What Does The Bible Mean To You?

Dear Friends,

Monday 23rd November was International Day of the Bible.  The idea was to share, either publicly or online, with the world how much the Bible means to your life, by sharing a favourite Bible verse or passage. 

It got me thinking about how much the Bible has meant to me since I was a young child.  How I loved the Bible stories I was taught in Sunday School.  Then as a teenager being part of a youth group where we were taught God's Word.  How much it meant to me as I left home to go to university and relied on a regular quiet time and how that has continued to this day.

As a result, I have many favourite Bible verses, and the list is continually growing.

When I was baptised at the age of eleven I shared my then favourite verse from Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (NIV)  That very day I became ill with terrible stomach pains which progressively got worse over the next twenty-four hours.  My GP had no idea what was causing it, so he called an ambulance to take me to the hospital.  It turned out to be appendicitis, and because my GP had failed to diagnose it (being convinced that was one thing it was not), they operated just in time before it ruptured.  In those days, it meant a long stay in hospital and I hated being away from home.  So, my favourite verse became even more real and meaningful at that time.

Over the years, various verses have become meaningful to me and a favourite for a particular season.  They have become part of my testimony.  It's a mistake to think that our testimony is just about when we first became a Christian.  We have a testimony to share with the world which is regularly updated as we daily experience the presence of God in our life.  I think it sad if all we have to share with others is something that happened years ago.  It's as if we are telling people that God changed our lives once but makes no difference to us now.

In the last few weeks Psalm 71:16a (TLB) has become a favourite of mine.  "I walk in the strength of the Lord God."  I have it written on card and keep it near my bed so that it's one of the first things I see when I wake.  Being only a few words in length, and also because it means something to me, it is easy to memorise and repeat to myself during the day. 

It means a lot to me in my present circumstances as I'm so aware of my physical weakness.  Actually, not just physical weakness but my spiritual weakness too.  In my weakness I am far more dependent on God's strength.  I need him in all that I do.  I need his strength working in and through me so that I can accomplish all he calls me to do. 

When I was healthy I was far more independent, I did things in my own strength.  But now, in my weakness I can do more because it is not me doing it but the power of God working in me.

This verse is a great reminder for me and brings me much needed encouragement.  There's no need to do something on my own and in my limited strength because I have God's presence with me, providing me with his strength.  Whatever I do, whether it's cooking a meal for my family, meeting up with friends, serving God at church, I do it in the strength of the Lord.  Wherever I go, whether it's staying at home, going shopping, worshipping at church, I go in the strength of the Lord.

There is so much for us to discover in God's Word and it can help us in so many ways.  "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)

To Think About:
What does the Bible mean to you?  How can you use the Bible to encourage yourself and others?

In what ways has it made a difference in your life?

What is a favourite verse of yours and why does it mean so much to you? 
Would you consider posting a comment - I'd love to hear what your answer is.  Let's encourage one another. 



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