Okay, so it’s only day 2 and I already missed a day. Maybe if I called it something different? Nah, it’s probably just me. I think I did this exact same thing back in November for NaBloPoMo. Anyway. Here’s a post for yesterday: The First 10 Bible Highlights I find in one of my old Bibles. This is a blue thinline NIV with a lime green belt. I’ve had this Bible for awhile and I used it for BSF to study Acts, Genesis and Matthew. Then they switched to the NIV 2011, so I did, too.
One of the study methods I use when I don’t really feel like or I can’t read large sections of text is to just open one of my old Bibles at random and see what’s highlighted there. Sometimes the verses move me again. Sometimes there are notes there and it is interesting to see what I was thinking months or years ago. Sometimes there are no notes and I wish there were because I have no idea why a certain verse would have stood out to me. Anyway, I thought it might be fun to turn that into a post. Even if it’s not fun, you can never go wrong quoting the one who is more quotable than anyone.
1. Jeremiah 33:37-41 “I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them; I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.” In the margin, I wrote “NEW covenant.” Well, yeah. I am sure I underlined this, at least in part because it contains the promise: “They will be my people, and I will be their God.” That is my favorite promise of God’s. It’s just this amazing picture of the relationship between us and God; we belong to each other. He is happy to be our God. Reading it again, so many other promises jump out to me: he will give us singleness of heart and action, he will make an everlasting covenant with us, never stop doing good to us, inspire us to fear him. He will rejoice in doing us good. And he will plant us in the Promised Land with all his heart and soul. Amazing.
2. Acts 19:20 “In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” This is a highlight from when we were studying Acts. My note says “because they stopped being hypocrites”. Our sinfulness can never hinder God’s work but it can make us less effective at the part we are called to do.
3.Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Ah, the Shema. I love this. I am pretty sure it is highlighted in every single Bible I own. The only reason I don’t highlight it when I am reading is if I don’t have a highlighter. Or it’s already done.
4.Deuteronomy 6:13-15a “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you…” I don’t know why I highlighted this that particular day, but this is good stuff. I always like to see God’s wrath (” a jealous God and his anger will burn against you”) sitting next to his love (“the Lord your God, who is among you“).
5. Deuteronomy 8:2 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” It’s interesting that I highlighted this before (when did I have a grey blue highlighter? Maybe it’s faded…) This verse stuck out to me when I was reading it just a few weeks ago again. I was reminded that God lets us struggle so that we may be tested and humbled; so that he (and, more importantly, we) may see if we will follow his commands. So we can see if our faith is real. It occurred to me that this is one of his greatest gifts.
6. Nehemiah 6:9 “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’ But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands.’ ” I believe this was from when I was doing a Kay Arthur study on Nehemiah, Ezra and Esther. I guess I thought it was just good advice in general: when everyone is against you, pray.
7.Isaiah 56:6, 8 “…foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve him, to love the name of the Lord, and to worship him…I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.” Redemption for the Gentiles. Why wouldn’t I highlight that?
8. Hosea 2:21-23 “ ‘In that day I will respond,’ declares the Lord- ‘I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” More promises, I guess. Promises are always good. So is redemption. And grace.
9. There’s not really any highlights on the page that contains Matthew 15, but across the top of it I have written “Everything you do is because of one merciful “DONE.” I think my Teaching Leader said that in a lecture last year, and it’s awesome.
10. 2 Timothy 1:7-10 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.“