Thursday, January 2, 2020

2nd Hand is Not How God Wants Us to Experience His Word

I have a confession to make. For many years I got the majority of my knowledge about the Bible second hand. I read devotionals, did Bible studies, read blogs, listened to sermons and podcasts all about the Bible but all from other people. In the last year God clearly and specifically reminded me that His word was written to and for me and I needed to be reading and studying it myself.

I was also convicted last year that I wasn't consistent about studying God's word for an extended period of time each day. Now I read God's word but it was when I had time instead of making it a priority and putting it first. I was getting the majority of my Bible and knowledge of God's word second hand and that is NOT how God intends it. He wrote the Bible for us and our job is to read it and study it and learn it and live it. And if I'm getting it second hand from someone else- that's not ok. If I'm getting it from Bible study leaders, devotional writers, pastors and podcast hosts- even wise ones- it's still second hand and that's not how God intends.
2nd hand is not how God wants us to experience His word
So many times I had been simply reading a devotional each day including the verse listed without cracking my Bible open and considering that time in God's word. Never reading the verses in context and truly studying it- instead just reading the words someone else wrote in a book other than the Bible. I love devotionals and think they have a place but they (nor anything else) should not replace our time in God's word.

Spending time in God's word helps your know Him intimately. You learn His voice. You see His hand. You wouldn't get to know a friend by ONLY hearing about them from someone else would you. NOPE. That's ridiculous. You must experience that for yourself and take time building that relationship. To get close to someone you must spend time with them and cry and laugh and pray and live life with them. Why don't we think of God the same way? Why are we so often content to learn about our precious Lord and Savior solely from other people? It's truly crazy when you think about it.

I  have a suggestion for you. If you do one thing differently in 2020 do this:
Commit to spending time in God's word every single day- just you and Him and your Bible
Make time every day to spend in God's word- whenever and however that looks in your life. For me I get up earlier than normal so that I have 1 1/2 to 2 hours to spend studying God's word using a chronological plan. It's not easy and is something you definitely have to commit to and make a priority. But truthfully friends, we make time for what is important to us. Sometimes it just means cutting out something else in our lives. Spending time in God's word is the best investment you can make. Second hand is NOT how God wants you to experience His word. Learning it first hand can and will radically change your life!