And still amazed that I actually read the entire Old Testament. I have never done that before and there was actually lots of the Old Testament that I had never read. A few general thoughts and observations about my reading over the last couple of weeks.....
The Old Testament is filled with God's mercy. I always thought it was more about old laws and funny rules to please God. There are lots of laws and traditions, but God's mercy shines through when you read it as a whole. He gave his people chance after chance to redeem themselves and turn from evil. And just like today, people continued to sin and ignore.....especially when times were good and would turn to God when they were in trouble. It is amazing that so many years later, (we) I still fall into the same troubles, temptations, and trials that those of the Old Testament found. I (we) are still trying to do things our way instead of His way.
Jeremiah 29: 11 - For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Why is it so hard to believe that He knows what he is doing and that His plan is the right plan?
Should I not act according to what I believe and trust and have faith that His plan is right? Am I walking with God?
Micah 6:8 - He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (emphasis added)
One of my favorite of Jesus' parables is that of the Sower - Matthew 13: 1-23
Matthew 13: 19-23 - When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."
I think it's easy to look at other people's lives, judge and think.....they are the sower along the path or the sower among the thorns.....but do we think of ourselves? I'm guilty of looking down on other people's Walk and not looking attentively at my own. I probably have at times, even recently been a unconstructive sower. I think it is easy to fall into one of the ideas of immediate joy, but no roots or of being overwhelmed with this world that I sowing doesn't happen. Having good soil, a good foundation is something I am working on now. It's hard and it takes discipline and obedience. You can have faith, but if you don't act on some things, the growing won't occur. I have seen this more and more with this challenge. I have to actually open my Bible!
I think that is why this reading schedule has been hard, challenging and rewarding all at the same time. I never had a time set aside to be reading my Bible, making it near impossible to grow my faith. No time in God's Word, leaves no foundation for good sowing! It hasn't been easy. I have been behind numerous times and just plain tired of reading, but am plugging along now. So, Day 71 and I am caught up with the reading.
I thought this quote was great and just the reminder I needed!
"No one ever graduates from Bible study until he meets the Author face-to-face." Everett Harris