I have been running behind today. So far behind that I can't find the verse I had picked out for today. HA! But I wanted to get a post up in case you are not as scattered as I am today. I will post my verse later tonight. My sister and family are coming over for supper and to dye eggs. So I gotta run right now. More later, please forgive me! But, please, post your verses!
Okay, I'm back. The rule-follower in me HAS to post a verse today, on the 1st. Yes, I know about grace, praise the Lord, I know about grace. But for my own discipline, I'm posting on the 1st. :) I couldn't find the verse I was looking for earlier and because it is Easter weekend, I decided to pick a different verse.
Sometimes I "participate" in the Lenten season, that is, I "give up" something for that time period before Easter on the calendar. In the past I've given up soda (this one has stuck for the past six years), chocolate (very hard to do) and various other items. I wanted to do something this year, I just couldn't decide what would be realistic. I considered sugar, but that is so not do-able right now. Literally the night before Lent was to start I decided I would give up some sleep. I wanted to try the discipline of reading the Word and spending time in prayer. I was nervous as my sleep patterns are not consistent. Would I be able to get up every morning to do this? I did not want to disappoint God by getting lazy half way through. That would be heart wrenching to me. But I decided to try. I am so happy to be able to say I have gotten up early every morning this Lent season and spent time in the Word and in prayer. I have not missed that 45 minutes of sleep one day. There were a couple of nights when I didn't get enough sleep but I was able to get through the day because I was leaning on Him. He has been so faithful in meeting me every morning. It has changed my life in so many ways. I am humbled by it, really. It is a sweet time and so precious to me and I plan to continue after Easter.
I have been reading through the Bible starting in the Old Testament at night time. I've been using a chronological bible for this. I had been doing an OT bible study also, so I was feeling the need for some New Testament reading. So my morning reading has been in those books. I have a book by Tim LaHaye called "How to Study the Bible for Yourself" that I am loosely following. He suggests reading 1John every day for one week (there's only 5 chapters), then move to John and Mark. Read those two times each. If we are to have the mind of Christ, we need to know Christ words and how he acted. These are the two shortest gospels. From there, read the epistles (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon). Then Read Luke, Acts, Romans. I am up to Luke right now. LaHaye has several different plans for reading through and studying the Bible. I am reading 4 chapters a day. Then I spend time in prayer. Adoring Him; confessing; bringing my concerns; asking to be filled with the Spirit; claiming my forgiveness, purity, peace, & security in Him, remembering His sacrifice and telling Him I love him, too. I don't want my description to become a prescription for everyone. But I can tell you, this has worked for me. Lord willing, I can continue. I want to encourage you to have quiet time with the Lord in his Word and in prayer. That time is never wasted and you will reap benefits ten-fold.
(This is what happens when it's late...I get a long winded.) I have been reminded over and over in the last six weeks just what a sacrifice Christ gave for me, for us. And I have learned that he did that so I could be free, be healed, live in joy and abundance and in relationship with Him. That is what I am celebrating this Easter. That is what calls me to Praise.
Isaiah 53:5 NIV:
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
He is risen! Alleluia!