Lately, we have been studying Romans 12 in our Bible study class on Sunday morning. Romans 12:2 lets us know that a key component to being transformed into Christlikeness is a renewing of our minds. The best place to renew our minds is God's word; the Bible. So, I decided this evening to have ham, apples, and the Pastoral Epistles for my supper as a "first."
Laura had made a dish that had ham and apples (along with various other things) in a broth or gravy kind of concoction that we poured over rice. It was really tasty. Instead of doing my usual thing while eating, I decided to read the Bible. I ended up reading 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. These 3 books are called the Pastoral Epistles. They are called the Pastoral Epistles because Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus who functioned as pastors and these books have instructions for pastors and churches with a lot of instruction on church life and organization.
I've read these books of the Bible before. I've had supper before. The "first" was for me to read these 3 books together while relaxing over supper. I did not read to get the meaning of every single word. I was not putting together a sermon. Tonight it was about just letting God's word run through my mind and get the big idea of what God was saying to these men. I decided to read in the NCV version tonight. That was helpful. Sometimes I get sort of used to the words when I've read them a lot and the NCV version is pretty good on getting the big picture of what a book is about. It was a beneficial way to spend supper with the Lord.
Everyone needs to eat
With as much Christian stuff in our society, you can have a bucketful.
Ephesians 5:26-that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word;
We need to consume what is good for us
It really does not take very long to read a book like 1st or 2nd Timothy or Titus. When I hear people talk about why they don't read the Bible, it sounds like something that takes hours of exertion. You can read one of the smaller books in one sitting if you have 15-20 minutes. You don't have to figure out the meaning of every word. Soak in the ones that you do know. Try to get the general idea of what is being communicated. As I read the Pastoral Epistles today, several things stood out to me. One was Paul's insistence that these guys not get drawn into fruitless discussions. He mentions that several times. Also, church leaders need to act in a way that is consistent with Christian living. We don't have to be perfect, but we do need to be genuine. I was struck by Paul's tone with these guys. I could hear his heart that he really wanted these guys to walk close with the Lord and for the churches to be as healthy as possible. It was a very delightful time to read these books together.
This was not a huge "first" for me. I read the Bible almost every day. I eat supper almost every day. The thing is if I had not been thinking about a "first," I would probably have plopped down on the couch in front of the TV and watched the news or some sports show. Reading God's word is a much better mental diet for me.
Reading for the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Shrimp quesadillas
2. The Pastoral Epistles
3. 2 Timothy 1:7- For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.