Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Devotions - I finished it!

Recently I had a goal of reading the entire Bible front to back in a year. Three years later, I have finally finished! Who knew all the little things in life would deter me from my daily devotions with God? Vacations, illness, having a baby, etc. All these took me away from my goal. Even though it took longer than I anticipated I'm so happy I'm done. Not because it was a difficult task that I am happy to have completed, rather I am happy I finished it because I know have a complete picture of what God has done for his people and what he has in store for us in the future.

I grew up in the church and of course I grew up learning the treasured Bible stories of both the Old and New Testaments and memorizing Bible verses. Occasionally in my teens and twenties I would flip through and read passages, mostly from Psalms and Proverbs. The books of Judges, Deuteronomy, and Revelations  however, I tended to avoid like the plague. The Old Testament is full of laws and rules and geneology that, honestly, is pretty dry reading. And Revelations? Well, I just could never bring myself to read about Christ's return. I always became anxious thinking about what the end of the world will be like. I must say though, after reading the entire Bible I found Revelations one of the most fascinating books in the Bible.

One of my favorite passages from Revelations comes from ch. 21 vs. 3-4;

Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. there will be no moe death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

How comforting are these words. No more pain, the old ways are gone and God is with us! What wonderful promises Revelations holds!

As I worked through the Bible I used Halley's Bible Handbook: An Abbreviated Bible Commentary (Bible Handbook Series) to help me understand passages and the historical context of the Bible. Maybe that's why it took me so long, I was reading two books and I'm still not finished with Halley's!! I enjoyed his commentary even if it is fifty years old. I felt he had a lot to say that pertains to Christians today.

About the book of Revelations he writes;

There are many interpretations of the book of Revelation. And every one has its difficulties. Whatever interpretation is accepted, some detials require straining to fit.

To us, it seems, taking the language in its most apparent meaning, that the simplest, most obvious, most natural, most evident, and most reasonable interpretation is a sort of combination of the Historical and Futurist interpretations.

Some writers, and preachers, and others, greatly overdo Revelation, or rather their pet ideas of it. And, on that account, in part, at least, others stay away from it altogether. Both attitudes are wrong. the book should neither be neglected, nor over exalted above other Bible books. But surely it is entitled to, and will greatly reward, a reasonable share of a Christian's study and devotion.

I know today's post isn't exactly a devotion but I found it exciting to have finished the Bible and wanted to share a bit of my experiences.

Do you use a handbook or guide when studying the Bible? Please share!


  1. I read The Student Bible NIV. I love it! I'll copy a link so you can see what I'm talking about.

  2. I've never heard of Halley's Bible Handbook, sounds great. I love your last photo with the grain elevator. Beautiful!

  3. Impressive. I just plug along at Bible Studies and am thankful I have them to keep me targeted...

  4. I use Precept Upon Precept Bible studies from Precept Ministries International. DH and I are studying Jeremiah right now. I also have their Inductive Study Bible and really love that.

  5. Congratulations-very deserving! I am inspired.


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