I remember the first time my Papaw Burns asked me to read my bible all the way through. What?! I can't do that! Have you seen the size of it? He assured me that I only needed to read 4-5 pages a day to have it read in a year, and that it would grow my faith.
I was in high school and “had better things to do”. Plus, he was a preacher so that was his JOB right?
Fast forward to me being 22 years old. My Papaw was unexpectedly called home.
At the funeral, the preacher spoke of my Papaw's life. He called him a “consistent Christian”, and went on to explain that the same man you saw at Walmart was the same man you saw at church.
My heart sank. I knew I was not a “consistent Christian”. I claimed to love Jesus, but my life didn't reflect it.
After his funeral, I made a vow to read my bible all the way through for Papaw. I had NO idea what I was signing up for.
I was not prepared for the transformation God would do in my heart through the reading of His word. Scripture came alive and I saw the Bible stories I had heard as a child in their actual context.
God showed me His redemptive plan to choose and save a rebellious people like the Israelites. I found myself relating to them so often!
I have since realized there is a verse that says “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
This is EXACTLY what happened to me. The word of God began discerning my heart and showing me the areas of my life that were not pleasing to God. I was at a cross roads. I could fully surrender my life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, or I could continue on my way pretending I had not just realized how rebellious I was.
Thank the Lord, HE didn’t leave me in my rebellion. So, I wish I would have listened to papaw sooner, but I’m so thankful for God’s grace and mercy meeting me where I was that day!
By the way, it took me 2 years not 1. I camped out in areas, and missed some days.
I learned through the process that it was more about my RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, not just checking daily reading off my list. God is so good and patient with us!
If you have never read your Bible from cover to cover, I encourage you to do it!! It is a blessing beyond comparison to all the little trinkets the world offers us.
I tend to agree with Mr. Spurgeon, “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”