Noelle could tell that Jackie seemed uncomfortable when she first invited her to Bible study. Jackie quickly changed the subject and Noelle could tell that she was hoping that she would not push it.
Her reaction made Noelle very sad. She loves the Lord so much and wanted her sweet friend to share in the joy of her relationship with Him. Yet she also knew that Jackie did not attend church nor had she ever heard her mention the Lord. But it was not as if she were an atheist either. On the contrary, Noelle knew that Jackie had grown up going to church, her family still attended church, and she had certainly never heard her say anything negative about church or God.
Noelle couldn't help but wonder if her friend ever read the Bible. Did she own one? It was not a question she had ever asked before.
As the two friends continued chatting over lunch, Noelle found herself wondering how Jackie had gone all these years without a relationship with the Lord. He was such a huge part of her own life, she could not imagine how anyone could truly have a life without Him. Yet obviously her friend did. How could she make her see what she was missing, Noelle silently wondered.
Are their any "Jackie's" in your life? Or maybe you are a Jackie.
God is not really on your priority list and you feel like life is OK without Him. It's not that you do not believe in God. You do. You also believe in the Bible. You believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross. You have nothing against those who go to church on a regular basis. Somehow you just never have gotten around to that or when you tried to find a church, you just never felt comfortable there. You think it's great that people like Noelle love to study the Bible, but it's not something you are really interested in. You aren't really sure WHY people choose to study it to be quite honest. Maybe it seems like a stuffy book to you or one that is too hard to comprehend. Maybe you feel like it's a book about people who lived thousands of years ago and has nothing to say to you in 2010.
May I share with you that the Bible is way, way more than that!! It is by far the most interesting, compelling book to ever be written. It has stood the test of time and has remained on the best seller list for hundreds of years despite those who would have destroyed it if they could. They cannot because it is God's Word...literally. It is the holy, inspired Word of God. God breathed. God ordained. God designed.
John 1:1 says "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God!" God IS the Living Word. It is the only book in the world like it. When you choose to read and study the Word, God blesses you. You are "ingesting" Him and His words become a part of you.
The Bible reveals the character of God. You cannot have a relationship with Him until you recognize WHO He is. His word reveals that. Just in the book of Psalms alone there are hundreds of definitions for WHO HE IS.
Strong high tower
Lifter up of our head
Just to name a few. From Genesis to Revelation He is revealed. You begin in Genesis at his feet and wind up in Revelation looking Him in the eye.
There is no other book that will so change your life as the Word of God.
It doesn't matter if you have never read it before, or studied it or even know the books of the Bible. You just have to start somewhere. There are numerous translations to choose from, too, so that you can find one that makes it easier to understand. I personally like the old King James version because that is what I've grown up on, but next to that I also like the Holman translation, the NIV (New International Version), and the New King James.
Bible studies are not for "intellectual types", as obviously Jackie seemed to think. Quite the contrary. They are a place where anyone can go and begin to learn. They usually focus on a book of the Bible or a topic and are a great way to get introduced to the Word if you have never had much exposure in the past.
The important thing is to start. So if you have not opened a Bible in a while, I encourage you to pick up one today. You have nothing to lose and whole lot to gain. If you need a recommendation for a Bible study, I'd be happy to give you a list.
"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies and that seek Him with their whole heart." Psalm 119: 2
"Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119: 11
"Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy word." Psalm 119: 18
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