Cover to Cover

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NRSV)

Nearly 20 years ago, Andrew Billings, from Alabama, set upon the task of reading the Bible from beginning to end. He is pleased to report that he did it. He is not so pleased to say that it usually felt like a chore and often he was distracted or zoned out when reading it. His desire to know scripture more deeply had backfired as he found himself wishing he could read some previous passages that had spoken to him rather than the three chapters he had assigned himself for the day.

Ultimately Andrew learned an important lesson. God's Word does not have to be approached in any order or systematic fashion. Rather, scriptures come to our minds in all sorts of unique ways and times. For everything there is a season, and Andrew has grown to feel that way about Bible passages: some verses that speak to him now may not speak to him the same way much later in life. In turn, others may mean little to him until suddenly they profoundly impact his current situation.

God is revealed to us every day. We need not impose an order to those revelations. Through prayer, devotions, and other forms of worship, we each walk a Christian path that may not follow a direct line from Genesis to Revelation.

We all do have a different reaction to God's Word depending on our relationship with God. First note that the Bible says it is the "inspired" word of God. So many people say that God wrote the Bible - not exactly, He inspired people to write it. I have had the privileged of speaking in church, and I have learned, thru reading God's Word and devotions, the feeling of receiving God's "inspired" word. I am now on the sixth year of reading the Bible from cover to cover and each time God's Word speaks to me differently. As I have grown in the Lord so has my understanding of His Word. God speaks to our needs and level of understanding; and to our desire for knowledge. If your mind is blocked to God's Word, then you are not so likely to understand it. It takes an open mind and an open heart. Judith Christie-Williams

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for revealing yourself to us in unique ways that help us on our Christian paths. Grant us open minds and hearts to Your word, in Jesus' name, amen.

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