I love my Bible. I love to just sit and hug it sometimes. Does that sound a little strange to you? Try it. Go and grab your Bible, dust it off if you have to and give it a tight squeeze.
I love to sit in a quiet place, close my eyes, hug my Bible, take a few deep breaths inhale…..….exhale……… and just be still. Can you feel it? That overwhelming sense that you are not alone. That the One who created you, the One who loves you and needs you is eagerly waiting to spend time with you.
I have to be honest with you, I stopped reading my Bible years ago. Reading it was doing nothing for me. One day while I was visiting with a friend I told her my problem with my Bible. She told me what I was doing wrong, the problem was not my Bible, it was me. You’re not supposed to read your Bible you are supposed to study your Bible. Oh, I get it. If I am serious about my faith and understanding what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ I need to study God’s word.
As I began to study amazing things began to happen. I saw passages in the Bible in ways that I never understood before. Things I had learned over and over again in Sunday school and youth now took on new meaning and I began to understand how these things that happened so long ago are applicable to my life right now.
Are you up for a little Bible trivia?
Wow, did that verse ever speak to me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord—it is better to escape, find cover, shelter or sanctuary in the Lord. Then to put your trust, confidence, hope or faith in people.
How often I found myself dealing with something and the first thing I would do, is to run to one of my friends. But what does that verse tell us? The best place to go would be where we can find shelter, at the feet of our Lord. It’s a hard thing to do. People are tangible, they are right there in front of you, you can ask them questions and you can clearly hear their response. You know what? That can happen in your relationship with Christ as well!
As you begin to study His word - Joshua 1:8 and hide it in your heart- Psalm 119:11, you are developing your relationship with Him- 2 John 1:9. As that relationship blossoms you will be able to understand scripture more clearly- Matthew 13:12 and be able to hear His “still small voice”- 1 Kings 19:12.
How does that sound? Does it sound a little overwhelming? I know sometimes when I look at my Bible it just seems so big. I am not sure what I want to read or what God wants me to read. I get so overwhelmed that I just put it down and do something else. If you look at the last paragraph I listed five scriptures. That is a great place to start!
Take time to apply it to your life: Here is your challenge. Begin to study those five verses. How do you study? Let’s use Joshua 1:8 as our example. I begin by learning about the book. In my Bible and the beginning of each book it gives you a synopsis of that book. I start by learning who wrote it, when it was written and what the main theme of the book is. So now I know all about the book of Joshua. With that information in my head I would then read the whole chapter. So in this example I would read Joshua chapter one. I want to find out what is happening, why was this verse written and who is the author writing it to.
Why is this important or necessary? Let’s take for example that you found a note on the floor at school. You glace at the letter and half way through you see your name and it says, “Cj just makes me sick I am going to have to tell her I what I think.” Your first reaction? “Oh ya, I will tell you what I think!” You feel your body getting hot and you need somewhere to sit down. Your head is spinning with all kinds of thoughts, “Who would say that about me?” You look to see who wrote it- “What! I thought she was my friend!” Who did she write it to? Your friend in drama class? What is going on here? You begin to read the whole letter from the beginning; soon the understanding begins to unfold. Your friend began the letter by writing about this and that; then she began talking about your performance in the recent school play. The two girls were complimenting you on the great job that you did and that they should encourage you in your acting and singing abilities. Once you took the time to read the full letter, you understood that you made your friend sick with envy.
Do you see how your understanding can get confused if you don’t take the time to get the full story. The same goes with scripture. In order to understand what you believe in you have look at the big picture. Reading a verse here and there gives you very limited knowledge of scripture and who God is.
I want to leave you one more verse to study and meditate on:
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (NLT)
Today I am sharing a devotional I wrote for a Bridal Shower. I hope you enjoy!
My husband and I have been married almost 10 years. My how time flies! Sometimes it is hard to remember my life without him in it - what an exciting journey you are about to begin.
I am honoured to share a few thoughts with everyone today. I am thrilled to be your bridesmaid and to be a part of your wedding day. I take my responsibility as a Bridesmaid very seriously. In weddings that my husband and I have participated in the past as well as a recent wedding that our girls were invited to participate in. We have told the Brides and Grooms that we are honoured to be invited as a part of their new family and that we are there for them to keep them accountable, to be a shoulder if they need it, and to help them navigate the bumps. So, Jessica please know that this includes you and Brad as well.
I have two words of advice that I received early in our marriage that I want to share with you. The first was shared at our wedding reception. I really didn’t understand what he meant at the time but it has come in handy throughout my marriage. He said, “You may not always like your spouse but you will always love them.”
I would like to take it a step further. And that is “You may not always like your spouse but you will always have to choose to love them.” Love is not something that you fall in and out of; it is a choice and a lot of work and dedication.
You have chosen to marry Brad and spend the rest of your life with him. There will be days that you may wish you made a different choice. To be honest, I’ve had a few of those with my husband. But I am determined and I refuse to go against the vows that I promised to my husband the day of our wedding.
I hung a picture from our wedding with our vows written underneath on the wall outside of our bedroom as a reminder for both of us - of what we promised to each other. We wrote these vows together and we are people of character and integrity; we will always honour what we promised to each other on our wedding day before God, our friends and family. That is an active choice.
The other word of advice can be hard to follow through, but it is essential.
Right after our marriage my husband and I joined a Bible Study that was focused on marriage. It was interesting because we were newlyweds and the group varied in length of marriage; I think the longest may have been 10 years. The one thing that stood out to everyone throughout the video series was, “Never make fun of or put your spouse down, especially in a public setting.” Maybe you can add that to your wedding vows, and promise yourself to stand firm in it. You need to use words of encouragement and support - not just in public, but in your everyday language.
I asked my friends on social media what advice they would give to someone getting married and this is what I received and I have added my thoughts as well:
I found a quote that I really like.:
“Marriage is a journey toward an unknown destination – the discovery that people must share not only what they don’t know about each other, but what they don’t know about themselves.” Michael Ventura ~ I am still learning things about myself.
“You” meaning Brad AND Jessica are about to embark on an exciting journey -- a new life together. I strongly believe in what the Word tells us in Titus. That the older women need to come along side of the younger women and teach them. I’m not that much older ? but I want you to know that I am here for you. If you don’t want my advice than I have a ton of books you could borrow and there are many godly women in our church who would be glad to come alongside you. You are not alone and whatever you may face on your journey please know that you are not the first and you are not alone. But we also want to rejoice with you and celebrate with you, with all the great joys and special moments that you and Brad will share.
I feel like all I have been telling you about is all the trials and hard things of marriage. Honestly, marriage is work, kind of like a job, but a job that you are excited about. That when you wake up in the morning you are excited to see Brad beside you and after a day at work that you will be excited to go home and spend time with Brad. Your marriage is the most enjoyable and rewarding job you will ever have.
What a wonderful time in your life that you are about to begin! Have fun, this is the time in your life that little girls dream of. I know my girls are already planning their weddings and who they are going to marry which is a little scary.
Remember your wedding is only one day, and your marriage is forever. Enjoy every moment!
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