The Word of God

The Word of God

God gave us the Word to be our daily bread.
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One of the most important things for a Christian is to spend time in God's word. This doesn't mean just reading a passage every now and then which will be forgotten in a few hours, or searching for a single verse to use as the perfect insta caption. This means reading, studying, and meditating on the Word daily.

God didn't give us the Bible for it to be left in a drawer or on a shelf to be brought out on Sundays and put right back for the rest of the week. No, God gave us the Word to be our daily bread. The first verse of the first chapter in the book of John states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Did you get that? The Bible is not just a book written by God's people for God's people, the Word is God. Does this give you a glimpse of the magnitude of God's word and what it means to Him? And can You see why it breaks His heart when we neglect it?

Think for a moment about the greatest gift you've ever given to someone. That gift that took weeks, even months, of thought, planning, and making. That gift for that one person who can never be outdone, the one you felt so proud about. Now imagine the receiver of the gift being unappreciative of it, tossing it to the side as if it's no better than any others received. Think of how you would feel about their handling of the gift you so carefully put together for this person you care about. Think of all the trouble you went through to finish it and give it to them. That disappointment is a glimpse, but still doesn't come close to the hurt God feels when His people don't care about the Bible.

All this being said, it has taken a long time to develop the relationship I have with God's word. It's been a growing process. There have been periods of time where I didn't read the bible or did so half-heartedly, but even these seasons are part of the growing process. And by no means have I discovered a foolproof method for spending quality time in the Word. Like my relationship with the Lord, my bible reading will always be growing and developing.

After a lot of time of avoiding the Word altogether, or not reading much, I set out to truly dive into God's Word. There's a lot of the bible I haven't yet read: certain passages or chapters, and many whole books. I aim to read through the entire thing, and I thought a chronological approach would make sense for me. I still stand with that reading plan and aim to bring it to completion in its time, but after close to a year, I found myself in a rut. I was reading every day, but didn't feel like I was getting any meaning out of what I was reading.

God gave us His word so we'd be spiritually fed, but I was still hungry. I was in the thick of the old testament, unable to see connections to the new testament, which I knew much better, or my own life, and I was suffering a lack of joy in what I was reading. I was so caught up in trying to get through the whole Bible that I became focused on finishing it. I was worried about how much I was reading instead of taking my time with it and meditating on what I was reading. So I stopped. I needed a new plan. On Pinterest, I found a month long Bible reading plan that focused on a single topic: finding joy in the Lord. I knew that was something I needed and didn't have, so I committed to this plan. Each day, it provided a short passage that had something to do with joy.

So now, instead of reading several pages at once, trying to fly through the whole Bible, I sit down with just several verses each morning. I pray over the passage, read it, write it out, and spend some time digesting it. I'm reading a lot less than I was before, but I'm learning so much more about God and understanding Him on a deeper level. Through this I have realized that the Lord doesn't care who has read every word of the Bible or how fast they did it, He cares about how it's changing us, how we are applying what we read to our lives. God intended for the Bible to transform us. As long as what you're reading is having an impact on you, transforming your life a little each day, and you're intentionally pursuing an understanding of the Lord, He is pleased.

Cover Image Credit: Priscilla Du Preez

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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When You Decide To Question Ingrained Beliefs

As a human being and being the person I am, I'm surprised I didn't second guess it earlier.

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I already know my phone is going to be filled with notifications and missed calls once my aunt sees this. Sorry, Cynthia!

I always thought I would be submerged in my religion and my beliefs. As a kid, I was raised in a Christian household where God was who we prayed to and believed would answer our prayers.

So as a kid, I followed what the adults would tell me. I believed in something that I've never seen. I was in the children's choir and the I was on the praise team. I bowed my head during prayer and I prayed to God because I wanted to see if he would actually answer.

The older I got the more I learned that there were people out there who had different beliefs, who worshipped a different God or gods, and those who didn't believe in religion at all.

At first, I questioned the individuals who didn't believe in God why. I did a little research about those who had a different God or believed in multiple gods. I couldn't understand why they didn't believe in the same being as I did.

In school, I learned about the different religions and what they were called and some of their history. So I kept believing even though after a while, my parents stopped taking us to church or at least didn't force me to go.

Once they started teaching you more and more about God along with all of the trouble going on in the world, you begin to question why God allowed those events and troubles to continue on. It starts that doubt sitting in the back of your head as to whether or not God truly exists.

So when my parents died, some would understand why I questioned him a bit more. It's weird not having parents. Not having a secure place to go back to and know that the ones who took care of you are still there to provide and serve as a place of home.

Fast forward towards the summer after high school graduation and my best friend and I are discussing Christianity and God and everything under the sun. We're sort of on the same page about being a Christian. She kind of brushes it off more than I but we still question religion a lot.

I say that I am a Christian and that I believe in God and his son Jesus. I haven't read the Bible (I can't get past the first couple of pages in Genesis). Yet I still pray whenever things get really rough and there are some behaviors I find myself acting out that I have been taught to do. I listen to some gospel music.

So I could place myself in that in-between category of being a believer. I question whether or not I should listen to the bible because in essence it was written by man and yet we are told not to trust the man. They also tell us that God told this man what to write and yet how do I know that some of the things in the Bible wasn't based upon this man's point of view. I sometimes question God himself because of the fact that I haven't seen him and because I myself haven't experienced what others have when they say they know God is real. So am I wrong for questioning what was forced upon me as a child? Would I still be a Christian if I was given the chance to explore other religions or would I be a nonbeliever?

Also, the Bible supports the fact that women are inferior to men. When I gave the scenario of who gets fed first, your husband or your children, I got received different answers. So when I asked my aunt, she brought up the fact that the Bible says that your spouse comes before your children and if one were to go based off that then the husband would get fed first.

I question my religion and the Bible mainly based upon what I've seen and experienced and I still use it time to time. Christians are the first ones to judge and say one sin is bigger than the other so that one sin is going to send that person straight to hell. That honestly makes no sense and then religion is intermingled with the government (which it's not supposed to be) which makes creating and passing certain laws extra difficult.

To those questioning, keep questioning. While I'm not the best person to listen to about it, questioning does result in answers and can aid in figuring out what to believe.

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