Happy New Year! Wait, is it already the middle of January?
Maybe you, like me, don’t care much about “New Year’s Resolutions” but still find yourself trying to set new and better habits, clean out the house a bit more, check out that gym membership after all, etc. Oh yes, and since you left that Advent devotional in the back of your car… well, maybe now is a good time to renew or “upgrade” your commitment to Bible reading.
In his sermon the Sunday after Christmas, Jeff Arthurs gave us a number of practical ways to do just that. Good news! It’s not too late to start! In case you missed it, here are a few ideas to engage with the Bible:
- Learn it by heart. Make a commitment to memorize Scripture this year. Maybe you’ll memorize a Psalm a month. Or a proverb a week. Or a parable throughout the year. Set a goal and reward yourself when you meet it.
- Eyes: READ it. Read it daily. Read big chunks. Read a verse at a time. Read it like a story. Read it like a letter. Read it like instructions. Read it out loud. Read it to one another. Read it. Read it. Read it.
- Ears: listen to it. Here’s a great resource from Hunter Barnes, who visited our church several years ago to do a dramatized reading of the book of Mark: http://www.dailyradiobible.com/. Take roughly 20 minutes a day to get through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in a year. Have a 10-minute-plus commute? Perfect activity for the car! Or maybe while you’re washing dishes. In the morning while you’re preparing for the day. During an afternoon nap time. Just before you go to bed. Listen. It is the Word of God speaking to you.
- Assembly. Talk about it. Read it together and discuss it with your friends, in a small group, with your family. Talk about it with people who read it and with people who don’t.
- Fill in. Listen to the sermon – or catch up online if you missed church. Take notes. Listen actively so that you don’t zone out. Ask God to show you what is most important for you in your life today.
In our info-ready, skim-it-quick, smartphone age, reading the Bible is hard work. A discipline. It requires study. But you can make your own Scripture-reading journey – tailor how you study the Bible to your own needs, personality, and schedule.
8 reasons to make daily Bible reading part of your habits:
- For Salvation.
- For Shalom.
- To be equipped for good works.
- For light/guidance.
- To help you hate every wrong path.
- To be pure.
- To be reminded of the will of God (because we forget).
- To be like Pastor Bobby. And Jeff Arthurs. And all the elders, staff, deacons, and church members: NSCBC is a WORD-driven church.
Let’s not make the Bible wait until 2017. Let’s get this, church!
Main content shamelessly stolen from Jeff Arthurs and summarized by Melissa Bull.