Today’s post by Janis Cox reveals a little about her early life as a Christian and her growing relationship with God. She shares how she learned to love the Word of God, and grow in understanding, through reading and memorizing scripture.
Listening To Sermons and Growing My Relationship With God
As I grew in my relationship with God by having my morning – uninterrupted – quiet time, praying and studying His Word, I hungered to learn even more. For the first time in my life I actually listened to sermons. Before reading the Bible for myself, sermons sounded so foreign. I guess they were words spoken without my understanding.
Now I know what happened. It was just as Jesus said, “Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” Mark 8:18.
My ears were not open to hear His Word. As soon as they were opened, His word came flooding into my heart and mind. It made sense. I had an aha moment. I had needed to accept Jesus as my Saviour and Lord. Then He opened the Word of God to me.
Familiar Passages From The Word of God
Passages started to become familiar. One passage from Philippians 4:6 had special meaning.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
To help my fears subside, I memorized this passage. I recall it now to remind me, but also to let it speak to others to help them. I also listened to wise counsel about reading through the Bible in a year. I have done that a number of times in different versions. Big chunks of Scripture. Some very hard but at least I read it. I started to know where to find the different books of the Bible without looking in the table of contents.
In order to increase my understanding more, I read more books that had scriptural references, and went to courses. God kept leading me, inspiring me, encouraging me, and teaching me.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8
I had the privilege in those first years as a new follower of Jesus to attend the Willow Creek Leadership workshops with a team from my church. I was SUCH a greenhorn. Some talks were way over my understanding, but I relaxed and let the words flow through me. I learned regardless of my inabilities. I took Bible studies. Then to my surprise I was asked to lead a Bible study. That was a growth experience of stupendous proportions. Growth happened because I felt hungry; I worked at it and with God’s leading and guidance the Bible became my book of choice.
Are you hungry for the Word of God? It is as near as that book on your shelf or table – God’s Word to us – the Bible. Make it your book of choice.
Janis Cox gave her life to God in 2001. Since then she has been active in sharing her faith, and particularly enjoys writing as a means to express her thoughts, prayers, and feelings. She is a regular contributor to HopeStreamRadio and is enjoying her foray into Christian internet radio.
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Images courtesy of:
Open Bible – Geri-Jean Blanchard
Anxious – Joana Croft
Writing – rawpixel