One of the best gifts my mom ever gave me was instilling the habit of daily Bible reading. When I was about seven or eight years old she said that since I was able to read on my own, I should start the day with reading from the Bible, whether it be a chapter or just a verse or two.
This habit has stayed with from that time. I won't pretend that there have not been days that I have missed...days of babies and sickness and busyness. But the habit remains and I am grateful.
I will also add that I don't see this as a "magic formula" or anything like that. I have heard people say that their day did not go well because they didn't read their Bible that morning, or conversely, that if they start their day in God's Word, that all is wonderful. I don't think that I can always see such a correlation. Nor is there an "aha" moment every single day (although many days there are!).
Reading my Bible is not a "work" or something that I think will garner me God's favor. But as I have read God's Word, over and over, over the days, the weeks, the months, and the years, I have grown. A little at a time, I have learned. Slowly but surely, He has taught me.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept;line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.(Isaiah 28:10)
The Bible is the living Word of God. It shows me who God is and what His character is. It reveals to me His great plan of redemption through Jesus Christ. It instructs me in righteousness and how I ought to live.
And now I want to tell you of a resource that I have recently discovered...and I wonder why I have not learned of it before!
A few weeks ago in our church fellowship on Sunday morning, Phil referred to a passage in that day's Daily Light on the Daily Path. As Ed and Jill (in whose home we meet) had a copy, Phil read that morning's devotional.
Daily Light is a devotional of scripture verses, compiled by Samuel Bagster (1772-1851). Bagster arranged the verses thematically, with a morning and an evening theme for each day of the year. One of the best parts to me is that there is no commentary, not a single man-composed word, but only The Word.*
Let me give you an example:
Let me give you an example:
MARCH 26, MORNING
I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. ~ Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strength-ened me. ~ When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. ~ I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. ~ I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. ~ My peace I give unto you.
HEB. 13:5. Heb. 13:6. Gen. 28:15. -Deut. 31:6. II Tim. 4:10,16,17. Psa. 27:10. Matt. 28:20. Rev. 1:18. John 14:18. John 14:27.
That same week, we ordered our own copy, a beautiful black leather-bound edition with a ribbon bookmark. There are many versions available, in different Bible translations, in paperback or hardback. While waiting for our own Daily Light to arrive, I read the day's passages online. (If you would like to read online , try ~HERE~.)
I am thoroughly enjoying this new resource for studying God's Word! Reading verses from so many places in the Bible, all about the same topic, each amplifying the others, is deepening my understanding, and giving new life to daily devotions.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Are you familiar with Daily Light on the Daily Path? (Am I the only one who had never seen it?)
What are your favorite devotional books?
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* In many current editions, including the one we purchased, there is an introduction and appendices by Anne Graham Lotz, but the original devotional selections are unedited.