disciple of Jesus.
Because I have read the struggles of Paul and Peter, who did everything they possibly could for God, I know you can still suffer hardships. Even though the comforts of this world may be taken away, He will never abandon you. The things of this world fade away but His love really does endure forever.
Because I have read the Psalms, I know it is okay to pour out my fears, my worries, my thoughts to God, no matter how bad they might be. I know that He will listen, that my help comes from Him, that He is my refuge and strength.
Because I have read the Proverbs, I have many nuggets of truth to tuck into my heart, nuggets that pop into my head at just the right moment, nuggets that help me to discern the best choice in a situation.
And, finally, because I have read each of His Words, I have so many truths to speak out in the face of affliction, persecution, suffering, worry, and fear. I have a tool with which to fight the daily battles, big and small. Even though I am still learning how to wield this sword of the Spirit, I am so much more prepared for this life than I ever thought I could be.