January 8, 2009

As much as I have studied the Bible in recent years, I cannot say that I know for sure that I have read through the Bible in its entirety. I made a commitment that in 2009, I would do just that... read the Bible cover to cover. I know that there are reading plans out there that will show you how to read through over the course of one year, but for my own sake, I wanted to read each chapter and verse in order. In all of my devotional time, I have never had a specific reading plan, I just sit down and somehow open to what God would have for me on that particular day. I really hoped that God would still find me where I am at and speak to me through what I am reading. If you have never read through the Bible before, I would encourage you to take this challenge with me. I have figured out that if I read only 4 pages per day, I will get through everything by the end of the year. Who doesn't have time to read 4 pages per day?? The way I look at it is, everything we know about who God is is written in the Bible. I want to know everything there is to know. Also, I can only imagine the conversations Jeff has had in Heaven with Abraham and Noah and the disciples, etc. I don't want to get to Heaven and tell any of those people that I did not have time to read about the things they went through, things that were specifically chosen to be recorded in the Bible. The Bible is my life manual, and I want to make sure that I have read it front to back. I have more than one Bible, but I have chosen one called "The Power of a Praying Woman Bible" which I have found to be extremely easy reading. I would recommend it for any woman who wants to start reading the Bible.

I am reading in Genesis now, and the stories are all familiar to me so far. I call them stories, but they are in fact true accounts of things that actually happened. As a matter of fact, I just watched a program on TV about Sodom and Gomorrah. In this particular program, they set out to see if the events in the Bible were true or if they were not meant to be taken literally. Throughout the course of the show, they were actually able to scientifically prove that the events in the Bible surrounding the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to be true. In fact, they were able to pinpoint the exact day that they think this may have happened. Anyhow, something I read in Genesis Chapter 18 stood out to me. The city of Sodom had fallen into evil practices. God's plan was to totally destroy the city, and everyone in it. Abraham was aware of this plan, yet actually went before God and said:

23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

And God agreed that if there were 50 righteous people there, He would spare the city. Abraham went back again and asked what if there are 45 righteous people there? And again, God agreed to spare the city if there were 45 righteous people found there. Abraham went back four more times, asking God each time, what if there are 40? 30? 20?10? And in each case, God was willing to spare the city if there were righteous ones to be found in it. Abraham's nephew, Lot and his family lived in Sodom. Maybe this was why Abraham was so persistent, because he knew he had family there that did not deserve to die. Chapter 19 says that two angels arrived in Sodom and found Lot. the angels warned Lot that God planned to destroy Sodom and that Lot needed to get his family out. It says in verse 16,

16 When he (Lot) hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them.

After they had gotten out, the entire city went up in flames.

I took a few things away from this. First, Abraham's persistence may have actual saved Lot's life. Abraham had influence in God's decision to be merciful to them. Second, even when God sent angels to warn Lot to leave, he hesitated. The angels actually took him by the hand and led him and his family out.

In my Bible, there is a little side note in chapter 18 that says " Lord, give me the words to pray boldly for the lives of others and not give up or stop interceding too soon." How often do we feel so small and that our prayers are not big enough to be heard? I have been fighting this disease for 3 1/2 years. Hearing how persistent Abraham was gives me hope in my prayers for myself and also for others. Don't stop praying, you could be the one that changes the path and causes God's mercy to fall on us.

I heard this song on the radio today, as I have many times before. But it speaks to what I am writing about in a way. The title is Savior, please which in itself has been my short prayer many many times. But the lyrics state that "I can't do this alone... keep saving me". Please click on the link below to hear the song.

Click here to hear Savior, please

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