[blockquote] Part 2 of the lessons I learned from reading the entire Bible in one month. (see Part 1)[/blockquote]
4. Doctrine leads to Doxology
Very early on, something else occurred to me. The Bible is filled with people thanking God. Wherever God’s character is seen and revealed, His people explode with a kind of spontaneous and robust praise—they can’t help it! It just comes out as the natural response to God revealing Himself. The only people that don’t respond with praise when God reveals Himself are people that have a hard heart and are frustrated with Him (i.e. the Pharisees in the gospels).
It exposed how hard my heart was and just how little I was appreciative that God would choose to enter into relationship with me and show me things about Him that are beautiful. I’ve begun to take special notice of the things that I’ve learned about God and respond with thanksgiving in return.
5. God’s promised presence is the comfort of the anxious heart & motivation towards radical obedience
When stuff goes wrong and people start to stress, the great comfort for God’s people isn’t in Him changing their circumstances. God offers His presence, and His people are content with that. More than a situation switch, God says, “I’m with you; don’t worry,” and people that trust, believe and love Him are good with that. It puts them at great ease. People that don’t trust Him are constantly clamoring after something else or something more (as if there were something better).
Not only does it provide comfort, but it always infuses people who have a strong sense that God is “with them” with great courage. Obedience in the face of the most adverse conditions is made to seem so simple when people grasp the fact that God is "with them." It’s amazing the great feats that are done by the hands of people who understand one thing about God...He is “with them."
What would you do if you really had a sense that God was with you?
6. I constantly think about the Bible
Simple. I think about the Bible and Jesus a lot. It’s no longer peripheral but it’s central to my mind and my thinking. It’s the first thing I think of waking up; throughout the day, I have so much of it to read that I constantly think about it, and it’s the last thing I think about before I go to bed.
When I talk to people, I can’t help but talk about Jesus and what I’m learning about Him. It just flows out. I can’t stop it.
7. I miss a lot, but I end up retaining more than having not read the Bible at all
Honestly, I don’t understand what Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel were talking about most of the time. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. Daniel’s visions confused me, and there were plenty of other places where I was lost. I missed a TON OF INFORMATION.
But the reality is that I gained a lot more than I would have if I never read the Bible at all. I saw things from a 30,000 ft view that I never would have seen if I was up-close trying to unpack every sentence that was a little confusing to me. I saw that God is good. I’m not. He loves me. He keeps His promises...ALWAYS. And He treats me better than I deserve.
Part 3 to come...