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Don’t Be Afraid to Write In Your Bible (written by Ashlyn)

February 6th, 2018 Posted in From Ashlyn
Growing up, I often felt like a bad Christian because unless it was Nancy Drew, I did not like reading. This caused me to barely pick up my bible. I had a kid’s study bible that I enjoyed and got through quite quickly, but even now at my young-adult age I still find it hard to read my actual bible. I’ve tried several versions, devotions, and I’ve tried reading it different times of day. Nothing seemed to work and I had constant obligation on my heart. It seems my new year’s resolution was always to get closer to God through reading my bible, but it was something I could never improve.

A few years ago I joined a new church. One of the first things I learned was that the bible is an important tool in our life, a text book even, but our main focus should be Jesus. Too often, Christians seem to idolize this blessed book and in the process lose sight of the main mentor that we should live by – being Jesus. My first impression in my head was ‘Thank the Lord, because I can totally try to live like Jesus.’ Then the pastor added that the bible is our way to Jesus. It’s the path that helps lead us to him. It is what helps us understand the heart of God. Now my impression of this was ‘Well, here we go. I’m never going to get that good with God because I can’t find him in the first place.’

Amidst all the cynical thoughts going through my head about how it wasn’t fair that I am a poor reader and that I’m never going to be good enough for God because of this, I had a change of heart. It turned out to be all about perspective. (“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

‘The bible is like a text book. Mark it up! Study it!’

Mark it up? Are you kidding me? You want me to underline and highlight in this beautiful and ancient book? That is far too intimidating.

 Well in school that’s what I did with my text books. I highlighted things to know what was important. I would underline the things I wanted drilled into my brain. Instead of just reading these words in God’s book, I had to study them. It was so important to let my thoughts manifest on them. And that right there folks, is what changed my bible reading experience.

I would keep a highlighter on my bedside table. Often times, things would stand out to me and I didn’t know why. But then I would be reading another day and find those highlighted verses that were now applicable to me. Maybe it was pure coincidence, maybe it was God, but it was something I needed to hear. Had I not highlighted that passage, I wouldn’t have noticed it the same way.

You see, the bible may not be the same as Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys, but neither is your lens. We aren’t reading God’s word for entertainment; we are learning it to grow. (“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” – 1 Peter 2:2)

Ask God to speak to you through His word. Study the passages. Break them down sentence by sentence, word by word. More importantly, don’t be intimidated or afraid to mark up your bibles.

Ashlyn Berkhout
Social Media & Communications for CHRI Radio Ottawa

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