Tag Archives: God’s handiwork

3 Keys to Reading the Bible with a Fresh Perspective

It is a new year, and no doubt many have made it their ambition to read the Bible more often this year. What nobler resolution could someone have?

But many people will give up in mid-February, when they are slogging through Leviticus and are halfway through their third straight gospel tour. The passages that seem redundant and unexciting tend to drown our Bible reading goals.

How can we keep our Bible reading fresh – even the parts that don’t stir us at first reading – so that we don’t give up on our resolution to read more? Allow me to share a few suggestions.

1. Remember that God’s word is alive

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active.” Just like God himself, his word is full of life and is always doing something. That means, to state the obvious, that God’s word is never dead or inactive. And that is just as true for Leviticus 3:16 as it is for John 3:16.

The implication is that we can come to every passage with a sense of anticipation that God will work through it. That doesn’t mean we will necessarily finish our Bible reading with intense spiritual feelings. But it does mean that we can be assured that no matter what we read on a given day his word will not return void (Isa. 55:11).

2. Pray for God to open your eyes, and trust that he will

The psalmist prayed, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psa. 119:18). He recognized that without God’s help, it would be very easy for him to read God’s law and not come away marveling at how great God is. He needed God to give him eyes to see the wonders of his word.

The same is true for us, of course. We must not read our Bibles without asking God to enable us to see the amazing things in it. I confess that this is something that I sometimes forget. Being somewhat of a task oriented type of person, I’ll sometimes sit down at my desk to begin preparing a sermon only to realize an hour later that I had forgotten to ask God to speak to me and lead me to the message he wants delivered on Sunday. It is by God’s grace that I can even recognize my self-sufficiency. I must stop and repent of my prayerlessness, and then ask God to “open my eyes” before I resume my study.

3. Read with a God-centered attitude

It’s very easy to read God’s word with an emphasis on you. What am I going to learn? What am I going to get out of this? How am I going to apply this?

But as you grow as a Christian, you grow less concerned with yourself, and more interested in loving God and neighbors. This gradual self-emptying process gives a perspective that comes to Scripture with a desire to see more of God and less of yourself.

Take, for example, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Instead of focusing on the “I can do” part, what if you meditated on the “him who strengthens me” part? Your mind will be prodded to meditate in a fresh way of God’s grace to enable you to make it through your trials and empower you for your successes.

Don’t let dull days get you down

As much as it would be great to have an amazing spiritual encounter every time we read the Bible, I admit that is not always my experience. Sometimes nothing “hits” me. But I know that my emotional response is not what makes God’s word do its work in my life. That’s the Spirit’s job.

So if you find that there are some days where your Bible reading seems less impactful, don’t be discouraged. You and I have only to be faithful to read God’s word with the thirst of a deer panting for water. More times than not, when we open the Bible with that kind of neediness the streams will taste quite fresh.

Eric McKiddie serves as Pastor for Gospel Community at the Chapel Hill Bible Church He helps pastors grow as well-rounded ministers of the gospel at his blog, Pastoralized, and through sermon coaching.

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Happy August!

At last we got some nice warmer days, yesterday reaching 34° Celsius. It became time, because we did not have much feeling of a Summer, a few weeks ago even some nights with ground-temperatures under 0° C and in the day time Autumn temperatures.

Pleased to see the Sun now.

Whatever weather comes unto us, we have to make the best out of it and make of each day a new experience worth living.

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Vickie Munton a stay-at-home pastor’s wife, a city girl with country roots, whose children are grown, is passionate about her  faith and her family, and once in a while she just needs to leave the concrete jungle in order to get life back in focus. {Signs}. She is not afraid praying for direction as her life goes through this season of change.
Since high school God has blessed her with an incredible person who has been her best friend from days when

Vacationing in our old stomping grounds, she couldn’t help but get snapshots of the things that brought back a flood of memories… {Photographic Memories of Childhood}

Where she lives, in the midwest of the United States, she has probably lots of warm days where she can

sit in the field forever, looking for four-leafed clovers, making necklaces and bracelets that would make any diy’er proud! {Photographic Memories of Childhood}

She had also the luck to be able to travel to every corner of our great nation, though while she appreciate the ocean and the mountains and the desert, and even the big cities, for her

there is no place like home.

where she has a husband-with-a-memory-bank-that-never-runs-out, who is stashed with all kinds of treasure him been trying to teach her to recognize different types of trees for a long time. {Summer of Cedar}

She writes

Some of the most beautiful moments of my life have been watching our family tree grow.  As life moves forward, I’m learning to see that ol’ cedar tree in a new light–and I smile–she is more beautiful than what these fading eyes could see. {Summer of Cedar}

Cedar Tree

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  • ever-changing landscape, a canvas of God’s handiwork.
  • August = our hottest month > signs of fall approaching:  cornfields high, annuals slowing disappearing
  • August heat brings sounds of crickets + locusts, + fireflies light up night sky.
  • live each day for what it is –a gift => Let’s not waste a moment.

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August

I have travelled to every corner of our great nation, and while I appreciate the ocean and the mountains and the desert, and even the big cities,

there is no place like home.

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