Friday, August 6

My unscientific way of reading the Bible

Many months ago, many, many months - I read an article wherein the author stated they were free in Christ to not read the Bible and not to pray and they expounded on how wonderful that felt and how it had been months since they had opened God's Word and how this was a gift of grace and there was no condemnation for them.

"Those who trust in their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe." Proverbs 28:28 NLT

How could I not feel sad for that author? How could you not sense the pride in their words and feel grief over them, the loss of reliance on their saviour, the flippant use of incredible, undeserving, divine grace to excuse their neglect?


If you are a sinner, like me, relying on our own guidance to get us through each day is not an pleasant option. God's Word to me is so much. I don't pick up my Bible in the quiet of each morning because of guilt or unseen obligation but because it is life and breath of my day. Keeping God's words settled in my mind and heart from the start of each day is what gives me strength as a mother. I think this is what people sense when they comment to me that I "must have a special gift to raise children". It's no special, only for Hannah thing, its the life and breath and sustenance available to any believer or unbeliever for what God has called you to do - and so I find myself gritting my teeth to bare comments like that one. Meditating, or keeping near in my mind, the words of strength and life of God is such an empowering, peace bringing thing.

Currently, I am reading through the books of Proverbs and the book of John and here's my simple, unscientific reasoning as to why. As a parent, I realize more each day how I need God's wisdom in raising our children and the book of Proverbs is a great place to acquire godly wisdom. My children get the benefit of my gleanings. For instance, if you ask them what starting a fight is like, they will tell you that "Starting a fight is like tearing the walls of your city down, so stop before you start". I love that most of the proverbs are simple one or two liners that are quick learning for myself and my kids.

The book of John is where I am reading about Jesus' life here on earth. I've read it, no doubt, countless times before, but now I am taking time to stop and pray over the life applications I see the holy spirit putting before me as I read. I am reading it slowly and methodically, resting on the words and letting them sink into my heart.

King David speaks about the joys and delight of meditating on God's words and laws throughout Psalm 19. "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." I think that when we come to a point where we don't feel a need to read the Bible, or don't have a grieving in our spirit when we've neglected seeking to know God through His word - that is when we need to be concerned for ourselves. What greater way for us to be deceived, if our hearts and minds aren't being filled with truth on a daily basis to counteract the life, moral, and political deception presented so sweetly in the media? And this is the pot calling the kettle black, because there are certainly times in my life where I have neglected my portion of getting to know my saviour and the effort of keeping his thoughts in my thoughts.


The bookmark in my Bible marks which chapter of Proverbs I've read last. Proverbs is especially poignant and memorable and so I have no problem recalling which words I read last. In the book of John, a sticky note marks off where I will begin reading the next morning. My Bible has a home on our mantel, where I can be sure to find it when I come downstairs and where it is up from little hands during the day.

What about you? What is particular to your personal study time and what gives you strength as a mother?


Celee said...

I couldn't agree more with you! How can we be transformed by the renewing of our minds if we're not in God's Word? How, in fact, can the Spirit of God work in us and through us if we're not in God's Word? A person's love for the Bible is probably a good indicator of their spiritual life. Can someone really belong to God and have no interest in knowing Him? Crazy!


Ways of Zion said...

The Proverbs are simply wonderful! hubby is organizing the morning devotions this year for the school the kidlets go to (CHC) and they have also choosen Proverbs....such gems of wisdom in it!

We have been going through Psalms one by one in sister's class...and are at Psalm 40.

When I'm feeling really low I like to simply open my Bible and read where it falls open.

One study I particularily enjoyed was of mothers in Scripture. specifically those that couldn't have children until God opened their womb....amazing stuff there.

We follow a daily reading planner as a family that takes us through the Bible in a year. There are three readings a day, 2 OT and 1 NT (because the OT is so much longer) we do one of the reading sections with the children and then finish them together after they are tucked into bed. Right now we are reading through 2 Samuel with the kidlets and they are loving it...especially the boy!

Della said...

I do tire of people using God's grace as a free license. Those people tend to think that once they gain salvation from sin that they are free to do whatever they want. And to a point we are free to do what we want...but not without consequence. We have been bought, we are property of Jesus Christ. We can stop praying and reading our Bible,a but there will be consequences, broken fellowship, disaster. The fact that the author didn't feel any condemnation makes me worry if they've truly got salvation. I know for a fact it bothers me when I don't pray and read. Thanks for this, Hannah. Hope all is well with you and your crew.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My college age son recently told me he at least tries to read a chapter of Proverbs each day, as I taught him when he was younger.

He is so busy with college and a job. Now he's also moving into a Christian co-op on campus which has its' own responsibilities (although they do have a required weekly Bible study).

My daughter loves the Psalms like I do. I find myself on busy days opening my Bible and having it fall open itself to the Psalms.

Of course, there is the necessity of deep studies, too. These are our "when life is out of control" ways to keep in the Word. :)

It is that Word that gives human mothers eternal wisdom.

Mindy said...

This year I'm reading through the Old Testament and I've recently started listening to the New Testament on cds. I plan to start playing it more even if it's in the background while I do my housework. I'm finding new perspective as I listen to the order of the familar stories.

Mrs. Mike and kids said...

Very wonderfully put. I thank God for those who can put into words what is in my heart.

Tasha said...

I recently came across your blog and am SO happy I did. I have been better about spending time with my daily readings, but right now is not one of them. I needed to read this post this morning. THANK YOU! I am a stay at home with 5 year old twin boys. We will begin homeschooling next month. I know the only way I will be sure to make it through these days ahead is to start my morning opening up God's word. Thanks again.....I am using this as a reminder from God.

Karen G. said...

I know this. Though I don't necessarily have a really scientific method of when and what I'll read, I start in a book and read it through until I've read all of it. I try and read a bit from both the Old and New Testaments when I have my devotions. However, there are days when I neglect this -- I am human. I do try to read daily because I really need the strength that His word gives me. I've gotten to where I am today solely because of Him and I cannot thank Him enough. Grace is fine at times but shouldn't be a "cover all" excuse to not read or follow His word. Thanks for the lovely post.

Nancy said...

Proverbs is one of my favorite books!