About Encouragement for Today

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

Words That Made My Heart Ache - Encouragement for Today - December 7, 2016

Wendy Pope

December 7, 2016
Words That Made My Heart Ache
WENDY POPE

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

As beautiful as aging can be, it can also have it’s challenges. In my early 40s, I began to notice my arms weren’t quite long enough to make the words on the page appear clear. As the problem began to worsen, I knew I had to move from my regular print Bible to a large-print one.

My search started at one of my favorite online shopping spots looking for affordable, used options. I typed my criteria into the search box … Thinline, Large Print. Scrolling through the results I saw several possibilities, but one jumped out at me.

The descriptions showed the amount of use, and some Bibles were “used” with highlighted verses. Others were of various colors and designs. So many choices!

As I scrolled toward the bottom of the listings, a tan and dark brown Bible caught my eye, so I selected its picture. This was the one! It wasn’t until I clicked to make the purchase that I read the description: Excellent condition. Does not appear to have been read. My heart ached as I paused to re-read the words: Does not appear to have been read.

Why wouldn’t someone read their Bible? Then I remembered why.

For many years, I didn’t read the Bible either. For a long season of my life I was a carrier of God’s Word. I read the Bible during church when the pastor would preach, and I made sure to read enough to fill in my blanks for Bible study.

But to read, highlight and apply Scripture to my life was foreign to me. How could I, a “C” student, ever understand the Bible? I wanted to be one of those women who highlighted and applied, but I didn’t even know where to start.

Then, our local Christian radio station challenged the listening audience to follow a one-year Bible reading plan. I couldn’t fathom reading the whole Bible, much less in only a year.

In an effort to calm my fears, I took a trip to my local Christian bookstore. If I am going to read the whole Bible, certainly I need a new Bible to read. For what seemed like hours, I previewed various types of Bibles in an array of colors, styles and formats. Just when I was about to give up, I pulled a chronological Bible from the shelf.

The format intrigued me. Short readings. An easy-to-follow daily plan. An attractive cover. The best part: Knowing I would read the Bible in the order the events occurred. Yes! This was the Bible for me.

Slowly, I began to understand the Bible as the ultimate guide to life, as Psalm 119:105 reminds us, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

I read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, but not without stumbling. The year taught me so much. I learned Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are difficult to read in some parts. I learned it’s necessary to read the Old Testament to really appreciate the wonderful sacrifice Jesus made for me as described in the New Testament. Lastly, I learned it’s OK if I don’t understand the whole Bible. God will continue to reveal things to me as I continue to make His Word a priority.

Now, after reading a chronological Bible I am no longer just a carrier of the Word, I am a lover of the Word!

If you’ve always wanted to read through the Bible but desired a friend to come along aside you for support, I pray you’ll take the same challenge and dig into God’s Word in 2017!

Dear God, I admit that reading the Bible is challenging for me. Yet I desire to be more than a carrier of Your Word. Give me a hunger and thirst for Your Truth. Lead me by the power of Your Spirit to study and apply Your Word to my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (NASB)

Isaiah 55:11, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
There are many reading plans and resources you can use to read through the Bible. Take a look at the one Wendy Pope mentioned in her devotion: The One Year Chronological Bible.

CONNECT:
Hop over to Wendy’s blog to learn about the Read Thru the Word class and the chance to win a copy of The One Year Chronological Bible.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What are your biggest obstacles to reading through the Bible? Commit now to reading the Bible in 2017. Ask God to help you … and He will.

© 2016 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org


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