¡Hola, hola! Time to re-group, Friends, and time to remember why we are doing this challenge. Remember where we started? Yes, Psalm 119. We read of the Psalmist’s love for God’s Word. Of the way his heart, and soul, and flesh longed for it. We read how the Psalmist, through being in the Word, came to understand the fear of the Lord and clung to His testimonies. We saw Him praying, struggling, asking God to incline his heart to His testimonies and not to selfish gain. He wanted to know God more, to understand the Word of the Lord more, to obey Him more. And that is why we are here. Because we want that in our own lives. We are not reading to check boxes, we are reading because we know that if we don’t feed our souls and minds with the Word of God we will starve. And this is not hyperbole, this is true. So, as you see, we need this reminder, we must not forget that this challenge is not about us feeling good for keeping up with our readings; the goal of the challenge is to be able to come before God with a humble heart, putting aside all our cares and perfectionism to pray every day: Lord, I need you, feed me with your Word. May my life be a testimony of how much I love your Word.
Now, let’s talk about one of the many temptations that we are most likely facing. One of the temptations that is hindering us from coming to His Word on a daily basis: We let ourselves be distracted. Yes, I know, we say we hateto be distracted by ordinary life situations, and yet we very much welcome certain distractions in our own lives (like the world in our smartphones). Friends, it is not secret that Bible reading is not easy, but it is especially true if we have trained our minds for years to come to the Word to nibble on verses and skim through the text while checking Instagram and Facebook at the same time. Reading larger portions of the Scriptures, requires mental work; it demands our full attention -and that is a hard thing to give to someone or something nowadays. But the reward is immeasurable.
I think that these two quotes that I read in Tony Reinke’s book, 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You, are worth sharing here:
“The statistics show that Christians who struggle to read books are struggling to break free from poor smartphone habits as one root cause.” (p.79)
“The Bible is not a book to ‘get through,’ to read cover to cover and then put on a shelf; neither is it a book to browse or skim. The Bible is our open door to the hear God’s voice both alone and together in community. It is intended to be bottomless in its profundity and endless in its relevance. It is less of a book and more of a world of revelation in which we live and move and have our beings. This book gives us life, and it moves and pushes God’s redemptive plan forward.” (p.87)
Maybe this is a time for you to stop and consider if one of the reasons your are not coming to the Word faithfully is in fact because of the distractions that you are welcoming into your life. Distractions that are part of a boot camp to train your mind to skim through the Words that are your very life.
So, my Friends, with hearts full of gratitude and joy for the Word of God that revives us, and the Holy Spirit that convicts us and transforms us, we will take the Book of God this week and open it, and read it.
This week we will read Esther, Titus, Psalms 12, 14-16, 26-27, and Proverbs 2. On Thursday we will have another catch-up day in which I recommend you read the epistle to the Philippians. And on Friday we will start with 1 Chronicles. On Monday, when you read Esther and Titus, notice how Paul encourages us to be ready for every good work and to devote ourselves to do them. Then think of Esther, how the grace of God enabled her to do the good works that God had prepared for her to do. How encouraging, right? And yet, in all this, Paul is careful to remind us that we are not saved by works, but by the regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (3:5). There is so much to unpack in this short epistle, Sisters. You really don’t want to miss it!
Under His sun and by His grace,
Becky Pliego and the team of Christ Church Ladies Fellowship