Thursday, March 24, 2016
Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success."
Throughout our nation the overwhelming need of our churches is to "get back to the Bible". This writer would take it a step further: lets "get into the Bible" so that we can "get back to the Bible". So here are a few questions to open up today's post: how does one begin reading the Bible when they have never really read it? where do you begin? what suggested books or sections of the Bible should you read? I have been asked questions like these and believe there are some helpful ways to "jumpstart" getting back into consistent reading and study of God's Word.
Scripture reading and study occupy the cornerstones of sustained growth in Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:15 urges the following: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." Below are some methods that either I have used or have heard from others in cultivating a consistent, daily time in the scriptures.
1. Read a Proverb a day. There are 31 chapters or Proverbs in the book of Proverbs. Are you looking for wisdom in life or a greater effectiveness in your walk with the Lord? Read Proverbs. By reading one chapter a day for five minutes, you should be able to cover Proverbs in one month. Once you have read through Proverbs in that first month of reading, read it again the second month - a chapter a day. Then do it again. I have done this and discovered something new and insightful from the Lord everytime I read.
2. Read 1 John in one week. 1 John is all about the Christian life and assurance of salvation. There are some seventy statements in 1 John that give you assurance of knowing who you are and Whose you are as a Christian. There are five chapters, which means if you were to read a chapter a day, you could read 1 John six times in one month. Make it your goal to read 1 John once a week, and watch your Christian life begin to soar as you discover more of who you are and Whose you are in Christ
3. Read five Psalms a day for a month. As you read God's Word more, you'll find yourself wanting to read more of God's Word. There are 150 Psalms. Five a day for a month will get you through the book. The Psalms speak to the personal and experiential side of your walk with God, and His thoughts toward you.
4. Read a chapter in each of the four Gospels per day. The four Gospels introduce you to the person and work of Jesus Christ. The following four-month reading plan might be suggested: Matthew has 28 chapters, so read a chapter a day and you'll get through Matthew in the first month. In the second month read Mark twice, since it has 16 chapters. Luke would be your third month's reading, with the first 24 days spent reading each chapter and the last several days spent re-reading the crucifixion and resurrection accounts (Luke 19-24). Finally, John;s Gospel would round out your fourth month of reading. Imagine how well you would get to know Jesus in just four months - or even one? It is well worth the time!
Whenever you and I intentionally read and think on God's Word every day, growth and strength in faith will be on the way.