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A New Way to Pray for Family and Close Friends

Teach Us to IntercedePrayer is having a conversation with God.

Intercessory prayer is one kind of prayer: praying for other people.

When we intercede, we usually present to God a list of concerns for others that we have been made aware of: they’ve asked us to pray, another person has asked us to pray for them, we’ve observed their struggles and decided to pray. We collect these requests then choose a time to present them to God in prayer.

But if prayer really is having a conversation with God, then intercession can be so much more than presenting a list of concerns. I believe that we can learn to pray with God about people instead of simply praying to God for people. I also believe that as we do so, we’ll be allowing Him, if He so chooses, to use us more effectively in the process of answering those prayers.

This is how it works:

1. Begin by telling God all the things you love about the person you are praying for. This will allow God to go to work on your heart. If there are hidden resentments or other problems, God will reveal these as you attempt to focus on the positive. You’ll be having a conversation with God about this person, and as you do, God will prepare your heart to intercede by helping you go into it with the right attitude.

2. Take some time to thank God for that person’s presence in your life. Officially recognize and recount ways God has used that person to positively influence you. Let God show you how this person is one of His gifts to you. Thank Him for the gift.

3. Ask God to show you how you can love that person in His name. Ask Him to give you specific ideas. Determine to be alert to His promptings throughout the day—and ask Him to help you with this. When you follow through, that will be your opportunity to work with God, allowing Him to use you however He chooses to answer your prayers. If you don’t see an opportunity or feel prompted to do anything out of the ordinary, trust God with this. He may use you without your knowledge. He may use someone else to meet a need. He may have something else in mind. His ways are always best.

4. Finally, present any known requests on that person’s behalf. Present them one at a time, thoughtfully. Again, be open and alert to anything God’s Spirit may suggest to you. Thank God for all He plans to do in this person’s life.

Praying this way for everyone we love every day is probably too much to ask. If ever we’re aware of something serious, that can be a prompt to take the time to do this. And, of course, we can whisper Parachute Prayers on the spot whenever we learn of a need. Here’s a fun suggestion, though, for scheduling time to pray for those in our close circles regularly:

  • Make a list of the people you consider family and close friends, people you want to pray for regularly just because you love them.
  • Write the number of their birthday beside their name. For example, if your mother was born on May 4, write a four beside her name.
  • When a person’s number rolls around every month, pray for that person on that day. Using the above example, on the fourth of every month, you’d pray for your mom.
  • Because some people have birthdays at the end of long months, pray for those people on the last day of the month, so you’ll still get to focus on them twelve times (at the very least – always be open to pray more often if God calls you to).

Caution: please don’t ever let a suggestion such as this one, simply a useful tool, become a burden. Talking with God about the people we love is meant to be a joyful privilege—never something we have to do on this day-at that time-no matter what-or else.

Father, please teach us to pray with You about the people You’ve placed in our lives. However You lead us to do so, help us to enjoy our visit with you and to learn if and how we can help as You work in their lives. Teach us to love. Teach us to encourage. Teach us to obey. We love you, Lord. Amen.

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Siesta Scripture Memory Team, Verse 5+

I have a confession to make. I’m really struggling with the memory thing this year. Of the four verses I’ve chosen this far, I’ve only fully committed one to memory. I sincerely want to memorize these verses, but my brain keeps getting distracted by other things.

To fix this, I’m going to spend the rest of the year memorizing a passage from God’s Word, adding one new verse from the passage every other week. I’m thinking the continuity factor, one verse attached to another to another, will help me keep up.

The passage I’ve chosen is Matthew 7:7-29. There are 22 verses in this passage. I only need 20, but I already have the first two mostly memorized, so they won’t count toward my grand total for the year. Of course, I’ll keep working on the four verses I chose in January and February. I will memorize them.

Matthew 7-9Matthew 7 is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Verses 7 and 8 say, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” In the following four verses, Jesus uses a simple analogy to help us understand why we can trust God to give us the good things we need and how we are to act in response:

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

God, the perfect Father, loves us, His children, even more than good parents love their children. Even good parents are flawed, yet they provide the things their children need to the best of their ability. God is not flawed, and He is more than able to provide. Therefore we can trust Him. We can go to Him at any time and ask for what we need. (And then, because He is perfect, we can trust His answer. If He says no, there is a reason—a reason that will ultimately work out for our good. We know this because God loves us. We are His children.)

