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Done in faithfulness

08 Oct
Done in faithfulness

In January, I set out to read the entire Bible in just 90 days.  I struggled to finish, and long after the 90th day passed I was still in the early part of Isaiah. Eventually I admitted to myself that I’d given up and was not going to finish.

For the word of the LORD is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness.  — Psalm 33:4

On July 11th {my birthday, I might add}, I set out to do it again – with much trepidation.  Knowing how often I’ve failed to complete any Bible reading plan over the past 8 years, combined with my recent failure earlier this year, I nervously signed up. And then wondered if I was doing the right thing. But I wanted to do this, I needed to do this. For myself as much as for my faith in the Lord. He told me I could do this, and I believed.

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. — Micah 7:7-8

There was an extra part to it this time though.  We’d recently done some research on the different Bible versions, and I had learned the New American Standard Bible (NASB) is the most word-for-word translation available.  Being a lifelong NIV/NLT girl, I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it correctly, and I decided to read it in the NASB.  I don’t even own a hard copy NASB, so all my reading would be electronically.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. — Psalm 51:10-12

Some of my friends thought I was probably crazy. They rolled their eyes and shook their heads, silently wondering to themselves how far I’d get this time, how often I’d whine about not being able to do this, waiting expectantly for the day when I admitted to giving in.

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. — Deuteronomy 4:29-30

As I got further and further into the Bible, each step was an accomplishment.  Reading the Books of Law – always a struggle for me – wasn’t so bad this time.  Stories of the Kings made more sense, and I was seeking out similarities. By the time I reached Isaiah, I was very nervous but determined to get through it.  What a joyous day when I made it to Jeremiah!

But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work. — 2 Chronicles 15:7

Oh there were struggles, plenty of them, and plenty of words of encouragement from my friends to go along with them.  The enemy doesn’t want you reading the Word because he knows there’s Power in the Word.    There were weeks where I fell days behind, and weeks where I was days ahead.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. — Ephesians 6:12

I made it through the prophets and into the New Testament and my friends rejoiced with me. But now the whispers really started. I’d read the New Testament so many times already, I didn’t really need to read them again, that voice said.  I ignored it and kept right on reading.  I’d told myself I was going to do this, and I wasn’t going to let anything or anyone stop me this time.  I took time to join weekly twitter parties, and shared tweets with other readers.  The encouragement and support were wonderful, and on some days it was exactly what I needed to not give up.

But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. — Luke 8:15

People would ask me what the point was; I was just reading to read it.  Yes, I was.  But that’s okay. I knew I would pick up things along the way and I did.  I saw promises kept, curses fulfilled, and prophesies made generations and centuries ahead of time.  Each and every time I caught the correlation, my eyes were opened anew.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. — Hebrews 4:12

The last week or so was the hardest. It seemed like I still had so far to go and so few days left.  I wrote down all the books on a sticky note and crossed them off as I finished them.  The voice would whisper that I wasn’t going to finish in time, but I ignored it. I allowed my stubborn nature to settle in and determined aloud over and over again that I was going to finish in time.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; — Hebrews 10:23

And then it happened.  It was Friday morning – day 89 – and I was staring at Revelation 1.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read Revelation, but it’s certainly been more than any other book in the Bible.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. — Revelation 3:20

It was very weird reading it this time though.  With everything earlier still so fresh in my mind, it really hit me hard yesterday.  I read a chapter, then the next, then stopped and went back to re-read, and thought, This is now. This is where we are, and we’re just waiting for the next bit to be finished.   The thought thrills me as much as it terrifies me.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; — Revelation 7:9

Now I find my thoughts straying to how much more we need to do, and wondering how much time we might have left.  I want to weep for every lost soul that doesn’t know Christ yet, I want to speak out boldly in my faith, I want to encourage others to seek and read and study and learn, and come to know Him just as I have.  Yet my soul aches for the day when it will be done, when the His faithful ones will be taken up with Him and we will meet the Lord in His glory.

Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. — Revelation 21:6-7

I cannot adequately describe the huge sense of accomplishment I’m feeling now.  To know that I didn’t give in, I didn’t give up. I put my mind to reading the Bible in 90 days, and I did.

And I can’t wait to do it again.  Dates haven’t been announced for next year, but I promise you I’ll be there. Only this time, I’m reading it The Message.  From the most literal to the most paraphrased – it just makes sense.

For the rest of this year though, I’m going to focus on my 1 John and Abiding Fruit bible studies. I’m behind on both because I’ve focused my efforts on finishing my reading.  I have two books to read and a prayer journal to start.  I think I have plenty to keep me busy.

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8 Comments

Posted by on October 8, 2011 in Faith

 

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8 responses to “Done in faithfulness

  1. Brittany

    October 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    So awesome!! Congratulations! I didn’t do the bible in 90 days – I found out about too late to even consider it, but I’m not sure if I would have been brave enough anyway. But the twitter parties you guys had were SUCH an encouragement to me, I can’t even tell you. Thank you for sharing your experience.

     
    • Bobbey M

      October 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks Brittany. I encourage to join us next year when we do it, or just pick up your Bible and make today (or tomorrow) your Day 1 and go for it. It seems hard, and sometimes it is, but it is soooo very worth it in the end.

       
  2. Ariel Price

    October 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Congratulations! I’m currently also trying to read through the entire Bible, but I didn’t set a goal for myself. It’s been a month and I just started Leviticus today, so it’s been slow going. This is good inspiration to keep going!

     
    • Bobbey M

      October 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks Ariel! Don’t stress yourself with a goal if you think it’s going to make it harder for you to read it. If you have the self disciple to read through without an end date, go for it. I’m not quite that self-disciplined. LOL Keep reading though and you’ll get through it.

       
  3. Shonda

    October 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Great job, Bobbey. Thanks for your insight. I’m terrified to start and not be able to finish in 90 days. I’ve tried to read the Bible in a year and gave up. I would love to accept this challenge when it comes up next.

     
  4. LaToya

    October 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    That’s awesome!! I dropped out at about week 5 I just had way too much going on and I couldn’t keep up. I can’t wait for the next one though I’m going to do it no matter what!

    CONGRATS!

     
  5. Ashley Pichea

    October 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Way to go, Bobbey!!

     
  6. Jenny Thompson (@titanium_woman)

    October 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Congratulations on making it through! Thank you for so beautifully expressing your thoughts.

     

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