I read a new Bible every year, and my new year starts over in August. Which is weird, I know. My inner-OCD really wants my annual start-over to fall on January 1. However, after years of unsuccessful New Year’s resolutions to read the Bible in a year, I realized that there’s no time like the present to read God’s Word. August, it was. August, it is.
This year, with a new Bible and new translation, came another change. A big one. I stopped writing My Grace-Full Life as a daily blog. That first week was so strange; it felt weird not to write every morning because I’d been doing it for so long. I started the blog in November 2016 (happy blogiversary to me this month!), and started writing daily prayer prompts in March 2017. It was a 30-day challenge that came and went, but the daily writing continued for 1264 straight days. Now, I am only writing once a week—a blog on Fridays.
It was a hard decision. But the right one. I prayed about the decision for months before it was made. I was so worried that others would think the reason for my decision was selfish—because the truth was—I quit daily writing because I needed to invest more in my own personal Bible study. I couldn’t do it all, and I needed more from my morning quiet time.
For over three years, I’ve been up and at ’em around 5:30, so I could read the Bible, write in my journal, and then—write My Grace-Full Life and have it published by 8 AM, so my MailChimp subscription could get the blog out to those who subscribe to the e-mail version. But that’s all I was doing—reading the Bible. Some may think I’m splitting hairs, but honestly—the difference has been staggering. I was struggling for months because I craved more. I wanted more time in the Word, and I wanted to get beyond the words on the page to understand the more in-depth complexities of God’s Holy Word. Now, I’m reading the Bible in tandem with the Believer’s Bible Commentary, as well as researching the word nuances in far more depth. It’s study time like I haven’t had since….well, I was going to say college, but the better word is “ever.” I’ve never studied this hard in my life.
Because here’s the thing—the Bible was never meant to be a one-and-done kind of book. There is so much depth to it. In Joshua 1:8, we are told to meditate on the Word of God both day and night. And Jesus Himself said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63 NKJV). These are words that have been alive and active for over 2000 years! The words that the writer of Hebrews described as “a living, two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12).
The more we read of God’s Word, the more we will crave it. The more we seek His will, the more we will be in tune and aligned with it. And for me, that wasn’t going to happen by simply reading Bible verses. I needed to get in there and do a purposeful, deeper-dive study that would challenge me, stretch me, and grow me. It’s a consuming hunger that is only satisfied with the Bread of Life and the Living Waters of Christ.
So, I tell you all this to challenge you, too. Get beyond the surface. Let God’s Word speak to you. It’s November, and we’re bringing 2020 to a close. There’s no time like the present. You don’t have to wait for a new year. As someone wiser than me wrote about this year, “20/20 is considered perfect vision. Maybe God is using 2020 for us to see clearly He’s in charge and the only One who can help us!” So get into the word and let Him offer you a more perfect understanding of who He is and how much you need Him.