Today I just wanted to spend a little time sharing about God’s Word. Honestly, this may sound simple, but one thing that helps me faithfully spend time with Jesus each day is having a Bible I love to use.
Growing up, I used the same Bible from ages 12-21. I marked and underlined and loved that book until it was falling apart. It felt more like a journal than a textbook, more like a friend than words on a page. Jesus was my faithful friend and I loved knowing that book like the back of my hand.
When I came to college, my parents bought me a new Bible, in a new version, the English Standard Version. It felt like a breath of fresh air to read words on the page that said the same thing but in a different way. I loved seeing God’s words with new eyes. I filled that Bible with sticky notes of quotes from professors and notes from friends, and it stuck with me for a few years.
But after college, I drifted from Bible to Bible, trying different versions and just grabbing whatever book I could find when I could catch a moment with Jesus in the middle of nursing babies and changing diapers. I loved using the Phillips version, and for a season of writing and study enjoyed my giant NET Bible full of study notes that my college gifted me when I graduated.
When my heart was stirring last year to begin to make my time with God a priority again, I realized I wanted a new Bible to mark the journey. So I picked out an attractive, simple, note-free Bible on Amazon in the New Living Translation, the version we use at our church. This year I’ve begun marking it up again, claiming it as mine, jotting my aha moments in the margins. I keep it close by in my living room or bedroom.
Just recently I began reading it in Genesis with the plan to read it all the way through. Last night I came upon the story of Rebekah in Genesis 24 and actually felt giddy when I thought, “I haven’t read this story in the NLT yet!” (She’s one of my favorites.)
In our human relationships, we have to try new things to keep things fresh and alive. Make new memories, visit new places, enjoy new foods. I’m finding that something as simple as a new copy of God’s Word in a new season gives me a spark to keep coming back and meeting him there. Of course, God’s Word is living and active no matter what the book itself looks like, but God created beauty and freshness and I think he loves when we appreciate those things with him.