I’ll be memorizing verse 9 as Siesta Scripture Memory Team, Verse #5: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?”

What verses are you memorizing right now?

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Approaching God’s Word with Awe

“For the word of God is alive 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.”Hebrews 4:12

Because the Bible is God’s Word, it is unlike any other book. The writer of Hebrews tells us it’s alive and active! It’s on the mission God created it for: “teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness,” equipping God’s people for every good work. (See 2 Timothy 3:16-17.)

For this reason, we’re wise to approach it with awe. Reading the Bible is a privilege; it is a meeting with God! Here are a few ideas for you to consider to make the most of each meeting:

1. Schedule a regular time to meet with God through His Word every day. I like to read first thing every morning as I enjoy my first cup (or two) of coffee. Others like to read just before going to bed. Some listen to Bible CD’s or MP3’s on the way to work or receive daily Bible readings in their e-mail inbox or through a Bible app on their phone or tablet. Creatively choose a time and place that works for you; God will be there waiting each day. And, if you can only find a few moments each day to spare, give these to God. He will make use of them. Like the little boy with the loaves and the fish, offer what you can.

2. Prepare for your meeting with prayer. Before you even open your Bible (or turn on your reading device), ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s message for you for that day. Because God’s Word is living and active, God’s Spirit is able to deliver a custom message straight to you. No. The words don’t ever change, but God will use your life experiences and prayer concerns to open your heart to new layers of Truth. This is why it’s so important to keep reading the Bible, every day throughout your life. You can cross other books off your To-Be-Read list after you read them through, but when you finish reading the Bible, flip it over and start reading again.

Bible Verse Parachute3. Pay attention when you stumble across Bible verses in other places. Many of the books I read, even fictional stories, quote Bible verses within their pages. Christians who use social networking sites like Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ love to share Bible verses they find. And sometimes you’ll find Scripture used in home or business décor. If you have the time, don’t skim over these. Recognize them as God’s Word and read what He has to say.

Father, help us to remember, please, that Your Word is more than just another book to read. Help us to approach it with respect and anticipation, knowing it’s our link to You. Call us to read it daily and as we obey, reveal Your message that we’ll come to know ever more and more of You. Adjust our thoughts and attitudes. Make us better able to serve in Your Kingdom. Please make us more like You. We thank You for this priceless gift. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Note: Don’t forget to enter the drawing to win two copies of my new book, Parachute Prayer! The entry post is here.

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There’s No Making Friends with a Snake

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”Genesis 3:15

Sneaky ReptileWhen I read Genesis 3 last week, I had kind of a random thought about the story of the snake tempting Eve. The snake talked Eve into tasting the forbidden fruit. Eve shared it with Adam. Then, once caught, Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the snake. Everybody turned on everybody. The world’s first sin not only separated man from God, it destroyed the peace that had existed between people and animals up to that point. A peace that we’ll enjoy again someday thanks to Jesus Christ:

“The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest”Isaiah 11:8.

(You can read all of Isaiah 11 to learn more of what this prophet said will come because of Christ.)

Scholars have different opinions about that crafty reptile in Genesis 3. Some say he was Satan in disguise. Some think maybe animals could talk before the Fall and that Satan recruited the snake to help him out. Others think Satan possessed the snake. I don’t know which is true, but Eve didn’t seem surprised to find herself having a conversation with a snake. If my dog ever talks to me, I won’t remain so calm.

The way I see it, though, in Genesis 3:15, God says He’s going to put enmity between the snake and the woman, between its offspring and hers. Satan was already her enemy, already cursed. So I’m thinking God was actually referring to the snake. If so, perhaps the serpent is supposed to be an on-going, physical reminder to us of spiritual dangers we cannot see. Perhaps, somehow, snakes are meant to remind us that Satan is lurking where we least expect to find him. We need to be vigilant to avoid temptation.

