Friday, January 14, 2011

THE FORTY DAY CHALLENGE

My great niece lives across the country from her dad. She gets to see him a few months during the summer, a couple weeks during the winter and a week during the spring. Not much time for a little girl who adores her daddy and a daddy who adores his little girl.

Recently right after she returned home from Christmas break, she called her nana from a box. “You’re calling from a box?” Yes, she had put her daddy’s address on it and crawled inside so she could be shipped back to him.

The time they spend together is very valuable. During the interim there are many phone calls to one another and gift packages.

What a wonderful relationship the two have between them. Although, they don’t see each other often they keep in contact and share things of their life with one another. They take the time to truly get to know one another. My niece could know her dad from what the people around her say but, she goes right to the source and values her time with him.

When I was very young I was taught to read the Bible, everyday. I read it but, didn’t apply anything of it to my life except some stuff I decided to pick out of it. I had my own view of God and it didn’t come from the Bible.

Things changed in my late twenties. I was introduced to the God of the Bible. When I started spending time seeking a relationship with Him, I discovered God wasn’t who I had conjured Him up to be and His ways weren’t what I said they were, believe me I had some pretty strong opinions about God, yet it was only my opinion. I now love to spend time praying (talking with God), reading His Word, worshipping Him and fellowshipping with other believers. I love to talk about Him because I spend time and am discovering how wonderful and loving He is.

Instead of just reading the Bible, I started praying about what I was reading asking God to lead me and bless the time I spent in His word. Also, to change me and give me whatever I needed to follow who He really is.

I’ve been asked by people many times, how do you do devotions (daily time with God)? And been told it’s too hard to read or it’s boring. Also, I’ve heard the same opinions said to me that I used to have until I started taking the time to really listen to what HE had to say about Himself.

SO, I would just like to throw out a challenge to you today. No matter what your personal beliefs are, or what your opinions about the God who created you are, I challenge you to get something to write on and a pen or pencil and then open up the Bible for at least fifteen minutes and read it, for forty days. Ask God to reveal Himself to you and jot down on the paper what you hear.

I will confess to you the King James Version is hard to understand but the New King James is a bit easier. There is a New International Version, American Standard, and a Living Translation. Pick whichever one you want I just hope you do the challenge.

Just some guidance, the gospels are in the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, they tell about when Jesus walked among us. Acts is about the early church and the others in the New Testament are letters to the various churches. Revelations is about Jesus return.

The Old Testament is filled with incredible stories of how God interacted with His people. Genesis starts with creation, you can go through and read about Moses, Joseph, David, Solomon, Ruth, Esther and see how God worked in their lives.
Psalms is great to read and if you read a Proverb a day you will read the entire book of Proverbs.

It's good to start with the book of John to learn about Jesus and who He really is. Although I love what I read through the whole Bible, my favorites are Mark, Peter, Psalms, Proverbs, Genesis and Exodus.

And why forty? I only picked that number because forty is used in the Bible a lot. Like Moses and the Israelites walked around in the desert for forty years. Jesus was out in the wilderness fasting for forty days. So I picked forty. You can go more though, which I hope and pray you end up doing.

I hope you take this challenge and if you do, I’d love to hear about it.

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