God promises that if you seek Him and draw near to Him, He will reveal Himself to you. How do we seek to know God? We can read the book He wrote, the Bible, and pray asking Him to show us if what we are reading is true. When you read God's book, God the author is present with you to help you understand it and show you the truth.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
The Bible is actually a collection of 66 books written by 40 different men over 1300 years. There are four books in the second section of the Bible called the New Testament that tell the story of Jesus' life (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).
John was one of Jesus' closest friends who explains who Jesus is and what he came to do. From John's book comes one of the most famous Bible quotes.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
The 21 Day Experiment
Try doing the following 3 things for 3 weeks as an experiment to see if God will show you that He is real and loves you.
- God promises to reveal Himself to those how seek Him. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8 God wrote a book. For the next 3 weeks (21 days) read one chapter of His book. Start by reading a chapter of the book of John each day. You can find the book of John in the table of contents. It will take 5-10 minutes each day to read a chapter. Pray as you read and ask God; "God, if this is true, help me understand it."
- Start with an understandable modern translation. I recommend the NIV, NLT, ESV, and NKJV. You can find all these versions and others at the following website: https://www.biblestudytools.com/john/1.html
- Read with an open mind. Think about what it is actually saying, not what others have said it means.
- You will not understand everything, but don't worry, you will be surprised by how much you do understand.
- Apply the truth as you discover it. God will be revealing insights that apply to you and inviting you to respond to what you understand so that you can experience His love and goodness.
- God promises to answer prayer. Jesus said, "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:14. During the next three weeks pray to the God who revealed himself in Jesus and see if God answers.
- God promises to be present when people meet to get to know Him. Jesus said, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20 It helps us understand God's love when we meet with others who have known God longer than we have and experienced His love. God's ways are different that ours and we may not understand why He says some things at first, so it helps to talk with someone who understands the Bible. Meet with me over coffee, lunch or by WebEx for one hour each week over the next three weeks to discuss what you are reading and ask questions.
As you read the Bible, write down your questions for when we meet (or email me/text them). I believe the most important thing in life is experiencing how much God loves you and what He promises to do for you. The reason I went to school to get a Master's of Divinity and a Doctor of Education in Spiritual Formation was so I could help people understand the Bible and God's love.