I was talking with a fellow minister the other day about a preacher from the U.S that had fallen multiple times into all kinds of sin. I told him that while I was in Bible College I went to hear this man preach. It was amazing. He was traveling through the States teaching a seminar on prayer. What I learned in that seminar shaped my prayer life for twenty-five years.
“What happened?” I asked. My friend told me plain and simple, “He stopped reading his Bible.” Hearing those words made me want to go home and start reading immediately. When we read and re-read the Word of God, we are constantly reinforcing God’s life and knowledge inside of us. The Bible is not like a self-help book. It is literally strength and nourishment for our soul and spirit so that when temptation comes, we will have the power to resist.
A few weeks ago we celebrated Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Torah), which represents the end of the yearly Torah reading cycle. What better time to renew our own commitment to daily Bible reading. I want to challenge you to take inventory and ask yourself how committed you have been to the discipline of reading God’s word. In my own life, I have found myself lacking and have freshly renewed my commitment.
A few hints for productivity:
Read according to a pattern. I try to read two chapters in the Hebrew Scriptures, one in the New Covenant and a Psalm every day. A pattern helps keep you focused.
Read it out loud. That way you are receiving the Word through two of your senses: Your eyes and your ears.
Take notes. If you receive revelation, write it down or keep a journal. Many Bible-reading programs have a place for user notes.
Find one or two Scriptures a week that really speak to you and memorize them.
- Don’t give up. Some days, yes, you will be bored. Fight through it and take a moment ask the Lord for revelation. The Word is never boring but sometimes we need the help of the Lord to see how amazing it really is.
I speak blessing over you and pray that as you read the Word this year, it will become more and more of a joy, so that next year when we celebrate Simchat Torah, you will truly “Rejoice in the Torah.”