When is the last time that you cracked open a brand new Bible? Have you been using the same Bible for more than two years? Five years? Ten years? I had been using my first ESV Study Bible since October 2009. My parents gave it to me for my birthday that year and it was love at first sight.
It was my 29th birthday and I have opened up that same Bible nearly every day for the past eight years. This is the Bible in which every single bit of my personal in-depth Bible study has taken place (during all of my thirties). This Bible is the one through whose pages I found freedom from my works righteousness and deeper grace in Christ. This Bible has been opened up on my lap during more sermons and conference sessions than I can count. It’s been the Bible through which the Holy Spirit confirmed, tested, developed, and strengthened my desire and gifting to teach. I have taught topical messages out of this Bible; and I have taught verse-by-verse through several books in a small group setting. This is the Bible that I prayed in and from when both of my sisters got married and both of my nephews were born (and my third little dude is on the way). My best friend got married and had my niece (and my nephew is due in January) during my life with this Bible. It was on this Bible’s pages that I read, memorized, and declared powerful biblical truths over my life and the lives of my family and dear friends. It was this Bible through which the Lord confirmed my calling to serve at Mars Hill Church in Seattle and then to return back to family in Maryland and to serve at Grace Church. This beautiful Bible has caught many tears, heard much joyful laughter, and stopped me dead silent in my tracks. It also has a lot of dried sweet tea on its pages. It’s very special. I may or may not be crying…
I was feeling led to get a new one a few weeks ago but didn’t pursue it much (because I like my Bible all worn in and noted up.) Then earlier last week, I felt strongly that the She Is event (Sept. 30) was a beginning of a new season in my calling and ministry AND my 37th birthday is at the end of this month. So I went for it. I decided to start in a new study Bible this month and I’m putting this guy on the shelf for now. (Hopefully I will be able to pass it along to a child or nephew/niece someday–which is why I only buy genuine leather-bound Bibles, FYI. They last.)
A blank, bare, fresh slate of a Bible is so exciting, isn’t it?? I can’t wait to see all that God will teach me during this next season. I wrote a letter to God on the first couple pages dedicating my time in it to him and praying (among other things) that he’d allow me to love him more than I ever have through its pages.
I’m really sorry if this just isn’t your thing, but c’mon! Look how gorgeous it is…and that has a lot to do with the calfskin leather (and I will not apologize: ALL Bibles should be calfskin…! Grin.).
When’s the last time you got a new Bible? Are you ending or beginning a certain notable life stage or season? During your Bible reading, have you begun to anticipate the next phrases of the sentence simply out of habit or familiarity? Have you stopped interacting with the text because this word is already circled or that phrase is already underlined? Has your sensitivity to learning new things lessened because you already have years-old notes jotted down next to a verse that take your mind and heart in a particular direction?
That was me. But I wanted newness. I wanted freshness. I wanted a blank page–one untouched by my former thoughts and leanings. Not to negate those lessons and moments, but simply to have new ones. Anybody else?
I have now spent a couple days breaking it in and it’s been absolutely glorious. The Lord has not stayed silent. I have heard his voice. The Word is alive and he lives in me!
May I ask: is it perhaps a good time for you to get a new Bible too?