Abide In Me, Hold Fast, Be Ready, Don’t Be Deceived

For the last couple of years in our women’s ministry of our church, we have felt God telling us that Biblical illiteracy within the body of Christ is a huge issue.  Bible studies that feed us with drops of milk rather than the meat of His Word have added to the problem.  If I were to guess, I would say that over 50% of the people who attend each Sunday have not opened their Bibles during the week. (And that is probably a very generous number)  They feed off of cute sayings and Biblical quotes they see on Facebook, or on 5 minute devotionals, or those scriptures that their children have studies and need to memorize in Sunday School.  I was once the same.  I am no longer.

I noticed that mature Christians simply insisted that I needed to read the Bible for myself.  So I dug in.  It wasn’t perfect in terms of consistency nor in terms of comprehension, but I persisted and wanted to know more.  Asking God to meet me there and to teach me.  What a gift this has been in my life.  Now I do the same for others – you simply must be studying God’s word daily to deepen your knowledge of Him, His Word, His plan and your faith.

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. (ESV) 1 John 2:26-27

One year I attempted to read through the Bible in that year.  I failed the first time.  I fell behind the schedule, got frustrated, and then quit.  But since that year, I have committed myself to reading through the Bible every day with a goal of completing the entire Bible in the year and starting afresh in January.  I learn new things about myself and about God each year through this process.  Yet it isn’t enough.

I have also learned how to really study God’s word on my own with the guidance and wisdom of God’s Holy Spirit within me.  And God has made tremendous study tools available to this generation.  At the tips of our fingers are all the tools we need to really seek out His truth in the scriptures.  And the biggest factor or barrier for people is that this simply takes an investment of TIME.  There are no shortcuts on this one.

Enter all your excuses and other priorities here.  It is your choice.

It is in this study of His word that His word has come alive for me.  He has revealed great treasures of truth, the beautiful structure of His Word, how it is precisely knit together into this wonderful living Word of truth and beauty.  66 books written by 40 authors over 1500 years and it is all one unified purpose and work.  It is written outside our scope of time.  Over 25% of the Bible is prophecy and much of it is yet to be fulfilled.  If that doesn’t excite you, I’m not sure what would.

The creator of this universe and all that is in it, including you, has given you a glimpse into His plan for the future.  Aren’t you just the teensiest bit interested in finding out what is going to happen?  I sure am.  And contrary to folks who will claim that the text is too difficult to understand and that no one really agrees on it, the truth is that God has written it in such a way that you must invest time.  You must seek Him in these pages and ask Him to reveal it.  Yet He has given it to those who seek so that we CAN know the important aspects of what is coming.  He encourages us to hold fast and persevere.  He commands us to be ready and watching for His return.  He warns us that we will be easily deceived if we do not know the truth of His word.

What are you waiting for?  Stop reading this and go open your Bible.  Ask God to teach you and then stick with it every day.  It takes time.  Press on beloved.  This is vital.  Be encouraged.  He is with you.

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