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Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. Joshua 1:8 (NLT)

Several years ago now I embarked on a journey that would take me nearly ten years to complete. For reasons I’m still not sure of I decided that I wanted to study the Bible from cover to cover. Not just read it. Study it.

I set up some rules for myself. I would only read a paragraph a day unless it was a short chapter. Proverbs was a treat in and of itself! I followed no specific pattern of book order, although I did try to alternate between Old and New Testaments as much as possible. I also made a commitment to myself that this would not become a ‘religious exercise’. I was going to do it because I wanted to, not out of obligation. If I missed a day or two I resolved to NOT send myself on some guilt trip. Life happens.

The ‘format’ for my study was really pretty simple. I bought a three ring binder and some lined paper. Each day that I studied I would put the date, the scripture to be read/studied and a ‘journal’ area. After reading the selected section of the Bible I would write down what I thought the passage meant to me. Lastly, I put a one line ‘Life Step’ after each journal entry. The ‘LIFE STEP’ would be one thought from the passage that I would take with me throughout my day. It may have been a verse or a thought. It ‘had to be’ something I could apply to my life.

There were some days when I would read a passage and go through my day encouraged by the things I read. His word and the lesson stayed with me all day long as I meditated on some thought from that passage.

There were other days when I did the process and to be honest didn’t really find anything that would grab me about my life and walk with God. It was interesting though that later, on occasion, some part of the passage would come to mind and I distinctly remember thinking, “Oh, that’s why God gave me the reading this morning!”

This experience taught me some valuable lessons.

First, God’s word is relevant for today. The more I read, the more I realized its importance in giving me wisdom, strength and encouragement.

Secondly, daily reading of God’s word gave me more awareness of God’s presence in my daily life. He showed me his presence in many ways that I’d never seen before.

Thirdly I began to see the Bible as one story, with many sub-stories, that showed that God uses people. Ordinary people like you and I to accomplish his work. These were people who sinned, rebelled, and struggled with life!

We are extremely blessed, in the United States especially, with a multitude of Bible Studies, Churches, TV shows and the internet to give us God’s word. Joshua was promised that by making God’s Word a priority in life he would see success and prosperity by God’s standards.

PRAYER: Father God. Thank you for your word the Holy Bible. Thank you for the fact that throughout generations your Word has continued to be the infallible guide we need to find rest, peace and hope in  you. I praise you for your choce to use us, as ordinary sinful people, to accomplish your kingdom work here on earth. Amen.

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