"30 Days Through The Bible"
When I was younger, my knowledge of the Bible and the story of Jesus Christ consisted primarily of the usual stuff kids learn about Christmas and Easter. You know, the Three Wise Men, a virgin birth, no room at the inn, a manger, and lots of presents. And then, rising from the dead, a new beginning, springtime and egg hunts with lots of candy. There was not a very big emphasis on the Bible in my family as I grew up.
Several times during my life, particularly when I was in one sort of crisis or another, I would pick up the Bible and attempt to read it. I always started at the beginning, with Genesis. The results were always the same. I found the reading excruciatingly tedious, especially all the “begots”. So and so begot so and so and he begot so and so, and on and on and on ad nauseum. I would get so confused and frustrated that I would either just put the book down or fall asleep. And another day would pass, and I would remain as ignorant as the day before.
And the story of creation is one that requires a great deal of faith to actually believe, and added to the real long life spans of our earliest ancestors, I am afraid I was never quite convinced of the veracity of the Bible and it's contents. So for all these years it has been Christmas Trees, presents, decorations, family gatherings, Easter Egg hunts, chocolate bunnies and not much else.
This time it is different for me. Having lost my wife, my home, and just about everything I owned, I was literally brought to my knees and wallowing in a place of despair the likes of which I had never known. In this despair I, like Lot, questioned God, and the lesson He was trying to teach me. In retrospect, I find it ironic that I questioned He, who I barely believed in, and His motives for punishing me so severely.
Well, God left me with my daughter, time, and a Bible. I took the hint, and I began to read up on the Bible. My daughter gave me two daily devotionals, and two books to go along with my Bible. The books are “30 Days Through the Bible”, and “30 Days With Jesus”, both designed to assist the reader in understanding the Bible and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Both books have 30 chapters, and if one reads a chapter a day, you're done in a month. And I am on chapter 24 on both of them. The reading is much less complicated, and the “story” is compelling. I am amazed that it took me nearly 62 years to figure out that not only does God exist, the events of the Bible and the story of Jesus Christ really DID happen. Without a doubt. And I believe it.
In both of my books, I am at the point where Jesus is on the verge of His crucifixion, and although I already know how the “story” goes, I am quite eager to read of it. When I finish these books, I plan to take a crack at the “Big Book” yet again. This time with a little bit more clarity of what I am reading. And I find it quite exciting.
When I was in high school, an easy class to take for an “A” was the “A Capella” choir, and as I had a reasonably good singing voice, I took the class and sang in the choir. At Christmas time, we always sang songs from George Frideric Handel's “Messiah”. While singing the songs of the “Messiah” always brought a chill up my spine, I never fully understood why. I do now.
For unto us a Child is born,
unto us a Son is given,
and the government shall be upon His shoulder;
and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace.