I used to I find myself getting busy and flipping open my bible to get my reading over with and out of the way for the day so it didn’t cause me stress. Cause me stress?!? Shouldn’t reading the bible relieve me of stress? Well, yes, it should. But I’m fallen and broken and busy. This is not an excuse, it’s a sinful attitude. It’s a selfish behavior that puts my needs over the needs of Christ.
When I realized I was doing this, I needed a way, no matter how busy I was, to give myself over wholly to God when reading His word. So I started praying a short prayer before I even opened it. I lay my handle on the bible, courtroom style 😉 and say, “Jesus, please guide me as I’m reading the bible today. Help me to hear your word and your truth. Please highlight something I especially need to hear today so I can work on becoming more like you.”
This has really helped me to quiet my mind and remember my real intention for reading the bible: to hear God. The bible is a guide. It provides healing. And every single time I read it, even in the warbly parts of the Old Testament, I always fine one thing to take away and hold onto for the rest of the day.
So I challenge you dear reader, pray over your bible. Invite Jesus into your heart and into your head. Then just let the miracle of God wash over you as you spend some much needed special time with your bible. He is your father who loves you so much. He will speak to you. Give Him a chance.
MY BIBLE REFLECTION:
“I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.” I Timothy 1:13
This idea has been on my heart lately. I used to be a liberal, pro-choice, sex having, money loving non-Christian. I thought I was a good person. I didn’t do drugs or break the law. I was generally nice to people. I volunteered and donated money to charities. I mean what else is there right?
But of course I didn’t know Jesus then. I didn’t know what real sacrifice was. I didn’t understand the importance of purity or the idea that life begins at conception. These were things that I simply DIDN’T understand. It wasn’t that I was taught the truth and was willfully not doing it. And from that time in my life, I have a lot of friends who still live their lives like this. I don’t judge them because I know that most of them have never heard the truth.
Seeing anti-abortion pictures on Facebook doesn’t really change the heart of a person who is pro-choice. Most people are pro-choice because they love people. They want to love and protect women who are in bad situations. And since they don’t believe that life begins at conception, they think they’re standing up for the rights of humans!
So often I see Christians treat not Christians with hostility and with anger. Their hearts are so broken for the lost lives of the unborn that they lash out saying, “How could you not see the truth?”
But here is Paul and I love Paul’s story. It’s probably the one person who resonates the most with me in the whole bible. Here is this guy who was horrible, terrible, awful to Christians – a real nasty guy. And yet this is the guy that God chose to be His rock. He chose a broken, misguided, full of sinning guy. I think He did that so we could see that no one is a lost cause; that we all need God’s love, mercy and redemption.
As Catholics, we need to see the Paul in others. We need to pray for their conversion, pray that their eyes be opened to God’s truth. We need to love them even through their ignorance. That’s what Christ does. We must be warm towards them if we ever have a hope of educating them and changing their minds.
Whew, that got a little heavy today! But that’s what’s cool about the bible. Sometimes it gives you hope and warm and fuzzies, and sometimes it gives you armor and prepares you for battle!
Image Credit: George Redgrave, My First Bible (2013) Flickr, CC