Satan LurksAs I’m writing this, I realize there are groups of reptile-loving people who work really hard to convince the general population, children in particular, that snakes don’t need to be feared so long as we respect them. I have pictures of all three of my boys in classroom or VBS (Vacation Bible School) settings where someone from the local zoo came to visit and speak, then had each child present pose for a picture with a snake around his neck. Two out of three of my kids were really reluctant to participate. And my middle son’s picture is priceless. His mouth is frozen in a forced smile with gritted teeth; his eyes say, “I’m smiling because you [zoo photographer] said I have to. Get this thing off my shoulders before I die!”

There was definitely some enmity there in spite of the reassuring zoo personnel.

To be clear: I don’t think there is anything inherently evil about snakes. And I have no problem with programs that teach children more about them. These can be fun, and, in a way, whether the snake professionals see it this way or not, these programs look toward that future day of peace with hope. They teach people that there are ways to safely handle some kinds of snakes, creatures our God created, but they always urge caution (I hope) and stress that some of these reptiles are extremely dangerous. Given the opportunity, they will bite. There’s no way to really make friends with a snake.

What a perfect analogy!

Satan wants us to believe he’s safe, so we’ll let down our guard and give in to temptation. But given the opportunity, he’ll always bite. Let’s not try to make peace with temptation. It’s better to heed God’s warning, keep our distance, and stay safe.

Father, make us aware of Satan’s schemes. Help us to recognize temptation for the danger that it is. Give us the courage and determination to step away. We don’t want to make friends with anything that will harm our relationship with You. Amen.

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Four Days to Book Launch! “Parachute Prayer”

Dear Reading Friends:

Cover RevealI’m so excited to announce the upcoming release of my new book, Parachute Prayer: The Practice of Praying Continually. It is my heart’s desire to encourage people, through this book, through this blog, through my life, through whatever means possible, to pray. God loves to hear our voices (and thoughts) directed toward Him, conversing about anything and everything all the time. He loves it when we pray because He adores us. I am praying that Parachute Prayer will help the people who read it to understand this and practice it in a new way.

Here is the back cover synopsis of the book:

Have you ever wondered what Paul meant when he told us to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? Do you long to develop a regular habit of prayer, one that helps you keep prayer concerns before your God while also reminding you of His constant presence? He is with you. He loves you. He wants you to talk with Him!

Through a personal prayer concern, author Janet Benlien Reeves discovered that God has planted prompts to pray all over the place. Training herself to notice them and respond became a fun and meaningful exercise—one she’s eager to share with you.

In the pages of this book, you’ll read Janet’s story, learn the concept of Parachute Prayer, and find more than one hundred Parachute Prayers to try yourself as you begin to develop this simple habit. You’ll also discover how “the practice of praying continually” can draw you closer to Your Savior, benefit your people and your world, and launch you into deeper, more focused prayer times.

I am writing this post today to let you know that Parachute Prayer will be available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle this Friday!!! (The Kindle version is even available for pre-order right now!) Friday is just four days away, so I’m doing everything I can think of to spread the word about this book.

Would you like to help? I would absolutely love it if you would like to help!

Prayer Prompt for BookMy first request: please join me in praying about this book’s release. I’ve even turned this request into a Parachute Prayer prompt to remind you. When you see a dandelion, real or drawn or photographed, please pray that God will use the book Parachute Prayer to call people to pray, to draw them and their loved ones into a closer relationship with Him, and to strengthen His kingdom. Please ask God to get this book into the hands of people who will benefit from the practice of Parachute Prayer, from the practice of praying continually.

Thank you so much!!!

Here is a short list of other things you can do to help me if you’d like to:

1. Rumor has it that Amazon is more likely to promote books whose author pages have a following. Did you know I have an author page? If you visit it, here, and click follow, Amazon will be more likely to help me to promote this book. (And you’ll receive word from Amazon once the book is released.)

2. If you have a Goodreads or Shelfari account, add Parachute Prayer to your list of books to read.

3. If you are a fellow blogger who likes to review books, send a link to your page along with your mailing address to me at Janet@WildflowerFaith.com. I would love to send you a complimentary copy of Parachute Prayer in exchange for an honest review on your blog. (And if you wanted to post that review in other places like Amazon.com, BN.com, Goodreads, or Shelfari, I would love that, too!) (U.S. addresses only, please.)

