#1 Summer is Over!
24 For, “All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. – 1 Peter 1:24-25 (NIV)
Many of us do not meet with our weekly Bible study groups during the summer months. Does God also take time off from answering our prayers and watching over us during the summer? I tried to spend time every week reading some passages in Psalms and in a gospel through the summer months. The discipline of that wasn’t easy. There always seemed to be an interruption or something else would come up that demanded my time and focus. Then I remembered when my day was most quiet – at night. Taking time at night proved to be the best time to read and learn.
I read the Bible for the first time when I was about 25 years old. A kind woman who owned a local bookstore, cared enough to give me a copy of The Living Bible, which is a paraphrase and looks and reads somewhat like a novel. I read the gospels, then the rest of the New Testament then the Old Testament. I joined a Bible study after that and chose the New International Version as my study bible.
When I married Henry, a teacher and linguist of over 10 languages, I suddenly had a talking concordance! It was wonderful to tap into the years Henry had spent in reading the Bible in its original languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. I signed up for a Hebrew class that he was teaching at our local church. I only lasted through one class. Henry is a great teacher and I have been in many of his classes over the 22 years of our marriage. But my faith relationship with God is definitely experiential. Academics doesn’t connect with me much.
I’ve said all this to encourage you, the reader, to 1) find the Bible translation that speaks the most clearly to you. If you have limited reading skills, then the Contemporary English Version might be really good for you. If you read a particular version as a child/young person, like the New Revised Standard Version or the King James Version, go ahead and use the NRSV initially and then switch to another if you hear another that seems to speak more clearly to you. If you read the KJV, maybe read the New KJV, an updated version of the antiquated language. And 2) join a Bible study, hopefully at your church. But do you have a friend/acquaintance who is already involved in a study? Then join. Online studies can work if the leadership is personable and good at growing relationships. I needed the discipline and accountability of a group.
It is easy to become connected to a specific news outlet or commentator. The product they are selling is devisive and destructive. Instead of plugging into that weekly, even nightly, let’s plug in to Truth. The pathways are available through God’s Word. I am a sinner. That makes me imperfect. I am saved from eternal destruction only by our Father God’s grace, unconditional never-ending love. That is a great thing to study!