Meredith Sheppard is the wife of Paul Sheppard, senior pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. They are the proud parents of two adult children, Alicia and Aaron.
Meredith’s ability to understand and personalize Scripture is a gift to all who enjoy her speaking and writing. Her wisdom, warmth and candid communication style creates trust and openness wherever she ministers.
guest post by Meredith Sheppard
As a child, I accepted Christ as my Savior and received my very own Bible. It was white and had a little gold cross on the end of the zipper pull. My name was embossed in gold uppercase letters on the cover and the crisp, thin pages inside were gilt-edged. I loved my little Bible, but it would be many years until I fell in love with the words written within.
Don’t get me wrong, I understood the importance of reading and memorizing Scripture, which I did as a “proper” young Christian. I even sang songs like, “The B-I-B-L-E,” and “Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow…” But what began as something to cross off my to-do list—reading the Bible in its entirety, has become a lifestyle.
It felt good to say I’d finally read the entire Bible. Before then it was pretty much hit-and-miss, although I’m pretty sure I’d read something from every book and read a Proverb a day.
But let’s face it, I wasn’t hooked on the Book.
Even though I was grown up, married, a mother of two, and a pastor’s wife, I wasn’t a student of God’s Word. Yes, I was a Bible-toting, Scripture-quoting first lady, but the Word was not my first love. Trying to be a good wife, raising good Christian kids, being a homemaker, volunteering at my children’s school, being involved in church activities, and attending to an endless list of other demands soon diminished my time in the Word.
No matter how clean and shiny a car looks on the outside, if it doesn’t have fuel, it cannot go anywhere.
I remember once running out of gas and causing traffic to back up, just as I tried to pull into a gas station. A scowling attendant had to come out and literally push me to the pump. How long did I really think I could drive on E?
My outer life was beginning to reflect my inner condition—I was running on empty.
Bible reading is much more than an item to be checked off one’s to-do list. It’s fuel for living—food, living bread, sustenance—our Source of strength and nourishment that sustains our spiritual life. Once I discovered this, I began to devour the Word. I’ve heard it said, “If you fail to eat natural food, you get hungry, but if you fail to eat spiritual food, you lose your appetite.”
In 1 Peter 2:2 it says, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”
Bible commentator and theologian, Wayne Grudem, writes the following about this verse: “To drink the milk of the Word is to ‘taste’ again and again what He is like, for in the hearing of the Lord’s words believers experience the joy of personal fellowship with the Lord Himself.”
To know God’s Word is to know God’s will. Time in the Word is time with the Lord. As I now say, “If you get into the Word, the Word will get into you!”
Now I read the entire Bible at least once through each year, because when I’m too busy to spend time with God in His Word, I’m simply too busy!
A precious sister and Twitter friend tweeted, “Prayer and reading the Bible is the only thing, that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”
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