How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked. . . . But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
This week, we are learning the ABCs of making God’s Word a part of our everyday lives. “A” is for “Appreciate the uniqueness of the Bible.” To make God’s Word a priority, you have to believe it is trustworthy and complete.
“B” stands for “Be committed to reading the Bible.” If you are going to experience God’s power, you need a regular intake of God’s Word. And for that, you need discipline.
Now, this may shock you, but there are times I do not feel like reading the Bible. And I am guessing there are times you do not want to read it either. But discipline means doing what we know we should do even when we do not feel like doing it. Pastor Gordon MacDonald wrote, “Discipline is that act of inducing pain and stress in one’s life in order to grow into greater toughness, capacity, endurance, or strength. So spiritual discipline is . . . pressing the soul into greater effort so that it will enlarge its capacity to hear God speak and, as a result, to generate inner force (spiritual energy) that will guide and empower one’s mind and outer life.” If you wait until you feel like it to start reading the Bible, you may never do it. But if you read the Bible even when you do not feel like doing it, you will soon realize how spiritually hungry you are.
In order to make God’s Word a part of your everyday life, you need discipline, but you also need a plan. Some people like to read through the Bible in a year. I like to choose a book of the New Testament and read it once a day, every day, for an entire month. And when I get to a longer book like Matthew or Romans, I divide it into thirds and read one third each month.
Whatever plan you choose, it needs to have two components. First, there needs to be a specific time of day you devote to reading the Bible. For myself, I find the best time is before I go to bed. I want the last thing I think about to be God’s Word. Whether it is before bed or first thing in the morning, you need to devote a particular time to reading the Bible. Second, your Bible-reading plan should include a fresh translation. Have you heard the saying “Familiarity breeds contempt”? Familiarity also breeds boredom. When you read the same thing over and over again, it can lose its punch. So find a new translation. If you are used to the King James Bible, buy the New Living Translation or the New International Version for your devotional reading. That is one way to make God’s Word fresh in your life and help you commit to reading the Bible.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The ABCs of Spiritual Hygiene” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Gordon MacDonald, “The Life God Blesses” (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 41.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.