4. If you know a fellow blogger who might like to review Parachute Prayer, please let that person know about this offer.

5. If you have a Facebook profile, like my Facebook page, then like, share, and/or comment on announcements about this book and on any Parachute Prayer prompts. (I usually post these on Mondays. Please feel free to share them to encourage your friends to pray!)

FluParachute6. If you have a Twitter account, use #ParachutePrayer to encourage people to pray and introduce them to the concept of the book. For example, using a prompt I posted on Facebook this morning, you could Tweet: When you see a box of tissues, ask God to help people with the flu to recover quickly. #ParachutePrayer

7. Tell people about this book! Word of mouth is still the most effective means of recommending something.

These are just a few ideas, but I’ll appreciate anything you come up with. I only have one little voice, so your voices help me so much!!!

I’ll be back tomorrow with another post about Genesis. On Friday, I’ll be launching a book giveaway to celebrate the release of Parachute Prayer: The Practice of Praying Continually. I hope you’ll come back then!

Thank you, my friends–

Janet

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Siesta Scripture Memory Team, Verse #3

Colossians 3:1

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”Colossians 3:1, NIV

Today is February 1st, so it’s time for a new Siesta Scripture Memory Team verse. My choice is Colossians 3:1. This verse is transitional in the book of Colossians. In the first two chapters, Paul tells his readers what it means to be a Christian, to live in Christ, to be part of His Kingdom. In chapter 3, he begins telling them what this looks like practically. In other words, he moves from the spiritual explanation to the practical application. Concept #1: set your heart on Heaven, where Jesus is, sitting right beside our God.

I like this! If my heart is focused on the world, I may be tempted to live for it, to yield to its temptations, to try to fit in, to hoard its treasures. I may even find a way to convince myself that this is what God wants me to do. It’s a vulnerable way to live.

When I keep my focus on Heaven, though, on following Jesus, on dwelling in God’s Presence, on building His Kingdom on earth now in anticipation of what it someday in Heaven will be, I want everything I do to honor Him, drawing me and, prayerfully, those around me closer to His heart.

As far as practical application goes, I think this is a great first lesson to strive to apply. I invite you to memorize this verse with me over the next few weeks. Or I hope you’ll choose a verse that’s speaking to you now to commit to memory. I’ll post my next verse on February 15.

Father, please help us remember to always keep our hearts set on Heaven. We live for Jesus. Amen.

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Siesta Scripture Memory Team, Verses 1 and 2

Wow! Just wow!

I don’t know if you’ve heard of Beth Moore’s Siesta Scripture Memory Team or not. In case you haven’t, every other year, Beth Moore invites women from everywhere to join her in memorizing Bible verses. I’ve been participating since 2009, so this is my fourth year. If you would like to learn how you can participate, click here. It’s not too late!

DSC00284eIn years past, I’ve written blog posts about the verses I’ve chosen, explaining why I’m memorizing each verse and inviting readers to memorize with me. I am going to do that this year, too. I’m just a little behind because a) I was in Northern California on January 1 and b) when I saw how many women are already participating this year, I was completely overwhelmed and almost changed my mind.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so excited to learn that nearly 21,000 women from all over the world are memorizing Bible verses together this year. God will use that to build His Kingdom and to bless each one of those lives–along with the lives of everyone they know. This is phenomenal!

But I tend to disappear in a group as big as three, so the thought of a group of 21,000 . . . My mind had to think about that. At first, I figured if I was going to vanish anyway, then maybe I should just memorize my verses privately. I wondered if it was really necessary to post them on Beth Moore’s site.

Then I realized that a) as one of God’s children, I’m one of a much larger group than that! Yet God still sees me, still values my life. I never disappear from His view, no matter how big the crowd. Wow! Just wow! and b) if I don’t post the verses, I may give up before the year is over. My verses may or may not disappear in the midst of all those comments, but I’ll know they’re there, so I’ll want to continue memorizing throughout the year and c) maybe, just maybe, one of the women who “happens” to post about the same time I do will see the verse I chose and read it just when she needs to get that message from God. God will use this whole adventure in ways we can’t even comprehend. I do believe that!

