I'm thankful that I was (almost) born loving to read. When I was a little girl, my mom, my grandma, and my older brother could all read, and I went off to school for the first time with one goal in mind: To learn to read that very first day. I was so disappointed when I came home because I couldn't read yet.
Love for the written word and for books surely played a big part in my coming to Christ because it was books, including the Living Bible, that opened my heart and my eyes to the Truth. And love for His word has continued throughout my Christian walk.
I have read through the Bible many times in my almost 35 years as a Christian, but I got truly serious about doing so regularly beginning in 1997. That was the year I began reading through the whole Bible in odd numbered years and reading through the New Testament several times (3 to 4) in even numbered years. I got out of whack last year with all that went on in my personal life and my reading was sort of all over the map. But 2011 (another odd numbered year) arrived, and with it came the resolve to return to my regular reading habits.
I invite you to join me for the journey. If you need a reading schedule, a quick google search can pull one off the Internet. Or email me and I'll send you one. A couple of my writing buddies (Tamera Alexander and Francine Rivers) are both using the One Year Bible this year. I've tried to do the same a number of times over the years, but I've never much cared for the daily sampling from the Old, the New, a Psalm, and a verse or two of Proverbs. I don't seem to get involved in the whole picture when I do that. But if it would help you, I encourage you to give it a try.
My old New American Standard Bible (my favorite version for serious study) is falling apart after so many years of use, so I bought a new one. Now I get to start marking and tabbing and making notes in the margin all over again.
So what did I note this morning while reading chapters 18-20 of Genesis? Here's one:
“But [Lot] hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city. ” (Genesis 19:16, NAS, emphasis mine)
The "men" in this instance were angels of the Lord, and the city was Sodom which was about to be completely destroyed. What I noted in the margin of my Bible was this:
"Lot hesitated but God's compassion for him was so great that He, via His angels, took Lot by the hand and led him out."
I don't know about you, but I take great comfort in knowing I serve a compassionate God who cares so much for me that He will take me by the hand and lead me out from places where destruction is sure.
What has He shown you out of His word today?