It is finished, but to be started again.

Something I ought to have done years ago has finally happened. I’m sorry I’ve not done it sooner, but nonetheless, just two months shy of my 42nd birthday I accomplished what I set out to do on October 31st of last year. It isn’t easy to finish something you start, just ask my scrapbooking supplies, or the trunk full of material, or the books sitting on my nightstand.

I had just gotten my new phone last year around this time. I was new to the whole idea of “apps”. I downloaded the Bible app on my phone, and sitting in church I was looking at the features of this app. I noticed the reading plans. Seeing as how my phone is something with me everyday, I hoped to finally succeed in reading through the Bible in one year. This isn’t a “good job, Jennifer” moment, as it is something I feel I should have done long ago (personal judgment of myself alone). Not because to be a good Christian you must read through your Bible every year or it earns you extra points. It means neither. It just seems to me that if you love someone, really love them, you’d be very interested in everything they have to say to you. I wanted the whole picture from beginning to end, and I certainly feel as though I’ve learned so much more than I realized I would.

In truth, over the course of my life, I’m fairly sure I’ve read about 85% of the Bible up until this time through school, Bible studies, personal readings, and teaching times. Yet, this was different. I choose to read according to the chronological plan. I was struck time and time again by one theme. Yes, I saw the creativity of God, the miracles, the judgment, the sacrifice, and of course, the love. However, over and over again, I was awed by the holiness of God.

It is a holiness we cannot fathom, that sent Christ to us. Just the slightest portion of imperfection or sin can’t be in the presence of such profound holiness, that it warranted a perfect sacrifice. It is this same holiness that I will spend eternity in awe of, which will cause song and praise to be continually on my lips crying out the holiness of God. I can’t even begin to wrap my feeble mind around what it will be like one day to be in His presence forever and ever and ever!

As I came to the end of my reading year, I wondered over many things. Those that say they do not know God or don’t believe, have they read this love letter from beginning to end? If your heart and eyes are open, it will point you to the truth of who God is and what He wants to offer you, Jesus. I’d compare it to reading a novel but leaving out some of the chapters, and while you might know how the story ends, you are going to miss some of the why’s and how’s. Same goes for a movie or play that you continually walk in and out of and still form an opinion on without having seen each minute. Call me a simpleton, it just seems so obvious to me, if you want the whole truth, you need the whole story.

I’m not special because of completing this personal goal, thousands of believers do it every year. Maybe I’m like the annoying ex-smoker who has quit and now believes everyone should, too, and should do it right now!!! (please note the humor here) Think of it this way, I’ve discovered this invaluable new gadget that I think everyone shouldn’t be without, like an iphone. Truth is, it is invaluable, it’s the word of God, given to each one of us. I hope you are getting your daily fix in of God’s message.

I loved the whole story, even the parts I didn’t always understand. I’m not a theologian. I’m not worried about that, because while I finished, I’ll begin it again. I’ll still wonder why the Israelites couldn’t see what appears so obvious to me. I’ll marvel at the great men and women of faith. I’ll be humbled, I pray, by all that took place on Calvary for me. I’m looking forward to different insights and new moments of being awed and overwhelmed by God’s love, grace and mercy for me. I don’t deserve one bit of it, I deserve my just punishment, and yet, that’s not what I have coming to me. Amazing! I hope to add more notes and comments to the margins of my Bible. And finally, I pray by the power of the Holy Spirit, that none of it remains just information or emotion, but molds me into the likeness of Christ.

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