Learning and living the Bible is a major part of my life and always has been. It is part of who I am.
I find that for me, songs with scripture verses in them the easiest way to memorise parts of the Bible like “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and you will be saved. Acts 16 verse 31. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” which is easily sung to “Hickory dickory dock” and sticks in your head. (Go on sing it, I know you want to).
Other kinds of learning the Bible, like in-depth, study with cross references and deep diving into Bible experts’ publications, writing copious notes and having vigorous arguments, is all too academic for me.
Mostly I learn the Bible by reading it many times, pulling out a little bit to mull over and ponder, maybe discuss with other believers, chat to Jesus about it and see how it connects with other parts of the Bible, what I know about God and how I can apply it to my life. I also learn a lot about the Bible through going to church each week to learn from those who do the academic Bible Study like Pastor Richard.
Living the Bible is so much more challenging… sometimes more difficult, sometimes more fun, sometimes so logical and easy, sometimes God and I have a stand off until I acknowledge His wisdom and obey His Word, sometimes the Bible makes me laugh out loud!
Living the Bible, like learning the Bible, comes in many layers. It is easy to say I “love my neighbour” but when it comes down to “lend but don’t expect it to be returned”, “love your enemies,” “forgive those who spitefully use you”…. They are not so easy. Not easy, but the best, most freeing, living-life-to-the-max, thing to do. They have saved me many heartaches, healed wounds, and made my life a delightful adventure.
When I want guidance about anything in life, when I seek comfort, a faith boost, to improve myself, to understand myself and others, my Bible is where I go. My Bible is full of notes for promises, instructions, warnings and explanations God has given me. Often God will tell me in advance when something life changing is about to happen and how He wants me to handle myself. Sometimes I get a quiet nudge to say I can do better in some area (like gentleness, fasting, being courageous), and I am regularly challenged to step up and become a better me, with the very personal coaching of the Holy Spirit.
There is no better life than one spent learning and living the Bible as a follower of Jesus Christ. Of this I am totally convinced. I am only going to live twice, so I am going to live this life right.