There are many things that we can do, want to do and need to do. But there is one thing that we need to do, must do and are invited to do as a disciple of Jesus. That one thing is to listen to the words of Jesus. Listening to the words of Jesus is the foundation of the life of a disciple and of the church. Listening to Jesus is at the heart of cultivating our relationship with God. Christ came to die for us—to bring us near to God. He pursues us with holy love; we, as ones who are redeemed by His precious blood, are invited to pursue Him and seek Him. And Bible reading is the primary means of grace given to us to seek Him and to know Him.
Many of us are busy and say, “I don’t have the time to read the Bible.” But we all know that we make time for things that are important. If we are to live a life in its fullness and glorify God, we need to be fed by the Word of God. If you know how much God loves you and desires to speak to you, you will want to read the Bible. If you know how much you need God, you will seek Him with the Bible in your hands. And the good news is that God will help you through the Holy Spirit! And we as a church community will help each other to understand the Word and to know Christ together.
For those of you who have not established the morning devotion as one of your practices, it will take some time to make it a part of your daily routines. Psychologist tell us that it usually takes three weeks to get familiar with some new task or habit; it takes another three weeks before it becomes a habit. For your Bible reading to become a habit, you must have had one daily for at least six weeks. And we will never give up on cultivating that holy habit as a church community at New Hope.
So how will we be doing it? To start off, resolve in your mind that you will read the Bible daily and ask God to help you to persevere in your resolution. Having made the resolution, here are some tips for Bible reading:
- Read with expectancy: Come to the Word of God with anticipation, and willingness to obey. First be reminded of the love of God in Jesus Christ. God loves you and wants to speak to you. Come to the Word of God with anticipation and eagerness to hear God’s voice. Don’t rush into God’s presence, but prepare your heart by being still before him. And come with humility to do what God wants you to do.
- Read consistently: Schedule your bible reading time. Again, you must make time for Bible reading. We suggest that you do it in the morning (or) when your mind is fully awake. And if possible, designate a quiet space as a meeting place with God. It may be your study room, your car, or a coffee shop.
- Read systematically: We need a systematic, regular plan of bible reading. And New Hope provides you with a weekly schedule. We are currently reading the Psalms. If you want to read from the New Testament, we suggest that you start with John’s Gospel.
- Meditate; don’t just read: For the Word of God to be remembered and to penetrate into your mind and heart, you need to meditate. If you have 10 minutes for the Word of God in the morning, then don’t read for 10 minutes. Read for 5 minutes and meditate for 5 minutes. Far better to read less, if necessary, and remember something than to read more and remember nothing. One of the ways to meditate is to write a spiritual journal. Writing down what you are learning and thinking and committing to do from the reading of God’s Word will slow us down to have the Word go down from our head into our heart and then to our hands for action.
- Pray the Word: Use the verses you are meditating on to praise and thank God. As the verses convict you of your sins, repent and ask God for the power of His Spirit to turn away from your sins. If you come to think of someone in your life from your reading, intercede and pray for them.
Remember the one thing that Christ invites us to do is to hear His voice. We need that one thing. We want that one thing. We need Jesus and we want Jesus more than anything. We can have Him through the gift of Bible reading.
Bible Reading Column by Pastor Charles Lee.
Mississauga Campus Lead Pastor
This Week’s Bible Reading Schedule:
|Monday: Psalm 76||☐||Thursday: Psalm 79||☐|
|Tuesday: Psalm 77||☐||Friday: Psalm 80||☐|
|Wednesday: Psalm 78||☐||Saturday: Psalm 81||☐|