If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
We’ve been on vacation with our youngest son and his friend. Being away from people, email, and technology reminded me how many messages soak into your psyche without effort.
Sexuality, violent images, political rants, even everyone’s perfect life on social media–the messages pour into your mind and heart, emitting subtle lies defining your day, your belief system, and faith.
A decluttered mind reset my thirst for God’s word. It’s easy to forget about reading the Bible because Bible verses appear on Instagram and Facebook and Bible teaching is prevalent with podcasts (even my own).
But reading about the Bible is different than reading the Bible. It’s like reading about a celebrity rather than knowing the celebrity personally. The amazing thing about the Bible is that by reading it, you get to know God himself. You don’t learn this through meditation, yoga, stillness, or contemplative prayer.
You learn about God’s character through His word. When you know his character, you learn to trust and love him.
Christians are moving away from reading the Bible for personal application and growth. That’s just where Satan wants us. As I’ve reconnected with some New Testament books I haven’t read in a while, I’m reminded of 5 ways Scripture changes your life.
1. Scripture is life-giving. Hebrews 4:12 says the word of God is living and active. Human words are not living. The Bible is written by the word and breath of God. Scripture has meaning and life that is interpreted by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
God’s word meets us where we are. It speaks to situations because it is God himself giving us counsel, wisdom, and insight through his Spirit who lives inside of those who have received his Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord.
2. Scripture convicts you of sin. Perhaps that’s why fewer people are reading the Bible. Traditional Bible versions reveal God’s holiness and convicts you of offenses against God and others. I’ve been convicted to “love one another deeply” from various verses in 1 Peter. I’m convicted of God’s desire for us to love and glorify him. We can’t glorify him when we engage in sin. Sin is about our relationship with God. The world and worldly Christianity won’t tell you that. God’s word will.
3. Scripture provides the answer for sin, which is a person, Jesus Christ. A relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the source of everything that’s life-giving. His death and resurrection is payment for our sin and is the victory over spiritual and physical death. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Scripture convicts, but it also gives hope.
4. Scripture reveals God’s nature. As you read the 66 books of the Bible, you’ll see all facets of God’s character. You learn you can trust him. You see him interact with love and discipline, redemption and conviction throughout both the Old and New Testaments. You see he is complete and faithful. You see that God’s nature is as true today as it was thousands of years ago. “I, the Lord, do not change” says Malachi 3:6.
5. Scripture changes you. My sinful nature and yours is great, but God’s transformation is greater. An eating disorder, anger, sexual sin, un-forgiveness, and a host of other sins have been changed in my life from cleansing truth of God’s word. When you submit your fleshly desire to God’s word and the lordship of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit changes you.
Friends, God’s word is sufficient for all of your needs. It is God’s living, breathing word, of which Christ is the fulfillment. False teaching in the Christian faith is dishonoring and devaluing the Bible.
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false prophets among you. They will secretly introduce heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 2 Peter 2:1-3.
Please read God’s word. You don’t need a commentary or a Bible study guide. Just open his word and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his truth to you.
When you do, I’d love to hear from you. How has his word changed you? What are you learning from it? Please share with me!
News from the ministry:
- Will you consider being on my prayer team? If so, email me at email@example.com. I have been in the trenches teaching hard topics this winter (abuse, boundaries, porn, and the like) and need prayer support in ministry, just as a pastor needs prayer support from his church.
- New resources:
- the Life Beyond the Picket Fence podcast (subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, or check the links in your email for each Wednesday’s show)
- the Mom’s Life Beyond the Picket Fence Facebook group for moms raising kids from babies to teens.
- the Fledge Parent Facebook Forum--for moms in the years of raising and releasing kids. We are studying Fledge weekly, and ready for chapter 12 “Setting Boundaries” on Monday’s broadcast.
- the Life Beyond the Picket Fence toolkit for new subscribers to the blog. If you’re a current subscriber, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and say “Resources” and I will send you the link to access to these resources:
- 10 Ways Busy Women Find Rest
- A downloadable prayer sheet
- 5 Ways to Heal Hurt infographic
- Mom’s Night Out with Katie Reid, Lee Nienhuis and Amelia Rhodes at Baker Book House on Thursday, April 25, 6:30-8. It’s a mini-retreat and it’s free!
- We are scheduling women’s retreats, parent retreats, and conference speaking for 2020. Share my information with your women’s ministry leader, conference planners, or influencers in your local area. I am burdened with an urgency in today’s generation.
- Pray with me for two book projects seeking a publisher. Thank you!
I appreciate you, faithful readers. How can I pray for you?