Sally Bower – Toongabbie 

I really love God’s word. I became a Christian reading it. I picked up a Bible and I haven’t been able to put it down since. God has used it to bring transformation into my life.

I have such a hunger to know more. 

I didn’t grow up in a Christian family at all. I had a Christian grandmother who prayed for me. When I moved in with my boyfriend and his parents, his parents were Christian. When I would come home from work, his Dad would have a cup of tea waiting for me and he would talk to me about Jesus. He would ask me what I thought about many different things and was truly interested in listening to me. He would then, somehow, work Jesus into the conversation. He was the first man that ever treated me with respect. 

I became a Christian at 27. I felt like I had this gaping hole in my soul that I tried to fill with all the wrong things. I got to a point where  my sin weighed very heavily upon me. My in-laws asked me if I wanted to do an introduction to Christianity course, so I met with a local minister. We were only meant to read part of the gospel of Luke, but I couldn’t put the Bible down. I had never experienced this before. I came to a point where I realised my sin and my need for Jesus and gave my life to him. 

Ephesians 2 really grabbed me. It made me realise how dead I was in my sin and how much I needed Jesus to be alive. I struggled with guilt over my past life for a really long time, but I heard a sermon on Romans 8 one day and was again changed forever through that. God has used his word to bring much change over time. 

I love sharing what jumps out 

Usually I get up very early in the morning and pick books of the Bible. I usually work through one at a time. I’ll read a chapter, look at what is jumping out at me;
I might look at references and search up other parts of the Bible. I like to see what God is saying through his word.

I also sometimes go for a walk and listen to a [Bible] podcast, or I’ll listen to a good sermon. I really like podcasts. I’m listening to one at the moment with forty minute episodes in the Old Testament, by a Hebrew scholar, that shows how the Old Testament points to Jesus. I love how the Old Testament is opening up to me in that way.
I find the morning time is the best; it is so quiet and usually no one interrupts me. it’s the only time in my day that doesn’t move. I find that in the quietness of the morning, I hear God more loudly. 

As a young person, I was not a morning person but I have become one. I usually get up around five am. I’ll read God’s word and pray, or if I run out of time, I will pray in the car on the way to the gym. 

The thing I love to do best is look at what jumps out at me, look at questions and look at what I can take from it. 

I have set up a Bible reading encouragement group on Facebook in an effort to get people into God’s word. It’s purely for posting Bible verses. With the Bible Reading Encouragement page, if people haven’t had a chance to read God’s word yet [that day], they could still see some of God’s word in their Facebook feed. 

I hope it prompts them to go back to God’s word and read it.

Before you start Bible reading

If someone wants to read the Bible regularly, it’s really helpful to pray that God will open up his word to you, to help you understand it and give you a hunger for it. It might be good to start with one of the gospels and look at who Jesus is. When I started reading the Bible, I thought I knew a lot about what was in it, but I actually didn’t know anything. 

It’s not just about reading. I know a number of people who struggle to read. It’s helpful to get God’s word into your life anyway that you can. That might be listening to God’s word or a sermon, or worship music as you walk.

In life, nothing is certain except Jesus. Everything else can give way. I crave God’s word. I need to know his truth to stand against the devil and his schemes. I need God’s word daily so that I can know Jesus more and cope with the things that I’m faced with.

We interviewed several Sydney Anglicans for our series on personal Bible reading habits. Read the full collection of stories in the 2024 February-March Southern Cross.