Thee. Thou. Art. These are all words that make me want to run in the opposite direction. I feel like I’m in the middle of high school English class about to study something that will make me want to poke my eyes out.
Growing up and even into early adulthood I thought that this jargon was what mostly filled the bible. Along with that, I thought that the principles taught in the bible were vague and non-applicable to me in this current era. Little did I know that I was completely WRONG!
I grew up in a Christian household and we attended church periodically. I knew the basic principles of the bible: God created mankind, Noah built an ark, Jesus died on the cross and my sin was forgiven. My grandfather was a retired preacher, so I learned a few things here and there from him. The few times that I did pick up the bible I was quickly discouraged because I didn’t understand what I was reading. Too many words that sounded like a Shakespearian play and that did not interest me.
I have been a regular attendee of church for most of my adult life now and I have definitely changed my views. I must admit that reading some simplistic books about the bible, like my children’s study bibles have helped me the most. They are short and to the point, allowing me to get a better overall picture of the bible. I still have a massive amount to learn, but I am making progress.
A few years ago I did a Beth Moore study that focused on the book of James. James is believed to have been written by Jesus’s half-brother. It is a short book, comparative to other books of the bible. What struck me about the book of James is the massive amounts of real-life applications that are contained in it. Here are a few:
…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (hello conviction:-) )
Guess that applies to me when I quickly lash out at someone with my road rage.
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Do not judge, but be merciful. That one has been weighing heavy on my heart this week. Repeat after me: do not judge, do not judge, be merciful, be merciful. May take me a few thousand repeats to get this to sink in!
…Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
You mean I shouldn’t start a blog about 1,000 reasons why I love the Kardashians? Or maybe my self-centered ideology is a worldly inspired view-point?
My point is that the bible was relevant then, now and will continue to be until the book of Revelation is fulfilled. I don’t know how many times I have been reading in my bible and thought “wow, that really applies to me!”. I urge you to give it a try. If you are intimidated by all of the thees, thous and arts, don’t be.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your bible reading journey:
1. There are many different versions of the bible available and most don’t contain Shakespearian sounding text. www.biblegateway.com for example lists at least 30 different versions for you to try (for free!). Try a few and see which version is most comfortable to you.
2. Don’t be too proud to start at a basic level. Check out the kids section at the bookstore or library for some quick reads that will give you an overview of the bible before you really dig in deep. If you have kiddos, read it together and create lasting memories.
3. Watch a movie about the bible. I am a very visual person. If I can picture what Peter looks like when I am reading, it helps me to remember the verses more effectively. NBC currently has “The Bible A.D.” series on Sunday evenings. Check it out!
God loves you and wants a close relationship. Bathe your heart and mind in His word. It is a book for me and you. It’s our handbook for a life lived for Christ.
-Remember to liveHislove,