Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Final Thoughts

When I first announced that I was going to read the entire Bible in 90 days, most people asked why I would read it so quickly. If I was asked that question again today, I would offer the same explanation. Reading many pages each day puts God and our relationship with Him into perspective. It makes it easier to see what is really important in life, what God values and wants from each one of His children.

I realized a few things as I read. First, God loves every single human being more than I can imagine. He loves you and me and everyone else with an infinite love, regardless of the positive or negative choices we've made in the past and continue to make day by day. In numerous ways, God calls people to Him so that He can give us life. This calling doesn't happen once and if rejected, never again. So many stories in the Bible show God calling people back to Him over and over and over again. He allows our choices to play out so that we can see that God's way is better. But in our misery or in our joy, God continues to call us back to Him.

I also learned that my relationship with God is based on my heart, not on my actions. Many texts, especially in the gospels, address the need for a clean heart, a pure heart, an undefiled heart. By spending time with God in prayer and in Bible study, I can become more like Him. When my heart becomes more like God's, my actions reflect what's on my heart. This is where keeping the commandments comes into play, honoring God with my actions because my heart is like His. I can't earn my way into heaven or God's favor. That's not what He wants from me. Instead, He desires my love and that my love would translate into actions.

Another glaring realization is that my priorities need to be rearranged. Life is not about having fun, following my own pleasures and enjoyments. Instead, I need to learn more about God, become more like Him, minister to my husband and to all the people I come in contact with. By doing this, I can be a great witness to the love of God. By loving like God loves, I can show people that I serve an awesome God and hopefully they will want to know more.

The last thing I learned is that both myself and often the Christian church in general places too much of an emphasis on the things of life that aren't that important. I have judged people on their appearance, criticized them for lifestyle choices, and felt superior because I "know more" or am "farther on my Christian walk" than someone else. However, wearing jewelry, eating meat, and watching movies, all these different lifestyle choices, are a choice and a conviction between an individual and God. It is not up to me or any church to dictate how someone lives their life.

As an individual and as a collective Christian family, we need to focus on the greatest two commandments - loving God and loving other people. This is the greatest joy and responsibility we have. This should be our focus every minute of every day. After all, a Christian is someone who takes on the ministry of Christ. Loving others. Pointing the way to God.

I would recommend reading the Bible in 90 days to everyone who would possibly be interested. It has opened my mind to new ideas and a new way of thinking. It really is a life changing experience and offers a unique perspective of God, His children, and our relationship to both.


T.R. Gallegos said...

AMEN! That is such an awesome thing you have done! Praise God!

Cassandra said...

Thank you so much!

Cherie said...

"Life is not about having fun, following my own pleasures and enjoyments. Instead, I need to learn more about God, become more like Him, minister to my husband and to all the people I come in contact with."
Love this, great insights gained from your reading.
I am struggling through Numbers now, but still making progress.

Cassandra said...

Thanks, Cherie! I really appreciate your kind words.

Good luck with your reading! Numbers is hard, but if you can get through it, the reading will get progressively easier.

Alilia said...

Great summary points. Olin is hoping to do the same thing in the last quarter of this year. I hope to finish by the end of the year as well. I will have to change my priorities in order keep up with it. I haven't been reading your blog for a while. I'll have to catch up with it later, but I like your summary...Thanks for sharing your journey & your thoughts.

Cassandra said...

Thanks, Alilia. If Olin is interested in reading through with a group, there is another session starting up in July. I'm not sure if there will be a group at the end of the year, but of course he has the option of going at it alone.

Alilia said...

He's kind of a loner anyways, since he's an only child. He probably wouldn't worry too much if there wasn't a group, but he probably would like at least a schedule of how much to read each day to accomplish it...