_Reading God’s Word. Is it something you put off until tomorrow, or do you breeze through it quickly so you can check the box? Meet five people who have been radically transformed through the time they have spent reading and applying God’s Word to their lives.
Our hope is that their stories will inspire you to read the Bible consistently throughout 2016. To help make this possible, Watermark offers Join The Journey, a free, online devotional that encourages people to make reading the Bible and applying its truths a daily habit. This year we will travel through the Gospels. Sign up to receive the daily emails or download The Journey app (for iPhone or iPad) by searching for Join The Journey at the App store.
Through community and time in Scripture, God has refined me and enlarged my capacity for service, empathy, joy and compassion. I’ve learned more of the promises from His Word and gained a solid foundation for continuing to process the grief of losing my mother. This foundation would turn out to be more of a blessing than I could have anticipated. A little over a year ago, my wife, Caroline,
and I lived through a series of trials and losses. Before I would have scrambled for solace in alcohol and raged at God. Instead I turned to Scripture and His people.
“God helped me to see these events as part of His perfect plan to refine my faith, so that it, ‘being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at
the revelation of Jesus Christ’” (1 Peter 1:7).
“God used a girl I met from Watermark to inspire me to get into His Word. She had a solid foundation of Scripture and shared it with me often. I felt convicted to learn more about the Bible so that when situations arose, I could look at God’s Word rather than what Ryan had to say. After a series of poor life experiences, I hungered for the wisdom of the Bible.
“In God’s Word, I learned that sin no longer defined me, and that was so freeing. My relationships began looking a lot different, and my decisions were so much healthier. Learning how to handle things biblically was such a gift, particularly after I found out I had Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), an extremely rare liver disease with no cure.
“When I got the diagnosis, my community of friends really encouraged me. They didn’t pretend to know what it was like to have this condition. They reminded me that the Lord would never leave me or forsake me. There is still no way to know if I will live another year, 10 years, or have a full life. Through time spent in His Word, I have come to see that even this disease is a part of my story that can be used to glorify Him.”
“In recent years, the Lord has poured into me through His Word and His people. As a result, now sobriety is something I really prefer. I look forward to coming home, hanging out with Katie, spending time with the Lord and playing super hero with my daughter and son. After 15 years of addiction and suicidal thoughts, I appreciate that Christ’s sacrifice saved me from the pain of my past.
“My anger, pride, selfishness and resentment are all still there. But because God is at the forefront, my life and our marriage are both ten-fold better than where we once were. I never expected to hear my wife say that she is more in love with me now than ever. That is all possible because of God’s love and grace.”
“What I have learned through God’s Word is that the Lord clearly calls us to live in community. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 assures me that the community of friends God has placed in our lives is there to provide us encouragement,
admonishment and love. We’ve experienced God’s love both through our community group and through the relationships my wife, Stefi, and I have built through our service to people in the BonTon area of South Dallas.
“On Wednesdays, people in BonTon now get together for a family Bible study. People in the neighborhood are stepping in and meeting the needs of others, and there is a real sense of community. Stefi and I have fallen in love with this community and with serving as the hands and feet of Christ right here close to home.”
“Studying God’s Word in Watermark’s biblical recovery ministry (now called re:generation) made it possible for me to see how the absence of a father in my life really affected my faith, marriage and family. It seemed so easy for my dad to leave me, so I couldn’t see how God or anyone else could truly love me.
“It was a game changer for me to finally understand that God truly loved and wanted a relationship with me. In fact, He created the unique things in my personality that make me different from anyone else. Through His grace, I started to embrace that God created everything about me. I don’t have to worry about measuring up to anyone else.”