I start out with have good intentions.
Then the needs of home and family and work press in. I’m left with little time for reading the Bible. With a deep breath and slumped shoulders, I grab a few short moments to read a brief online devotional. God’s Word always blesses, but I long for a dedicated hour of reading and praying.
Studying and meditating on the Bible shapes our spiritual transformation. God tells us to meditate on it day and night (Joshua 1:8). It is what roots us in our faith (Psalm 1:1-3). Yet, we need extraordinary self-control to commit regularly to spend time in God’s Word.
When I miss a doctor’s appointment, I get a call. If I forget to pick up my daughter, I get a call (that only happened once… just saying). If I email my weekly Staff form a day late, everyone knows. But we receive no call or consequence if we miss our devotional time in the Bible.
Or do we? Is there a consequence?
Yes! Ultimately, the consequence is our lack of growth. Nothing replaces our personal study time. God’s Word brings knowledge and wisdom. Wide-eyed and wonder-struck, we are immersed into the biblical stories of victory and struggle. The Bible displays God’s character and invites us into relationship with Him.
Truly … we need to read!
Choose a time of day and commit to it. Adjust after a week if you have not been able to stick to your plan. Many people read the Bible early in the morning before the demands of the day take over the hours.
The Gospel of Mark will take you on a whirlwind biography of Jesus’ life. John’s gospel gives you the passion of the best friend who wants us to know Jesus’ love and teachings intimately. Or, read through Philippians to receive Paul’s encouragement to be strong and to persevere in faith. Published devotionals also offer beautiful insights…just be sure to always read the Scripture, too.
Find a place where you can escape distraction for a bit. When I could not find anywhere else to sit and read, I converted a portion of my basement closet into a little sanctuary. It was not even two paces wide but I still remember it as being one of my most sacred quiet-time places ever!
Check your mindset as you begin to read and ponder God’s Word. Always begin with prayer and invite the Holy Spirit to guide you. It is quite possible to read for knowledge yet completely miss the Lord’s guidance, affirmation, and rebukes.
Embrace these steps as natural as the air you breathe:
1 – Approach the Bible with awe and wonder and expectation.
2 – Interact with the Word: journal, outline, memorize, paraphrase, read historical context, discuss with others.
3 – Read regularly.
Posted by Sharon R Hoover