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May the Lord fill your life with the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

If God is not first in your life, then something else is (Deut 6:4-5, Matt 6:24, 33; 10:32-38, Mark 8:34, Luke 11:23, 1 John 5:21).

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Holy Spirit

"Just think, you're here not by chance, but by God's choosing. His hand formed you and made you the person you are. He compares you to no one else - you are one of a kind. You lack nothing that His grace can't give you. He has allowed you to be here at this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation." -Roy Lessin (See also Psalm 139)



Have you ever read a book over and over again? If you have never read the Bible, or only portions of it, I encourage you to start reading the Bible everyday (Psalms 19:10; 119:103, Ezekiel 3:1-3).
Around late 2006, I started reading the Bible for the very first time. In the process I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and fully surrendered my life to Him! It is the greatest love story ever written, and you will discover a greater conviction and far more enthusiasm than you ever had for another book! Discover the Living Truth by reading it carefully, continuously, repeatedly, and prayerfully. (Psalm 119)
By studying the scriptures you will indeed discover direction (Psalm 119:105) and truth (Psalm 19:7-8, Jeremiah 23:29, Luke 8:4-15, Romans 1:16, Hebrews 4:12-13). In fact, studying God's Word is the only way we can learn the truth (Deuteronomy 11:18-19, Matthew 22:29, 2 Timothy 3:16-17) so that we can recognize false teachings (Matthew 7:15, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Galatians 5:9, 2 Peter 2:1) as well as overcome temptation (Luke 4:1-13) and dissuasion (1 Peter 3:15). We should not rely on our own understanding, and certainly never rely on the logic of others (Job 28, Psalms 49; 118:8, Jeremiah 9:23-24; 17:5-8). We must accept the fact that God knows more than all of us combined (Proverbs 3:5-6; 11:7, Jeremiah 51:15-17, 1 Corinthians 2:5; 3:19, Colossians 2:8-9). By reading the Bible you will see the importance of putting God first in our lives (Matthew 6:25-34)!
As we study His Word and learn the importance of putting God first in our lives, we become prepared as disciples to evangelize the Good News of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah (Acts 2:32-39). That is, we become fishers of men (Mark 16:15-16)! Not only do I want you to read the Bible, but also apply it in your life (James 1:22-24) so that you too can be filled with His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26) and witness to others with a bright, shining light of faith (Philippians 2:15, 2 Timothy 2:15)!
A great start to reading the Bible is beginning with one of the Gospels. Matthew likes to compare the life of Christ with the OT; Mark is a short, fast moving biography focusing on the actions of Jesus; Luke was a doctor and likes to give detail about Jesus' life; John is very good for showing the love that Christ has for us. Next, try reading Acts, then Romans and then maybe Galatians, Colossians or Thessalonians before starting the Old Testament.
Whatever the method you choose, just start today! Some websites to help you start reading the Bible in a year (only 15 minutes a day):
Bible Study Tools          Crosswalk          Bible Pathway (also available as a daily email devotional)
As you begin your daily readings, you may want to also consider reading a chapter a day in Proverbs. There are 31 chapters, so it is a great way to start each day throughout the month.
"Sin will keep you from the Bible and the Bible will keep you from sin." Greg Laurie

"One of the greatest ways to know God is through the Bible. And as we study, read, meditate, and memorize the Bible, God can speak to us through His Holy Spirit. This Book is so amazing. Of all the books that we could pick up, this is the only one through which the Holy Spirit can speak to us about how God would have us live. So what a breath of fresh air to have Jesus just stand up, all of a sudden, and begin talking. Let me encourage you to allow God's Word to sink deeply into your heart. Then let that Word speak through your heart to others with the tenderness, love, and compassion that Jesus showed us." Mike MacIntosh



Created Tuesday, January 15, 2008