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Deepening your relationship with God - Luke 24:45


Luke 24:45  Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Before God allowed me to know his presence in a big way, I had a really hard time reading the Bible. It just didn't make sense to me. And, it won’t make sense to you unless you know God.

Once we have a deep relationship with the Lord, the Good Book comes alive. But it requires patience and diligence on our part. 

The words of the Bible didn't start jumping out at me automatically. It took a disciplined effort on my part to understand the heart of God and get to know Him before the book opened up for me. I searched the popular Bible stories. I started with the Gospel of John. I read the ‘how to read the Bible’ books and I did everything I knew to do…but it didn't open up overnight.

I attended many Bible studies and that didn't really help. I listened to sermons; talked to people…I did all the ‘right’ things.  

It was only when God opened my eyes to read His words that I was able to understand the Bible.

Now I can’t get enough. 

I use smart phone app versions, but I have a collection of paper Bibles that I keep around me and with me so I can read at a moment’s notice. I never know when the Holy Spirit will inspire me to read and write.

I’m also careful about the Christian books, sermons and writings that I read. The Lord gives us discernment to know when information is not the truth. Be careful.

I no longer make Bible reading a goal each year because it’s a regular part of my spiritual life. If you want to go deeper with God, talk to Him. Go the extra mile to know his heart. 

Be careful with your spiritual formation.
Don’t be satisfied with what people tell you or teach you. You want to be able to go to your Bible and read what God wants you to know.  

After all, He’s the author.



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These are a few of my favorite Scriptures. I cannot live my life without God and his word. I keep a 3x5 wire bound note diary of verses that pop off the pages of my Bibles. This helps me in case I need to comfort someone with a specific verse. Start your own collection!


Comfort

Psalm 119:76 Comfort me with your love, as you promised me, your servant.
Job 4:4 Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand.
Strength

Psalm 18:1 I love you, LORD. You give me strength.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me.
Isaiah 40:29 The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you.
1 Corinthians 15:58 … don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong, all who wait with hope for the LORD, and let your heart be courag…

Sin on the journey

Before I know it, sin drips from my mouth and floods my mind. Oh the struggle.
Romans 7:22-23 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free. 
My current struggle is in not easily recognizing the extent of my sinfulness. I can easily preach it, but continuous righteous living eludes me.
Ouch. It hurts. I reveal this because I love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul, but the sinner in me wins. It's the same struggle the A…