Pastor Paul’s Five Suggestions for Consistent Bible Reading in 2013

1. Start within your limits.Pastor Paul

It is better to start reading passages that are “bite sized pieces” instead of swallowing a whale. At first I found it helpful to read one chapter a day, every day, than four a day, every now and then. Moreover, the value of prayerfully thinking and praying about what you have just read cannot be overstated.  I like the phrase “prayerfully thinking” rather than meditation because the term is overused and little understood within the Christian Tradition.  Read less, if you must, to pray and think more. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with a flood of  God’s truth in reading the bible day by day, but without absorption—and applying God’s truth—you will be little better for the experience.

2. Invite a friend or two for support.

When it comes to reading the Bible on a daily basis it helps to have some encouragement and accountability. We are part of a church family where we want to help each other grow and learn. It is easy to feel discouraged when you go it alone. To forestall the dangers of isolation, then, invite one or two others to join you in 2013. Set goals, make a commitment, and hold one another accountable. Turn your personal Scripture reading into a team effort, a community project. Every Day with Jesus, Daily Bread, the One Year Bible and other resources are available.

3. Find the time of day when you are at your best and stick to it.

I think it is important to set a specific time each day when you will get alone with God. My favorite spot is a corner of the living room, overlooking a tree outside,  a coffee handy and early in the morning. My goal is to read every day. In the past, when I had planned on reading the bible whenever I had a chance, there was a good chance, I hardly read it. I believe there is no such thing as time management, but I do believe in self management.

4. Do your best to get into the Old Testament.

“There is gold, in them there hills.” Reading the whole counsel of God, within the Old Testament will pay off in time. Yes there are difficult bits, but if we have the attitude that all of the bible ultimately points to the Word made Flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ we will go deep in our faith. Whenever and wherever you open your Bible, pray to believe that God has something here to say to you.

5. Don’t Turn Bible reading into a race or another check mark on your agenda.

We are encountering the Lord through his word. I have come to look at the bible as the Father’s love letter to the world and even to me. I see daily bible reading like taking vitamins. It has long term effect. Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly we want to be in it for the long haul.

The goal is soul. By that I mean we are on the road to being transformed more and more into the image of Jesus. His word is indispensable in that process. What we think about will lead us to what we pray about and that will bring some pretty amazing change into our lives. Enjoy the process.

So as another year starts I challenge all of us to commit ourselves anew to becoming men and women of the Word.
My prayer is that the Lord will continue to  transform us into the image of Jesus.

Pastor Paul

Comments

  1. Thanks Pastor Paul,
    You are so right about teaming up, and sharing with a friend, even if it’s just following the same program ,or study. My best friend gave me a journal called “Solo” created by Eric Peterson, and since Christmas it has already taken me through Matthew 5 to 13. Pastor Peterson’s shows us the classical method of lectio divina, (in Pastor speak), in ordinary guy speak — “Read, Think, Pray, Live”. A great way to grow in faith and understanding, learning how Jesus wants our hearts transformed to His heart, and how His Word leads us to His desire for us to get it right.
    Thanks for all your encouragement and guidance.
    Terry

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