I love the bible. It’s audacious, and scandalous, and shows a God who put on flesh and moved into the neighbourhood to eat amongst prostitutes, call embezzlers to follow Him and rebuke the high-flying religious leaders.
Today Jesus declared an adulterous woman free from condemnation (John 9:11), His followers freed from darkness (12) and from slavery to sin (36). I love intimately knowing a God who doesn’t ignore brokenness, but restores it. Who doesn’t condemn darkness, but brings light into it. My heart is full.
The top verse refers to Abraham bringing his son Isaac to the alter in Genesis 22. This was Abraham’s ultimate act of faith where he believed in God even though he had no idea how it would turn out for good.
Faith is not faith if we say, “I believe in you God, but I’m not going to do that. I don’t see how any good can come out of it so I’ll do things my own way. Thank you very much.”
I keep two separate notebooks for my Bible study (one specifically for my notes on Scripture, and a separate smaller one where I write favorite verses, inspiring quotes, and where I also talk to God, in letter form), as well as underlining/starring/margin writing in my ESV.
Sometimes I loved it, sometimes it felt monotonous. But after some time i realised the truths in this are satisfying enough to last not just a month but forever. Every day I keep hearing the same thing.
He loves me. He loves me.
My sin is not held against me. I am washed. I am reading impossible truths made not just possible, but earth-shatteringly real, through the death and resurrection of Jesus:
The eternal God who is King over all loves my fleeting, fickle heart. I am full of iniquity, disease, in the pit, deserving of anger, sinful, like dust and grass, fleeting. But He is Forgiver. Healer. Redeemer. Steadfast. Merciful. Satisfying. Renewing. Righteous. Known. Slow to Anger. Abounding in Love. Remover of Sin. Father. Compassionate. Everlasting. Lord. King.
Think about reading it every day of November. I can testify that feasting on those truths each morning radically changed the responses of my heart to the circumstances of October.
I just want to post this as proof that not all journaling Bibles have to look pretty and neat and artsy. Mine certainly is not, and that is how I interact with the Word–long, messy trails of thought as I try to understand what God is saying and grasping who God is. I write prayers in the margins, scribble laments, poems, song lyrics (I think I actually wrote a few verses or choruses on my own, complete with chords lol), and summarize what speaks to my heart. This is a freaking large Bible to carry around, and I sometimes have to swap it out for a smaller alternative, but this one’s my fvorite because it contains the most precious thing to me: it records my relationship with God.
these roses have been wedged into the pages of Hosea for over 300 days. their age reminds me of the countless truths God has taught me from this radical, uncomfortable, scandalous love story. It’s utterly ludicrous, yet I’m compelled, captivated, by this kind of relentless love.