I should preface this blog by saying that what I’m going to share doesn’t apply to EVERYONE. I’ve been fortunate enough to have grown up in an amazing city (SHOUT OUT to my Sweet Home Chicago 🌆) where I was around all kind of people of different ethnicities and religions. I never want to say things in a way to bash or put others down. So hear my heart that me sharing my faith and beliefs is in no way to make others feel less than. I’m unapologetic about my strong belief in Jesus as my Lord and Savior and that his death on the cross and resurrection redeemed my sins in a way that I never could on my own. On the flip side, I do my best to respect others people. So this is my advice and takes on faith for people with similar beliefs. Of course, anyone is welcome to read this blog but if you don’t believe in Christ what I’m going to say doesn’t necessarily apply to you because you don’t believe. Got it? Good.
I was inspired to write this blog after watching an insta-story (I ❤️ Instagram) from @elainecfisher. Elaine Fisher is a wife and mom to 4 kids 5 and under and also a speaker from Gateway Church in Texas. Her dad is lead senior pastor Robert Morris of the same fellowship. I was initially introduced to her four and a half years ago from a Pink Impact simulcast (women’s conference) and have been following her ever since. Her real-life faith and mom-life stories are practical, inspiring and worth following but I digress.
As I was saying, earlier in December, I was watching one of Elaine Fisher’s insta-stories where she was encouraging her followers to read the Bible for themselves. There was a speaker or pastor (I’m not sure who it was) that was preaching on a section of the Bible and taking it out of context. Through her story, she encouraged her followers to look into the surrounding scriptures of a passage and read it for themselves. For me, she was preaching to the choir. I couldn’t agree more. As much as I love reading other peoples books or listening to sermons, there is nothing like reading the Word for yourself. The Bible is a big book with a lot of chapters and verses and a WHOLE LOT of interpretations. In 2018, I decided to finally conquer my prolonged goal of reading the Bible in a year.
Now I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 5 years old (I remember it vividly) and since then I’ve read the Bible a lot, however, I haven’t ever done it in its entirety. The year is not over YET and I’m a couple days behind but I am closing in on my target. At the end of last year, I decided that I really wanted to know what the Bible said for myself. If I believe in something, it only makes sense to learn more about it. So with the help of YouVersion app, (the specific study was I’m doing is Read the Bible in a Year), I undertook the task. As much as I love learning from other pastors, preachers, and teachers, speaking on the Word, I also found that I had to learn for myself. What is the setting and context? What was the writer trying to convey to the people during that time? What are the cultural traditions of that day?
As much as I love my pastors at church ultimately I’m not a follower of them, I’m a follower of Christ and I need to spend quality time with Him and read what the Bible says. Just like if you’re married, you wouldn’t just talk to your spouse once a week, sometimes we treat God that way, relying on a pastor to bring God’s word to us on Sundays. What I’m sharing is not meant to condemn or convict (although if you are convicted, maybe it’s the Holy Spirit 🤷🏾) but to inspire change. I know for me in 2017, I was like enough is enough, I’m going to read the Bible more and made a conscious decision to do so the following year. It wasn’t without sacrifice. I had to get up early or carve out time from my children’s naptime where I could be doing something else. Sometimes I missed a day of reading or what not but I just kept moving forward. I didn’t guilt myself for not reading, I just kept on going. I hope this encourages you to read for YOURSELF.
I heard someone share about needing prayer, the Word and time with God’s people to sustain their faith earlier this week and I couldn’t agree more. If one of those things is lacking, it can affect the depth of your faith. All of that to say, I hope this is an encouragement to someone. Let’s build our faith today to tackle head-on whatever comes our way in 2019. ✌🏾