While thinking about my series of posts on recommended reading, it dawned on me that while it is utterly clear that I adore books, enjoy talking about them, advising people on what to read, etc., it is sadly not so abundantly clear that I enjoy reading -- or even carve out time to read -- the most important Book of all.
I am easily caught up in giving advice about reading, telling others how good a book was, offering to lend a title to someone . . . but I rarely offer up insights I gained from my personal Bible reading.
I am sorry about that. And I'd like it to change. I do read my Bible -- a least a little every day, and a LOT some days. I am reading through the Bible this year, which I've never done before (successfully). I am using the NLT One Year Bible, which is a compact hard-back little book, pictured here. Having a planned out schedule like this that tells me what to read everyday has really made me stick to it -- in previous ventures I'd fall short a day or two and not really know how far behind I was. This is by far the best I've done in reading through the Bible in a year! Right now I am in I Samuel and the Gospel of John (more about that later).
My prettiful green ESV is my little companion Bible. I keep it in its original box in my purse. I read it for church, Bible studies, extra reading, or if I get stuck waiting somewhere. Josh gave me this Bible for my birthday last summer, and I have kept it looking perfectly new, opting to write notes in a journal rather than the margins!
Today I was struck with 2 fresh insights from the Word, which came from completely different passages, but a common theme wove them together. Allow me to show you:
In I Samuel 26:17-19, David is speaking to Saul after sparing his life, and asks him why he is chasing him. Here is the interesting part (I have never seen this before) -- David says "If it is the Lord who has stirred you up against me, may He accept my offering". That hit me like a ton of bricks! The "man after God's own heart" certainly understood the scope of the sovereignty of the God He worshiped. Basically, David realized that if God had set Saul against him, then it was to God he must make his appeal -- Saul was just a tool.
Now flip to John 11:49-51. Caiaphas the high priest responds to those who wished to get rid of Jesus for fear that everyone would believe in Him because He raised Lazarus from the dead. Caiaphas' statement that "it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish" is qualified by John (the author) by stating that Caiaphas did not say that of his own accord, but because he was the high priest at this time, he made this prophecy. Amazing. This evil man actually able to accurately prophesy!
Both of those passages were assigned for the same day. After reading them, the application inevitably came to me: evil men (and Satan) are on a leash -- and my Sovereign God holds the handle. The implications that makes in everyday life are astounding -- and unlimited!
Now that is one good book!