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As a Christ follower, I’m sure you read your bible. However, allow me to ask you a question. Do you permit your bible to read you? There is a difference between reading the bible, and permitting the bible to read you.

 

The scripture teaches us in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Did you get all that Hebrew 4:12 speaks?

1. God’s word is LIVING and ACTIVE

2. It’s SHARP and PENETRATES the SOUL, SPIRIT, JOINTS and MARROW

3. It JUDGES THOUGHTS and ATTITUDES of HEART

When we just read the bible out of habit, it becomes a mere devotional journey. However, when you allow the bible to read you, it corrects and changes your direction. When you allow the bible to read you, it will shape your belief, which is vital, because what you believe matters, because what you believe determines how you will live.

So, how do you permit the bible to read you?

1. Pray before you open the Bible and pray that your Bible opens you.

2. Don’t read the Bible trying to make your belief fit it. The Bible forms belief in you.

3. Picture yourself in the stories of scripture. How would you have answered Jesus?

4. Embrace the truth that God is speaking directly to you

5. Allow the Bible to love and convict the ugly side of you. We all have an ugly side.

6. Let the Bible inflame your heart and not just inform it.

stress 2

Life is complicated and therefore brings stress often to the doorstep of the Christ follower. Stress is part of the human condition but God has the answer for that condition. God is the author of our life. He knows the beginning and the end and will give us peace that passes all understanding as we submit and trust Him completely. When stress dominates our walk; you can bet that somewhere along the way our trust in God has faded just a little.

Stress often attacks us with circumstances that are out of our control. Stress comes in all kinds of forms, but no matter what form it takes, trusting in God is a major key to winning the battle. Don’t misunderstand me…living a stress-free life isn’t easy to obtain. However, there are a few things you can do that will keep you heading in the right direction when you feel stress staring to take over.

Here are a few tips that have helped me over the years

Practical Tips

1. Get in a bar fight (Okay, that’s not true. Just wanted to make sure you were pay attention)

2. Sleep (You must get enough rest. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night)

3. Take a look at your diet (Are you eating healthy? Is your weight were it should be?)

4. Exercise (You don’t have to go crazy but walking after your evening meal will do wonders)

5. Work and Family (Do you work more than have family time? Change that NOW!) (Balance it!)

Spiritual Tips

1. Prayer (Give your stress to God by telling Him all about it. Then, leave it with Him. Trust Him)

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

2. Praise Him (God inhabits the praises of His people. Sing to Him and watch what happens. Try it!)

Praise will take your mind off of self, and refocus your mind on God.

Psalm 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”

3. Stay in the Word (Read God’s Word and let it read you)

Matthew 11:28-30
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

What are some ways you have found to be helpful? Leave a comment.