Those of us who are Christians would agree in the importance of scripture reading and study. However, though we might agree intellectually, I wonder how many of us deny that truth in our lifestyle. I am extremely burdened by the potential we all have to ignore the blessing of Bible reading and study.
To stand in awe of God, I believe, is to stand in awe of His Word. He SPOKE the world into existence! The Bible says we are to live by every WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God! Students who are reading this blog will remember my constant cry, “get in the Word”! Why do I say that?
1. How do I stop sinning?
a. Thy WORD have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalms 119:11)
2. How can I have more clarity in life?
a. Thy WORD is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)
3. What is my purpose?
a. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the WORD of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
The list can go on and on! The truth is this: The Word of God is a BIG source of being a fruitful follower of Jesus Christ; therefore, it will be a BIG source of attack by the enemy!
So, what are some simple steps to get into a more consistent habit of Bible reading and study?
1. Be saved!
Perhaps we are going through the motions spiritually! You just feel better as a person by showing up to a Bible Fellowship class or a church service. Yet, the bottom line is you simply have not given your life to Christ! Therefore, what true value do you find in opening the Bible? Today is the day of salvation! The Bible is clear that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and there is a payment all must pay for that sin (Romans 6:23). However, even though we were sinners, Jesus Christ paid the payment for our sin (Romans 5:8), and whosoever will call upon the Name of the Lord WILL be saved (Romans 10:13). If you would like to talk more about salvation, and becoming a follower of Jesus Christ, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
2. Start small
I remember one resolution I made in the past of reading the Bible in a short period of time. I began plowing through page after page of the Bible with this large goal in mind, and yet felt very little assurance that I was hearing from the Lord.
If we were to start a workout program together, I would never ask you to run a marathon on day one, or do 15 pull ups. I started working out with a friend not long ago, and he put me through a routine that included pull ups. I could do half of a pull up. He mentioned to me a way to build up my back that would help me do a pull up. I began this very small and simple task and today I can bust out a multitude of pull ups without a problem. His advice…”start small”
Perhaps you start by reading ONE VERSE! Perhaps one chapter! Whatever plan you start…just start!! Get in the game of being a more fruitful follower of Christ!!!
3. Be specific
The worse thing we can do is just to open the Bible and point our finger down on a verse and read it, walk away, and ASSUME the meaning. Starting a Bible reading program is an act of WAR! The enemy will come after you for he wants you to live as defeated people, without clarity, and wondering what the whole point of this Christianity thing is. We must be very diligent about being specific with our program.
I get excited when I hear people say they want to read the Bible more, but the excitement turns to concern when they say they do not want to PLAN THEIR BIBLE READING! I love the quote attributed to Ben Franklin and later to Winston Churchhill, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Be specific. Perhaps you start by studying verses on a topic. Perhaps you go to your pastor and ask for his upcoming message series, and start diving into his Bible reference list. This will get you well prepared in your heart to be taught the Bible.
If you have more questions on how to be specific, please contact me at email@example.com.
4. Be accountable
The same guy I mentioned earlier that got me doing pull ups now has me texting my eating for the day to him. Whatever I eat gets texted to him. This is called accountability. Because I know that I am going to text him my food, I think strongly about my eating habits. There was a spell of time that I stopped texting him because I didn’t want him to know that I began making wrong eating choices. Not long passed when he shot me a text asking me how I was doing in my eating because he had not heard from me. The tendency is to not have accountability so you don’t feel the taste of others seeing you fail.
You need to find someone in your life that you say, “I want to read the Bible consistently, and I want you to hold me to it!!” Perhaps you text each other the passage of scripture you read that day, or whatever you both agree on; but the point is get someone to hold you accountable!!
5. Don’t quit
Michael Jordan said “if you quit ONCE, it becomes a habit. Never Quit!” Not bad, but here is what the Bible says about quitting!
Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Doing any sort of good behavior can become a difficult act. Rewards for good behavior are not always big and visual. As the farmer patiently waits for the fruit of his labor, so we are to patiently stay steady in our good efforts. Bible reading will become difficult to maintain consistently…Don’t be weary in this well doing, for in God’s timing you will see the fruit of your labor.
In HIS Service,