So . . . I’m in! And I hope you’ll join in, too. Memorizing Scripture is always a good thing.

Here are my January verses:

1. “We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.”Proverbs 16:33, NLT

This verse made me laugh, then it made me think. It’s not really about gambling. We do our best to make right decisions, to do what we think God wants us to do, to serve Him in whatever way we think He is leading us to, but ultimately, God is in control. We don’t have to fear making mistakes that will throw God off course. We don’t have that much power. God’s will will be done.

2. “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed I do not even judge myself.”1 Corinthians 4:3, NIV

I found this verse this morning, and I want to remember it. How did Paul get to this place? How did he get over worrying what others thought of him or being hard on himself? I’m not there yet, but I know it’s where God wants us all to be. He loves us. We live for Him. If we’re seeking His favor, no other opinion matters. We can (or should be able to) serve confidently. I’m hoping that memorizing this verse will eventually make it true for me, as it was for Paul.

  • What Bible verse are you currently trying to memorize?

I’ll write about a new memory verse on February 1.

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Book Review: “Rhythms of Grace”

Rhythms of GraceThe strength of Kerri Weems new book, Rhythms of Grace: Discovering God’s Tempo for Your Life, is her gifted use of metaphor. When I got to the part where she explains how we often live our lives like playing a game of Tetris, suddenly everything became clear. The whole book is full of such eye-opening analogies to help readers understand her message and its value.

Rhythms of Grace is a book about keeping pace with God’s Spirit in order to fulfill your life’s purpose instead of living in response to the crises of life that leave you feeling exhausted and out of control. So many women struggle with this! This book shows them how to turn it around, how to live life at a sustainable pace while building something lasting and worthwhile.

The book is divided into three sections: The Foundations of Rhythm (Shalom, Sabbath, and Grace), Pace Setters and Peace Stealers (which help us to establish our priorities), and Set Your Rhythm—and Keep It Going (practical, life application—what to do). I found the first two sections most helpful but saw value in ideas from the third. A Reboot Guide in the back of the book gives more detailed instructions for establishing pace.

I highly recommend this book for small groups or for personal use. It is full of biblical wisdom, gentle encouragement, and useful ideas. It is a book I will read again!

Zondervan sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.

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Unbalanced, Resting, and Free

Words Aptly Spoken“One of the favorite words in the Rule is ‘run.’ St. Benedict tells me to run to Christ. If I stop for a moment and consider what is being asked of me here, and what is involved in the act of running, I think of how when I run I place first one foot and then the other on the ground, that I let go of my balance for a second and then immediately recover it again. It is risky, this matter of running. By daring to lose my balance I keep it.” –Esther de Waal, Living with Contradiction

I came across this quote this morning in the daily devotional I’ve been reading this year, A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People, and it really made me think—especially when I put on my running shoes and took off for five and a half miles shortly after. I put the quote to the test, confirmed it was true, and made a few discoveries of my own to share with you.

When we run, we launch ourselves into the air with one foot then catch ourselves with the other. We don’t really think about this; we just do it. (No Nike reference intended.) But the launching is risky. It’s like singing a Capella for a moment, hoping that when the accompaniment starts again, we won’t have slipped off key for our audience to hear. If we don’t hold our feet just so while in the air, we’ll fall when gravity pulls us back to earth.

This means walking is safer. When we walk, one foot or the other is always in contact with the ground. (This is part of the definition of walk.) The motion is the same; we’re still pushing up with one foot while supporting ourselves with the other. But we never actually leave the ground.

So we have a choice to make. Walking is safer, but when we run, we enjoy a moment of freedom from the earth—we soar! And it’s in this moment of soaring that we rest!

That’s right. We rest. We rest while we run but never when we walk.

Most fascinating of all: those who’ve learned to run the fastest, rest the most. Have you ever watched an Olympic runner sprint? Their strides are longer than their heights. Those runners get air!

