¡Hola, hola! Welcome to week 4 of our Bible Reading Challenge, friends. In His kindness, God has continued giving us hunger and thirst for His Word and in His goodness, He has not let us go unsatisfied. He feeds us, and like a good Father, He wants us to be well nourished and strengthened! So as we have been coming to Him, He continues to give us more of Himself on the pages we read. How wonderful is this?
This week we will finish reading the gospel of Matthew. Picking up on chapter 13 we will start reading the parables Jesus told. Don’t miss the purpose Jesus tells us He had when He spoke in parables, and don’t be surprised to see that it was not to make things more understandable, but actually to hide meanings from men “whose heart had grown dull.” This is huge because it is an important reminder to us that when we read the Bible we are not reading just another book. No, the Bible is God’s Book and unless the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see and ears to hear, we won’t understand. This is very encouraging, because our understanding of the text doesn’t depend on our IQ level, it depends solely on God’s grace to enlighten our eyes so that we may understand and believe.
We will read about the two times Jesus fed crowds of thousands. Let me share with you that every time I read those I think of this BRC and how it started. It was born from a small idea, yes, but you know what was the “behind of scenes” of this whole thing? The Father saw you and had compassion on you. He knew many were starving and He wanted to feed each one of you. So what came next? Orders from our Lord. Put this plan together, spread the word, invite women to join the banquet, encourage them to come and sit and join the feast. No one will go away hungry. Not one. And so here we are, all of us, enjoying this banquet and filling our baskets with bread to give to our children, our neighbors, our friends, so that they can taste and see how good our God is and then come and sit themselves and eat with us at the table. This is how the Kingdom of God will continue to grow, more coming, more eating, more being satisfied with Christ alone. Ah! Taste and see how good the Lord is to us!
Get ready to turn pages and be amazed at the stories we will be reading this week. Use your imagination, see the scenes Matthew is describing for us, read and think on what a gift it is that we can actually read about the life of Jesus Christ. Sisters, we are actually reading the words He spoke when He was walking among us. We are reading the life of the Messiah, we don’t have to imagine a Jesus, we can know Him because He has given us the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. What a privilege, right?
We will read of the death of our Redeemer on the cross, but we will also read of His resurrection. Don’t read it lightly. This are the events in history that have the power to change your own story. The application? Repent and believe. Believe that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is sufficient to cleanse you from all sins. Only in Christ there is true hope, only in Christ can we find true freedom.
On Friday we will read the epistle of Paul to the Colossians. Chapter 1 is wonderful to read after a gospel. Try to read and remember what we read in John 1 and in the first epistle of John. So many connections that will bless your soul!
Those of us doing the extra readings will be reading Philippians twice and Titus. I will just limit my comments to this, please pay attention to Phil. ch. 2:16 and its immediate context. Notice how there is no other way for us to “live as lights in the world” in the “midst of a crooked and twisted generation” except by “holding fast to the word of life.” Running in vain starts the moment one starts neglecting holding fast to the word of life, and who wants to run in vain? To live a vain life? Take the Book and read it and hold fast to each word written in it.
J.C. Ryle rightly wrote, “Let us read our Bibles reverently and diligently, with an honest determination to believe and practice all we find in them. It is no light matter how we use this book. Eternal life or death depends on the spirit in which it is used.
Above all let us humbly pray for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. He alone can apply truth to our hearts, and make us profit by what we read.”
So why don’t we take his advice and pray with the Psalmist, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” Ps. 119:18 ESV
Under His sun and by His grace,
Becky Pliego and the Christ Church Ladies Fellowship