“Sitting in a chair for twenty minutes every day with an open Bible and an open heart will cure 95% of your spiritual problems,” said Jim Cymbala, pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York City in a recent Twitter post. I agree with Pastor Jim.
All Christians know that Bible intake is mandatory for personal spiritual growth. Paul the Apostle admonished Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Peter stated in 1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” Bible intake is necessary to grow in faith and in Christlikeness.
But how can a believer learn to spend time daily in God’s word? Here are five suggestions:
First, pick a time and place for your daily time in the word: Many of us have heard someone say that Sunday morning church attendance is a Saturday night decision. In that same vein, a daily time in the word is a day-before decision. Decide what time you will begin and where you will have your time with the Lord. For me, I meet God with an open Bible early each morning while sitting in a favorite chair. My wife has her daily Bible reading time at the end of the day. The time or place is not what matters most. What matters is that we have a time and a place away from distractions where we can read the Bible and hear from God.
Second, read the Bible and pray: Pick a book of the Bible that you will read through at a pace that works well for you. Reading through the Bible at a certain pace is not the goal. Bible intake is. Read in such a way that you can get something out of it that will impact your life.
Third, determine a way to record your insights: Whether you write in your Bible or use a journal for note taking, find a way to save the discoveries made in God’s word. Growing Christians will discover fresh insights as they work their way through the Bible. While you will likely have favorite books of the Bible, you will soon discover that all the Bible is profitable for Christ followers (2 Timothy 3:16).
Fourth, share your insights with other people: Find a way at some point in the day to tell someone else what you saw in the Bible. I often share with Connie, my wife, what the Lord is showing me in His word. Sharing it with others drives the truth deeper into your own spirit, arming you for the battles that are sure to come.
Fifth, Keep doing this until Jesus comes or calls you home: Every Christian must be a growing Christian and one sure way to stay green and growing as a believer is to daily spend time taking God’s word into your life.
If you do not have a daily Bible reading practice, consider using these five steps to get started. Commit to one week of Bible reading following this plan and see if you notice an improvement in your spiritual growth. Reach out and let me know how it goes.