10-29-14 PostMe. My stride needs work—lots of little jumps. I’ve read that if I boldly allow myself to enjoy a longer stride, I’ll find myself running faster with less effort. That change will take courage because it will involve greater risk. My stride won’t lengthen until I trust myself more, until I stop believing that if I stay in the air too long I will fall.

This trust is what running through life with God is all about. God offers us freedom and rest, but we have to be willing to jump, to work on our stride. This will leave us feeling unbalanced at times, but it sets us free. It lets us rest. No worries about the future; it’s in God’s hands. No struggles to be met in our own strength, with only our own resources. Just confidence in the One Who’s leading us where He wants us to go, where, ultimately, He knows, we most want to be. This running is risky, but God won’t let us fall. He’s teaching us to trust Him, so we can run with Him for all eternity.

Father, please help us to run with confidence and strength. Set us free to enjoy life Your way. Enable us to rest in You. Amen.

Related Bible words: Hebrews 12:1, Isaiah 40:31, Proverbs 3:5-6Proverbs 3:26

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That Spinach Sure Is Sneaky Stuff

“Wait! What did I just do?” I asked myself in horror while cooking dinner the other night. I had added spinach to an old favorite recipe—just because it seemed like a creative idea. By choice?!

IMG_6328eBut I don’t like cooked spinach. I don’t. It’s just plain yucky stuff!

When I was a child, I refused to eat spinach except under parental duress—even then, I went to great lengths to disguise the taste. You’d find my technique disturbing. As I think of it, I find my technique disturbing. I suspect it’s why all three of my children absolutely refuse to eat mayonnaise. (Not even in potato salad!) The trauma went just that deep, embedding itself into my DNA for my kids to inherit.

It wasn’t until we moved to the Netherlands that I learned one could eat spinach raw—and I discovered that I like it that way. I’ve been okay with spinach in salad ever since. But you have to admit, served raw it’s an entirely different vegetable, part of the crisp lettuce family as opposed to the slimy algae clan.

In Colorado, I discovered spinach quiche and decided that cooked spinach is okay when buried in egg and cheese. But I determined my terms of acceptance would absolutely end there. My children were blessed with a spinach-free life. My husband never complained.

We’re trying to eat healthier foods now, though. Mike, by choice, me, because of a body that’s decided to stop tolerating foods that contain milk or soy. If I had my way, I’d probably serve cheeseburgers with French fries for dinner every night—with chocolate fudge cake for dessert.

Okay, not really. But doesn’t that sound good?

Back to my story. While visiting my mother-in-law last month, Mike found spinach in her freezer and decided to cook some up to serve as a side dish with some baked potatoes. He really liked it. He asked me to get some for him to enjoy in our home from time to time. I did. He’s fixed it for himself a few times and raved about it.

And evidently, thoughts of spinach got stuck in my head. Because as I was cooking dinner the other night, I thought, “This might be really good with some spinach cooked into it.” And just that fast, I added spinach to our perfectly good meal without even thinking about it.*

And it tasted good.

The author of Hebrews used the concept of maturing food tastes to illustrate spiritual growth. In Chapter 5, he writes, “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (verses 12-14).

Just as my tastes had to mature (a lot) before I could accept spinach into my diet, Christians grow into the more difficult Bible passages, the deeper Scriptural truths. We wouldn’t expect preschoolers to read Leviticus or to understand Paul’s letters. We introduce them to the Bible through its stories of history. When introducing adults to the Bible, we teach them the essentials of the faith first: Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, and so on. We have them start with the Book of Luke and let them grow into the complexities of Job and Revelation over time.

So what’s my point? If you haven’t learned to love Deuteronomy just yet, that’s okay. Take the more challenging books in smaller doses. Spend most of your study time on the books you love.

But don’t neglect the more challenging ones. Discipline yourself to ingest them in small doses. As you become more familiar with them, you’ll gradually get to know the people behind them, the overall themes, and, best of all, the God Who was at work when events happened, later as they were recorded, and now as we read of them. If you stick to it, you may decide you’d like to digest Isaiah someday.

And you will discover it’s good.

Father, please encourage us to keep on reading. Open our hearts to the truth of Your Word. Use it to help us grow in faith and in fellowship with You. All of Your Word is good. Amen.

*Click here to find the recipe on my Facebook page.