As I posted here, I took the Bible in 90 Days challenge hosted by MomsToolBox. I am so excited to have finished the challenge, and not only did I finish, but I finished around 16 days ahead of schedule! I had an amazing mentor and dear friend, Jennifer Janes who supported me every step of the way. The journey has not been easy, we have had some extreme changes in our family during this past few months that at times made me think about giving up and trying again. I knew, however, that this is what God had called me to do. I loved almost every minute of it (let’s be honest, sometimes the “so and so begat so and so” in the Old Testament gets boring).
Now that I’m done, I have decided to share with you what I learned and how I have grown during this time.
In the Old Testament, I enjoyed reading all of the stories that I read growing up. It was different reading them in order and seeing how they were connected with one another. In the New Testament, I loved reading about how God lead the disciples and taught them to teach others. I loved reading the parables, the promises about life in general, and the book that has forever intrigued me, Revelations.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philipians 4:19
First of all, God continued to tell me that I will forever be cared for by him. I was able to focus my faith in His ability to meet my needs, not my wants, but my needs. God took care of the sparrow, He took care of the animals when he flooded the earth. He took care, when creating the earth, to count the grains of sand on the beach and when creating me, the hairs on my head. God created me with the purpose of living the life I have. He knew before I was conceived that I would be married to Chad and have the 4 beautiful children I have. If He took that much care in creating the earth and me, why wouldn’t He also take care of my daily needs as long as I believe in Him and do not try to rely on myself?
After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ Acts 13:22
I was reminded that God loved David and appointed him to be king after Samuel as a young child. David was “a man after God’s heart” and even when he committed adultery, God forgave him. God protected and loved David in many different types of situations, just as he does all of us.
Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees : man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Thinking about God’s love for King David, I realized that although I am struggling day by day with my son, God loves him too. My son is just as important to God as King David was. He will protect my son and love him in the same way as he did King David, especially since he has special needs. While it may not be easy raising him, he has a purpose on this earth that God planned from before he was conceived and I should do anything I can, as his Mommy, to foster that purpose.
Jesus said, 11 ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.’ John 10:11-16
Many times throughout the Bible we are compared to the sheep in the pasture with Jesus being our shepherd. Reading the verses above I am reminded that God loves us and sent His son to prove his love in an earthly fashion. He also gave His son to us, on earth, to die on the cross for all of us. If we repent of our sins, through Christ’s crucifixion, we can be washed white as snow. God forgives our sins, washes them away and we are clean again. However, if we, like a sheep gone astray, choose not to follow Christ, we are lost. We are on our own without His love, His protection, we are at the mercy of the wolf (Satan). Just because we have gone astray does not mean that he does not still love us, he loves us just like we love our children who misbehave. God is still standing there, arms open wide, waiting for us to come running back to him.
Just as Christ is my shepherd leading me, caring for me, and willing to lay down his life for me, I must be the shepherd for my children. This was one of the things that I continued to hear throughout reading the Bible. I must raise my children in the Bible, I must do my best to raise them with love, grace, and faith. I must work to use their strengths to build their weaknesses. I must lead them, and of course as their mother, I am willing to lay down my life for them. I hope that I am well on my way to being Christ-like in my teaching, but I am only on my way. I have so much to learn and so far to come.
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3
In Revelations, I was convicted strongly. So strongly, in fact, that I wanted to pick up the phone and call someone from my past to apologize. At least 9 years ago I engaged in a religious argument on a parenting forum and used the book of Revelations in my argument to explain why Christianity is the only true way. The discussion got very heated and out of control on all sides, but that in no way excused my behavior and I have thought about that conversation hundreds of times over the years. I continue to feel sick to my stomach over that discussion and pray that God has forgiven me for my actions in that discussion.
Reading Revelations this time brought a new light to the truth. It gave me a new respect for the end of times and how things really will be. I have no doubt that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father, that God is our Heavenly Father, the maker of all. I also know, after reading the book of Revelations that I took something out of context in order to further my point in a conversation. I am sure the person who I offended does not read my blog, but if she does I hope she understands how sincerely sorry I am.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Reading the entire Word of God has further ignited my flame and passion for Christ. I feel totally renewed in The Spirit. Since finishing, I have wanted and yearned for more of His Word in a way I never expected. I honestly cannot wait to read through the entire Bible again and see how God speaks to me the next time.
Finally, my prayer when I started this challenge, as I posted on my blog post initially was:
I pray that God will speak to me in a special way each day. I pray that I will learn more about God’s love and promises to us, his people. I pray that God will speak to me in a way that will help me to help my children. Most of all, I pray that I will grow in my relationship with Him and therefore be able to show His love to all of those around me.
Thinking about everything that I learned during this time, I’d say God answered that prayer. I definitely got all of those things and more from this experience. God’s power is amazing!